The Blooming Beret Outfit | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Crazy Floral crepe/satin/drapey material $.50c ($4 for at least 5 metres from the op shop) & thrifted black polyester lining (20c) and Thrifted Grey Jumper ($3)
Patterns: Simplicity 4491 $1 (from memory) and Vintage Sewing’s free beret pattern
Year: c. 1960’s for the dress
Notions: New black zipper $4 (so pricey!)
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: April 2011
Wear again? Yes.
Total Cost: ~$5.70 for dress. Hat – $3
As it’s getting cooler in Melbourne, I initially wanted this week to make a warmer, autumnal outfit with a woolie hat of some sort. As much as I love the vintage look, I don’t wear hats at all! I kinda take one around with me in summer time, to ward off the direct sun, but mostly forget to wear it. And in wintertime I have one slouchy black hat that I wear all the time, for warmth only, but has zero style points.
I couldn’t find a hat at the op shop (football season has started, so there’s plenty of beanies!) and I felt a little stumped for a while. I googled vintage hat tutorials, and flipped through a few ideas until I found this Vintage Sewing info site, and saw how easy a beret was to make! I also found this video page, just to do a double check and then made my own in 15 minutes. It may have even been 10 minutes, as it took 5 minutes to locate this grey jumper I’d bought from the op shop (I was going to refashion it into a cardigan). 10 minutes to make a cute beret! OMG
It’s basically just two circles, one with the middle cut out, like a donut, and a headband (I used the collar pieces of the jumper as the edging was already ribbed and neat). I interfaced the top bit, with some fusible lightweight interfacing, as I didn’t really know how else to stiffen up stretch wool. I’m going to make so many more to match all my winter outfits!
And then for the dress! I thought I’d make a woolie 60s Mod-esque frock to go with the hat, but as the weather turned SO beautiful and sunny, I just couldn’t settle on any winter fabric. I found this burst of blooming floral fabric at the bottom of the stash (to fold and put away) pile and thought I’d do a last hurrah to the sunshine of Melbourne!
The colours are a bit insanely bright, but the black edges of the flowers in the fabric will mean I can wear tights or a black long sleeve tshirt underneath in winter (with the hat of course!). It took ages to decide on a frock pattern though, for I have over 5 metres of this thrifted fabric and I felt paralysed by it’s abundance. Usually my remnants or thrifted peices are *just* enough for a dress, but the gaudi-ness of this print means it wouldn’t work with any over the top collars, or ribbons or frills, in my opinion. So I had to keep the silhouette straightforward.
The easiest and plainest pattern I have is the Simplicity 4491, and I’ve always made really nice dresses with it. This time I copied my adjustments to some spare butcher paper, as I’ve used the pattern so much, the tissue paper is starting to tear. Next time I’ll just use my copied bodice pieces, and no resizing needed! The fit is a little loose compared to another pencil skirted version Imade a few years ago, but better loose than too tight I guess.
I lined the entire thing with some cheapy black polyester stuff so it’ll have a little extra warmth for when it does get colder!