The “Good-n-Plenty Disco” dress

The Facts 
Fabric: 2 yards 16 inches of vintage 70′s Qiana from Mena’s fabric swap earlier this year, cotton/poly lining from stash
Pattern: Simplicity 2549
Year: Most likely mid to late 70′s
Notions: 1 zipper, scraps of interfacing
Time to complete: ~3 hours of actual sewing time, 6 hours over 3 nights of futsing time
First worn: April 2012
Wear again? Probably not unless to a period costume party
Total Cost:
$1.09

Let’s just say up front that pink just isn’t my thing any more. I almost sat out this challenge, and honestly if I hadn’t received this fun piece at the fabric swap Mena hosted a while back I would have been silent. But what is a challenge without being challenged so I tried, I REALLY tried to MAKE IT WORK! I pulled out no less than 7 patterns, including one Issey Miyake jacket pattern, to make something cool. First problem – 2 yards and 16 inches of 44″ wide and a border print to boot. OK, need to show off that border otherwise half of the fun factor is for naught. Second problem – holes in the fabric. Not a surprise considering its age but I doubt moths had a feast on all this polyester goodness : )

Two nights of nothing but trying design after design I went back to the pattern I used for the “Make this Look” challenge (that you can check out here). It fit, barely, with an issue in the border print but I went for it anyway and kept trying to make it work in my dreams. Finally around Thursday I ended up piecing one side of the skirt back border that, if I don’t point it out, most people don’t see. That’s ok, when I finally put it on I was so “Meh” about it I almost didn’t finish. The print reminds me of those dreadful Good-n-Plenty candies that people tried to convince me were “good” when I was little. Are you kidding me?! Even at 6 years of age I knew the only “real” candy must be chocolate, and good chocolate like See’s, not that icky chocolate you get at the drug store in plastic wrapped boxes…

I know full well not to judge a project when its not done and frankly this one worked out a little better than I thought, but the thing that really kept me going? The shoes : )

Fluevogs

That is not a typo, they are Fluevogs : ) If you’ve never heard of them, or even if you have but never checked out their website go here. Peruse the “About” section and be prepared to laugh. They are amazingly awesome, stupidly comfy and my inspiration for finishing the dress.

I went to my girlfriends house for photos since her roses are in bloom, but she just got bees into her 2 hives so in the interest of not disturbing them or getting my daughter stung we kept our distance. I did channel my version of a “The Real Housewives of…” with her lemon tree. Did I like the dress any better at the end of the day? Not really. I also managed to nicely sabotage myself just about every step of the way – wore a dark grey bra instead of white, put on black underwear instead of a light color, forget my lipstick, did nothing with my hair…I mean really…and after a week of chilly temps mid week we were back up to 90 degrees and the sweat was dripping down my back…

Speaking of the back…I didn’t have enough fabric to match the print exactly but I did have enough to make it match in a little different way:

It matches yet doesn’t and you can see the right side of the border print is a “little” different. I can live with it, at least the hole the size of a quarter is gone.

If I were to give myself a grade on this project it would be a “C”. It went together quickly and easily once I solved the fabric problems but I find it pretty unexciting. (Looking at it here it reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream that I didn’t like as a child either!) I get a “B” for perseverance and finishing but as far as style goes, if it weren’t for the shoes it would be even more “meh” and I don’t think it does much for me or me for it.

Win some, lose some but its done : ) The good news is I used a good part of my weekend cleaning up my sewing room, even got the floor mopped! AND I’m very excited about the next challenge so life is good. Onward!!

Author

Loran

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 : )

31 Comments

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  1. OMG, that is so groovy! And now I want to eat Good n’ Plenty, which used to be one of my favorite childhood treats and something I haven’t thought of for decades. Charlie says: YES!

  2. I like (some) pink and I like bold prints, yet I am not sure they’d go together… until I saw this! I love what you did, and if anything you came out of it by flexing the problem-solving muscle!

    I am very attracted by this, yet I cannot articulate why. It makes me think of when I am out with a male friend and someone strangely attractive comes into the room and one of us whispers: “Mmmmh I would” ;)

    • Thank you Stef, I’m still not quite sure about it myself. I love your reasoning, the whole attractive person coming into the room : )

  3. This is so ‘Pucci’ Loran. I like pink on you, a perfect pairing with your Fluevogs.Your girlfriends lemons are magnificent.

    • You are absolutely correct, it is quite Pucci! Thanks for the pink support, I’ll see how it “grows” on me.

  4. I adore what you’ve done with the back it’s very clever and definitely admire anyone who can take minimal fabric, with holes in it, and use their brain to construct something as lovely (even if it’s an acquired taste) as this from it. Just hold onto it until Mad Men’s 8th season ;) And I love your Fluevogs….I have a friend with a seriously large income and no kids who buys Fluevogs regularly and it takes me all my power not to drool over them. Girlfiend you MADE IT WORK! (I think I want that tattoed on me).

    • I will hang onto it for a while, maybe “Mad Men” will go a little more Pucci-ish : ) Ask you girlfriend if you can baby sit some of her shoes for her, these were borrowed since I do NOT have a seriously large income! Thank you for the “make it work” support!

  5. Great use of vintage fabric. You absolutely made it work. Clever work on matching the crazy bold pattern. I love those shoes and I’m on my way to check them out right now!

    • Thanks Barbara – I hope you have fun on their site! You can actually find out what the capital of Uruguay is : ) I still have nightmares about the issues that fabric had…

  6. Ooh, I love it so much! Super cool!

  7. You know I really like this – I’m with Kazz in that it’s really Pucci-esque! (I secretly would have loved to have had this to play with!)

  8. I think it’s fun! Great use of a limiting fabric.

  9. Those shoes are crazy awesome. Good for you for sticking it out with that difficult fabric!

  10. What you did with the border print looks really cool. Reminds me of your Joan-does-Pucci ensemble. Love the shoes! I’ve been fondly remembering an awesome pair of black lace-up Fluevog boots I bought about 10 years ago. I wish I still had them for my Mix it Up outfit, but I completely wore them out. Sigh. They were perfect.

    • Don’t you hate it when you have a fabulous pair of shoes and you simply wear them out? Sigh… Good luck with Mix it Up!!

  11. I can’t believe you’re so meh about this dress! It’s really fantastic, it suits you and I think what you did with the back is way cooler than just a regular back. Super cool dress. It lives up to the shoes, too, which is no mean feat because those are some seriously seriously cool shoes.

    I had never heard of Fluevogs! All of a sudden I feel like I could be a “shoe” person and that never occurred to me before….! Thanks!

    • Yeah, I’m still really on the fence about this dress. Thank you for the great compliment, I’ll keep staring at it and see what develops. If you’re ever going to become a “shoe person” Fluevogs just may do it. Not everyone is into the Manolo Blahnik asthetic, at least these are well made and very comfy : )

  12. Lovely! The fabric is gorgeous and you really made it work. The shoes are the perfect final touch.

  13. This dress and this fabric are totally my style. Feel free to send it to me to make room in your closet for something else.

  14. This dress looks fabulous on you! The color suits you and the style is very flattering. I love what you did with the back!

    • Thank you Elisabeth, as a problem-solved project I’m happy with it : ) I’ll have to see if it grows on me!

  15. You made it work. I understand what you’re saying-I’ve felt that way myself. To be honest though you look really pretty in this and if I were meeting you for coffee or I saw you waling down the street I would think you looked great and I would also think the dress was lovely like I do now.

    • Why thank you Gina! I may wear it to work one day to see if it grows on me but its so nice to hear what others think here : )

  16. Your Fluevogs are SO PRETTY!!!! I love the dress too :)