The “Princess Elizabeth at the Dog Park” Dress
Fabric: Reproduction quilting cotton, $16
Pattern: Simplicity 4662, $2
Year: c. 1945
Notions: Two buttons, belt buckle
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: June 2012
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$18
I just have to say: what a difference a week makes. I’m certainly not in Las Vegas anymore. When I talked to my mother on the phone she lovingly teased me and asked “what’s the deal with that ‘come hither’ look?” I tried to explain that “my art” called for that look but she wasn’t having any of that. So this week, here’s my very proper homage to the Queen.
Wow. I looked at a lot of photographs of Princess/Queen Elizabeth this week. With so many years and styles to choose from, I had the most difficult time narrowing down the look I wanted to replicate. Because I’ve been wanting yet another casual 1940s shirtwaist dress, I eventually chose late 1940s Princess Elizabeth, particularly this light blue dress she wears with the most amazing hat.
I happen to think the black and white photo below is probably one of her most stunning “on-duty” shots. And yes, again, oh wow, that hat!
While my variation of the dress is far more “house” and less “examing the troops” dress, I tried to capture the essence of the Princess from this period.
My hat, while not as spectacular, came from an antique store in St. Paul, MN.
I am actually quite pleased with how the dress came together. When I first began sewing my dresses at the end of 2009, I flocked to these practical dresses from the mid 1940s. It’s a testament to the time I’ve spent sewing (I’ve been doing this for at least 10,000 hours by now, right? Right? Maybe not.) that I no longer need to read the pattern instructions to pull together one of these guys.
It helps that Simplicity 4662 was incredibly easy to work with. As usual, I decided to take some shortcuts. Namely, not making true button/buttonholes, but instead stitching the bodice closed and attaching the buttons as faux fasteners. And, of course, I left out the zipper. While I think the dress looks a tad bit bulky in the photographs, I actually quite love how it fits and find it to be flattering. With the gloves, purse, pearls and hat, I’m definitely erring on the matronly side of things. But come on, this is a Queen Elizabeth homage. That woman has been accessorizing like crazy for her entire life.
And finally, a bit about my location. I headed to my local dog park in desperate hopes of spying a corgi or two. A couple days ago I saw someone in my neighborhood walking their own corgi and had the impulse to ask them if I could borrow their dog for my photo shoot. I didn’t, and instead decided to try my luck at a wild corgi sighting. Unfortunately there was no corgii in the vicinity so I had to settle for a photo with my uncooperative dog, Maddy.
Because I wanted to take photos with her, she decided (for the first time in her life) that she was actually going to play with the other dogs and subsequently ignored me. Go figure that I suddenly have a quite functional dog.