“A new lease of life” easter dress | Adey Lim

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The Facts

Fabric:  Vintage floral cotton from etsy seller who got it from an estate sale US$10 for 5 yards, I used only 3 
Patterns: Burdastyle's Danielle (Free pdf download)
Year: c. 2009
Notions: Invisible zipper and one wooden flower button $0.50
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: 25 April 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$6.50

I have always loved wearing hats, they complete an outfit and most of them offers some sort of UV protection. But, in a country where most people do not wear hats (with the exception of Japanese expatriate ladies), I only buy simple ones with not more than two colors and still I get stares whenever I wear them or get mistaken as a tourist. Most of my hats are made of straw or light weight fabric and recently I did acquire a vintage white floral hat from etsy but that didn't fit my head well to my disappointment. So, I have given up buying hats online and concluded that it is an accessory which needed to be tried on. For this week's challenge, I chose my only knitted hat, which is super comfy to wear and adorned it with two brooches, one in brown floral and another white floral with white feathers. 

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The thing I love about this knitted hat is that it doesn't flatten my hair a single bit unlike the rest of my collection so I have a choice of going with or without hat when it gets really hot and humid.  

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I didn't own any vintage fabric when I started participating in this challenge but after seeing all the fabulous vintage fabrics Mena and Veronica have used,  I am so inspired to give them a try. So, this week, I am tremendously thrilled to use a vintage fabric to make my Easter dress. The kind lady who sold me the fabric emailed me to say how happy she was that the fabric is going to someone who would be using them and I am happy to say that the fabric has been transformed into a dress  which will be enjoying many sunny days with me outdoors!

The design of the dress is inspired by similar dresses  (top photo) I have seen on Modcloth but it was the secret garden dress (bottom photo) by the very talented Chie from Vivat Veritas which got me longing for one and in floral too! So the moment I saw this vintage brown floral fabric which matches my hat, I knew it was meant to be.

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I use the burdastyle Danielle free pattern download, modified the original neckline, drafted the additional pieces for the new neckline and kept it sleeveless to achieve the look. I kept the pleated skirt and its original length as I liked it that way. Hubby and I went shopping and for a movie straight after this photo shoot and I must say I felt extra special wearing a dress made of precious vintage fabric!

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The venue for my photoshoot this week is CHIJMES. The buildings, chapel and structures used to be my junior high school compound. My favorite place is the chapel and the amazing stainglass windows. Established by French nuns in 1854, the buildings have since been conserved and transformed into a commercial lifestyle destination after the school moved to its present location. The compound was declared a historical landmark, the chapel is now a venue for many happy and romantic weddings while the rest of the buildings are filled with restaurants and shops. Like the fabric used for my dress , my old school compound has been given a new lease of life. 

Please excuse the crinkles on the dress, it went through a whole lot of love and hugs from my kids that morning :)

Author

Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.

36 Comments

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  1. So lovely! The cut of that dress is divine – I can’t believe it’s a free pattern! It’s adorable!

  2. Beautiful! I love the style of your dress, and you have done the vintage fabric proud! You are so very clever!!!

  3. This dress is so beautiful Adey. Yay for vintage fabric! And I love that pattern! The fit looks so nice. You’ve done a great job changing the neckline. I’ve just downloaded the Danielle! I would never have picked it from the drawing or the velvet one online.

  4. I love your hat and you look so cute in it. The dress is beautiful and I love Burda’s free patterns. You did a great job.

  5. Wow! Just… wow! Your alterations really made that dress and that fabric is gorgeous.

  6. Great job.. YOur dress is beautiful and looks great on you.
    The fabric is so pretty.. Looks great with your hat.

  7. lovely dress – the fabric is wonderful. Your hat really does set it off. Lovely old building too.

  8. Wow, that is so lovely! I have been eying that same mod cloth dress for a while. Well done.

  9. Adey this dress is lovely! Your Modcloth dress inspiration was a perfect starting point. Thank you for reminding me to look at all their lovely clothes for ideas, it’s a great source. Love your vintage fabric too!

  10. Adey, you sew such amazing things and I always love your thought process! You give me so many ideas. And thanks for reminding of Vivat Veritas, I had seen her version of this dress but forgot to bookmark her blog!

  11. I love the flowers on the fabric – so bright and beautiful! Well done, Adey!

  12. no, adey, this is not allowed, how did you take the danielle and morph it into this. the shoes, the hat, the spiral staircase, i actually said aloud to the cat “she’s so pretty” when i clicked on your post. i’m sure the cat agrees.

  13. Yay for vintage fabric! it does add a whole new romantic angle to sewing doesn’t it? I love the thought of things coming from a different time and land, and breathing modern life into, its terribly fun! Great work on the dress, as always! Love it!

  14. Thank you Sarah! The older burdastyle patterns tend to fit me well so I thought I should give this one a try. It’s definitely a keeper.

  15. Aw, thank you so much Debbie, I am so glad to hear you like what I did with the vintage fabric!

  16. Thank you so much casey! I’m so glad my version led you to the Danielle pattern :) There have been so many variations done with it and I’m sure yours will be fab!

  17. Thank you so much Emma, am thrilled you like the dress! Yay to vintage fabrics! Wished they were easier to find around here.

  18. Thank you for your sweet comments Judy!

  19. Thank you so much Jen! The fabric is indeed wonderful and so precious, I am still wondering what I should sew with the remaining 2 yards.

  20. Thank you so much Farah! Mod cloth has some of the loveliest things doesn’t it, I am always inspired when visiting its online store!

  21. Pretty dress. can you tell us more about the vintage fabric? Any idea what era it’s from? It’s hard to tell…but I’m curious because I own plenty of 1930s fabric…

  22. Lovely fabric and lovely style! I love how you altered the pattern and the hat is perfect with it! Great work!

  23. So beautiful Adey, love that vintage fabric (how nice are those flowers!) and you’ve made the dress up beautifully and really uniquely!
    xoxo

  24. Thank you for the sweet comment Cathe! So thrilled that you like the dress and fabric! Modcloth has been a fantastic source of inspiration for me, like all the time!

  25. You are so sweet Amanda, thank you so much!

  26. Thank you Sarah! Yay! I’m so glad you are making the easter dress combo I voted for! Can’t wait to see it!

  27. Aw Oona, I always enjoy reading your comments. They never fail to brighten my day! Kisses to the cat *muak* *muak*!

  28. Oh yes! The feeling is indescribable and incredible, it is just awesome wearing a dress made of vintage fabric! Thank you Molly, so happy that you like the dress!

  29. Thank you MB! I’m really new to this and have no idea how to tell the era but the etsy seller who sold it to me thought it might have been from the 1960s or 70s.

  30. Thank you Meg, thrilled that you like the fabric and style of the dress! Love the blue suit with peplum your mum gave you, lucky girl!

  31. Thanks Veronica! I adore the flowers too and was surprised that their colors are still so stunning after decades! Just wished there were more of such fabrics available here! Can’t wait to see your outfit and hat this week!!!

  32. I absolutely adore this dress! Happy blogiversary too!

  33. Beautiful! And I love that last sentence :) You can never get too much love and kisses in the morning!

  34. Thank you so much Karin!