Hot! The “Shamrock Linen” dress

It's not easy being green...

Vogue 8280

: Shamrock linen, poly lining  & wool felt
Pattern: Vogue 8280
Year: 2007 (!?!)
Notions: Scrap of interfacing, 1 zipper, 1 hat frame from stash
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: For this photo
Wear again? To work this Friday : )

Total Cost: Dress $15.42, Hat $5.11

I was all set to go for the Pantone challenge when the theme was changed, even had one of my items almost done! Rummaging through my “green” storage bin I discovered I had almost nothing useful. There was a very interesting piece of ombre organza in greens with a slight yellow edge on one side and heading to the blues on the other. It would make a stunning, yet slightly shiny and Easter-y dress and matching jacket but needed lining.

One trip to the fabric store later and I came home with the green linen you now see. There was NO fabric suitable for lining my organza so all that ombre loveliness will just have to wait : ) While searching for fabric I kept thinking about the “Mad Men” challenge coming up and Joan Holloway popped into my brain and refused to leave. I knew I had this pattern at home, perfect for a Joan wiggle dress, so I had my fabric cut and hustled home. I was SO excited to make this so imagine my horror to find out the sales clerk cut the WRONG amount of fabric – 1 1/2 yards instead of the 1 3/4 that I asked for!

Harrumph. Fine, make the sleeves shorter, it’ll work out. Then I went to cut the lining, which was also consistently cut wrong and I didn’t have enough to line the sleeves, just the dress. Oh well, at least I don’t have to worry about a slip! The good news is the linen is sturdy enough that sleeve lining wasn’t an issue. The bad news is the dress is linen with all its inherent linen qualities : )

 Don’t get me wrong, I love how linen feels but today I wish I’d thought about the photography process just a bit more. In the future I’ll either take the pics at home or somewhere we can walk to, or have my daughter drive and lay down in the back seat : ) I also need to find a reflective surface in which to check my overall look (pull down the top after climbing up the embankment, fix the belt, rearrange the girls properly…). But hey, this is real life, not “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek” and I don’t have hair, makeup and stylists to help out, just my daughter. I think we did just fine considering we lost an hour and were each having a poop-y weekend for entirely different reasons. We channeled Joan with the hair as best we could and I wore it all day like this!

My hair : )

The pattern was a breeze to make, I HIGHLY recommend it. Easy to line although they don’t have you interface the neckline which I strongly recommend doing. My last adventure with this dress came when I decided it needed a belt and possibly a hat. I dragged my mother to Stone Mountain Daughter in Berkeley where I discovered she had never been! She was like a kid in a candy store, feeling all the fabrics. She finally looked around and said “I see why you like it, it IS a real fabric store!”. While she was delighting in the fabric goodness I managed to find my belting AND wool felt that EXACTLY matched my linen! Again, so excited, and when I got home I immediately made the hat using an old pillbox frame that has been kicking around in the garage for 6, yes six, years. Took a whole 45 minutes and makes me ridiculously happy. Went to get the belting out of the bag and…they forgot to put it IN the bag! Just for today I wrapped a piece of the linen around an existing belt but seriously…

Back to Neiman Marcus we went to take advantage of the GREEN windows this time. As we walked down the street we could see 60’s-style furniture in a shoe department, and my daughter said wistfully “I wonder if they’d let us take pictures in there?”

Speaking of shoes, I’d just like to point out the vintage friends on my feet.  For all you who appreciate beautiful vintage things I shoved my size 8 1/2 feet into size 7’s because they were the right color and style : ) The jewelry is vintage and the bag is, I think, alligator.

Shoes and bag

The key element to this outfit? Spanx. Buy some, feel the love : ) Now that I’ve warmed up with this Joan dress I can’t WAIT for next week!



Loran is a Bay Area designer, stitcher and suburban farm girl. Having done theater for years she's finally taking on her most demanding client (herself!) and fashioning a wardrobe from her huge stock of vintage patterns and fabrics, all while writing her daily tablesetting blog. Let's see if she can keep up with both : )


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  1. I’m in love! It’s so fabulous! I need my own green linen wiggle dress!

    Ah, how I miss Stone Mountain. And Lacis just down the street…. I can’t believe they didn’t put your belting in the bag though.

    And thank you for telling us about your shoes. I noticed them as soon as you posted a full length image. I’m also in love with them!

    • Go for it! Yes, I do like a leisurely Saturday when I can hit both stores without a time limit. I did call Stone Mountain and they sent me the belting, seems the clerk cut it and put it right back in the box! Ah well… And the shoes I may be selling soon, someone who is actually a size 7 will love them : )

  2. I love your dress and HAT?! That’s crazy.
    Also I have to mention that I just started following your blog last week and I’m thoroughly enjoying all of your table settings! Very impressive.

    • Thanks for the love, Liz, I’m glad you like my “other project”! When that one wraps up I’ll do a proper sewing blog. And if you decide to get rid of the piece of birdcage cotton you got by mistake I’ll take it off your hands : )

  3. Love your dress! I am curious though – do you find your undergarment straps peeking out in the neckline? I love the shape but that potential issue worries me.

  4. This is outstanding!! You wear that shade of green very well. That hat and the hair complete the look and I admire your courage to wear too small shoes. I don’t think my feet have recovered from the one time I did that, lol!

    • Fortunately I wore them only long enough for the photos so no real damage done! Now they’ll move on to someone that CAN wear them. The earrings ended up hurting more than the shoes… Ah, the things we do for fashion :)

  5. Loran you score again. I love this dress, the color the cut. Would love to se how you need hat.

  6. My Lord I love this! The color is really great and the dress looks lovely! I agree on the trouble with linen though, it feels so good to wear but wrinkles like crazy!

    • Back in the 80’s when linen was THE fabric to wear thanks to “Miami Vice” we used to take a certain stretchy fusible interfacing and completely line garments with it. It kept the linen looking smooth, because of the stretch it moved nad maintained the “hand” of the fabric and was a pretty decent fusible (i.e. didn’t bubble much). No one sells it out here any more, I don’t even know if its still made. I saw a comment on someone’s blog that they didn’t know more than 4 or so interfacings were made and I remember a time when the store I worked in sold over 70 distinctive ones! Now I’ll just put up with the wrinkles both on my dress and my face : )

  7. This is awesome. I never needed another reason to heart green, but this would be it. Loving the hair, too!

  8. The dress is stunning! The color is perfect and despite linen brattiness you steal the show this week. And the shoes! You have outdone yourself (others too). Thank you for sharing, you are such a sewing inspiration.

  9. Great dress! You look amazing. If this is your warm up dress, I’m really looking forward to your dress next week. :)

  10. You are gorgeous in green, Loran. From your DIY hat to your too-small-but-oh-so-worth-it shoes…you are simply iconic in this outfit. The St. Patrick’s Day diva of my dreams.

  11. I love that pattern. And your shoes!

  12. I always look forward to your posts as you are my favorite. I wish I could see more how you put that hat together with the green felt, the perfect touch. Now I was thinking I would love this dress but as I look at you in it I see it won’t work for me, a more substantial bust line helps this look right and fills it out. Now my daughter could wear this! I will show it to her. Can’t wait to see your next creation.

    • Thanks Nancy : ) I’m going to work on a way to do something to show people how I did the hat. You should make this dress, you don’t need a “substantial bust” to carry it off. I’m going to make a version of this for my very thin daughter, just make a muslin of the bodice so you can adjust the darts. I LOVE your red jacket : )

  13. You’ve done it again! Great overall look. You make all those little extras– hat, hair, bag, shoes, belt, Spanx!– seem easy. Quit making the rest of us look bad, okay? :)

    • Sorry : ) and thank you! You’ve done pretty fabulous stuff yourself. And I do the hat, hair, accessories because its fun to be something I’m normally NOT and then to have to stand in front of the camera…I can channel not-my-everyday-self and it makes it easier. Props, its all about the props : )

  14. I. Love. This. Dress! That green is my absolute favorite green every. And I’ve been dying to make up this pattern! Your version is lovely! And the accessories! And shoes! Be still my heart!

    • Make this pattern! It’s easy and the fit is pretty good, just interface the neckline. I can’t wait to see your version : )

  15. Oh Loran, I love you, you really are amazing, you look spectacular and with all the fuss you have pulled off yet another amazing outfit. I had to laugh about you laying flat in your car ha ha linen is such a bizarre fabric with all the wrinkles and price tag. And fancy just making a little pill box in 45 minutes. Just brilliant!! I look forward to your posts every week and I can not WAIT to see your post for next week eeeek, bring it on!!. EXCITED

    • Thank you for the love, Kazz! YOU are one of my inspirations and you pulled off TWO outfits this last week!!! I’m dying to see what you’ll do as well, your posts make me want to get on a plane and visit your gorgeous country. I’m starting to think bolder for my accessories thanks to you : )

  16. Wow, that’s such a wondrful dress. And the colour suits you very well. This is just amazing that you could come up with the finished dress in 3 hours. Which remind me >I have to go back to mine if I want to finish it before the limit date of the challenge.

  17. Stunning!!!!!

  18. Love the dress, hat, and shoes. Back in 1967 I had a skirt not quite that green, forgot what the blouse was, and it had a jacket. I had matching suede shoes & purse and wore beige gloves. Believe me, it was stunning. Love the shape of this dress and even the linen. Indeed, linen is a bitch to keep wrinkle free, but you were spot on about the hair & hat. Great work.

  19. You are looking fa-bo in this green & that red hair.

  20. Just breathtaking! What a great color on you. It fits you so well and the style is so Mad Men on St Patricks Day. Like your other fans, I can only imagine how wonderful you will look next week for the Mad Men challenge. I love the little hat. Would you share how you make a pill box hat with us someday? Those shoes are to die for. I can relate to squeezing your foot into a too small shoe. We manage to do it though and still look completely composed.

    • Isn’t that the truth? And how long have we been squeezing ourselves into things that don’t quite fit and still look completely composed? From our shoes and clothes to life events… and yes, I will do something like a slide show or tutorial on the hat : )

  21. You’re giving Christina Hendricks a run for her money. However, I have a feeling nobody’s going to be running in those shoes any time soon. You are so fricking fabulous.

  22. This is so lovely, I love you in green!

  23. What a great color on you! I love the hat you made to match it too! Lovely!

  24. OH! Stunning. Just completely fabulous all over.

  25. Everyone else has said, and I’ll repeat it: Stunning! The color, the fit, the style, the hat(swoon), the shoes (i can wear a 7 easily if they need a new home….le sigh.)
    Every week i am impressed and encouraged in my sewing by all the SW contributors. And there is always one that makes me gasp in awe- you are it this week! Keep it up everyone!

  26. I love the colour and the shape too. You look lovely in it.

  27. That is fantastic! I love the mix of themes and can’t wait to see your Mad Men dress now!