Take One Dress. As-it-Seams to La Gang a Nat

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 23:31

Forgive me if I am a little excited - but I really am!  This is the first guest post of my very first series, Take One Dress!
Back in November, when I picked up a vintage dress on a oh-so-rare visit to New York, I had an idea of using a garment as inspiration for others. And when I  suggested the idea to my friend and blogger Natalie at La Gang a Nat, I could practically feel her enthusiasm jump across the Atlantic. And the monthly series Take One Dress was born. See my creation, and add your own at the Flickr group.
Natalie lives in Ontaria, Canada and is mum to three darling girls. Her sewing is immaculate, she has a lovely vintage and contemporary  style, and she's a full-time working mum. I'm in awe! I have a feeling that Natalie has access to a secret Canadian time-vortex where there's 28 hours squeezed into our 24...Whatever her secret, she's given Take One Dress a fabulous start. Natalie is first up, in a line-up which includes Sewpony, Groovybaby and Mama, and While She Was Sleeping. Look out for Do Guincho next, in February...
Over to you Natalie...

  Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 10

Bonjour! I am Natalie from La gang à Nat and I am completely thrilled to be visiting my friend Victoria on her blog today.
She wrote to me in early December and showed me this amazing vintage dress that she picked up in New York City in October. I loved it immediately! (And WOW Victoria!! You look amazing!!!)


And when she asked whether I might be interested in creating something for one of my girls inspired by this garment, I was all over it! This is how Victoria's dress inspired me to create an outfit for Gaëlle, my toddler:
  • vintage 60s vibe
  • solid colour
  • fabric covered buttons positioned in a retro fashion
  • striking bodice insert
  • full skirt
  • sleeves
Based on those elements of inspiration, this is what I created... Taa-daa!!!

Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 2 

As soon as I saw Victoria's dress, I knew I wanted to try out Compagnie M.'s Mara Blouse pattern. Although not triangular, the insert was perfect and definitely gave the garment that vintage feel. For the main fabric, I chose a soft green corduroy that I had on hand at home. 

I was all set on using some plain white cotton fabric for the insert but then a little package arrived in the mail all the way from England: you see, a few weeks earlier, I had won a fat quarter of Kokka fabric on Victoria's blog and it was so lovely that I knew I had to use it here. Look how sweet it is!
Walking in the frest with friend
(giggle giggle, love those Japanese fabrics, typos and all!)

Take One Dress 1 

I made zero changes to the Mara Blouse pattern as I felt it had the exact vibe I wanted for my garment. Lovely insert, long sleeves, sweet buttons, a bit of piping, some home made bias tape and voilà! (Short sleeves would have respected the inspiration dress much more but as it's insanely cold in Canada right now, long sleeves made way more sense.)
 Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 4 

I was planning on making a simple a-line skirt from the same green corduroy fabric, to resemble the inspiration dress. But after finishing the blouse, I completely changed my mind, dug through my pattern stash and came upon the Girly Pleated Skirt by Heidi and Finn. Perfect! Those darn little knife pleats took forever to make but were so worth it! I decided to add two fabric covered buttons in order to rock the vintage look even more and tie it in with the blouse.
Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 3 

I really dig how this turned out! I love how it looks on Gaëlle (who was moving so much during the photo shoot that it was completely impossible to get a full body shot of her...sigh)

Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 6
 Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 5Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 7Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 8Take One Dress Mara Blouse and Pleated Skirt 10    

My Inspiration Dress So now, in turn, I am passing on the baton to Marta, an amazing sewist from Guincho, Portugal. Marta, this is a very special little dress here... It might not look like much but I wore this dress as a little girl, almost 40 years ago now. In turn, my daughters have also worn it (as well as a small fleet of dolls along the way).

Retro Inspiration Dress1

Characteristics of this dress:
  • Style: Vintage from the early 70s
  • Designer: tag removed but was purchased at a local northern Ontario (Canada) store in 1974
  • Fabric: polyester (and a bit itchy)
  • Key features : solid pale pink bodice; pale pink and white houndstooth skirt, sleeves and collar; contrasting navy blue stitching; visible navy blue metal zipper; navy blue piping on front bodice and around collar; box pleats on skirt; peter pan collar; short sleeves folded over.
*The piping and zipper look black in the pictures but they are actually navy blue.

Retro Inspiration Dress2Retro Inspiration Dress3 

Here I am celebrating my 2nd birthday in 1974 with my cousin Josée. Her dress is really sweet as well, no? And how about that stylish wall paneling? 

Retro Inspiration Dress4 

 I can't wait to see what you come up with Marta! I know you'll give it your Do Guincho twist and it will be phenomenal. I can't wait to see what you come up with And if anyone else feels inspired by this vintage little number, sew along and show us what you created! 

Thank you so much Victoria for having me here today! 

 Bisous, Natalie XX

Thanks Natalie!
I love that you have come up with something so totally different from my interpretation! (see here)

Do come back on February 3 to see where Natalie's inspiration takes Marta of Do Guincho! And if it inspires you too, sew-along! I'd love to see your creations on the Take One Dress Flickr group. And keep track of Take One Dress over on my facebook page.

Take One Dress 

  • February 3 - Do Guincho
  • March 3 While She Was Sleeping
  • April 7 Sew Pony
  • May 5 Groovy Baby and Mama
  • June 2 Mystery Guest
  • July 7 As it Seams

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  1. What an absolutely adorable outfit!!! Can't wait to see what Marta will make - that little pink inspiration dress is stunning!!!

  2. Natalie's creation is BEAUTIFUL! A modern and toddler appropriate take on the original vintage dress.

  3. What a neat series, Victoria!! My sister and I LOVE vintage-styled clothing, so this should be fun to see the 'modern twists' on a vintage look!! Great lineup of guests too....

  4. Great idea for series. I am total sucker for vintage and vintage-inspired items! You did a great job Nat!

  5. Oh Nat!!! You are just tooo amazing!!! You have to make dresses for my girls!

  6. i love it so much! And those buttons are just gorgeous!

  7. oh so cute. and I cannot wait to see how that little pink dress inspires!

  8. That outfit is so adorable and stylish! Can't wait for the rest of this series, so fun!

  9. beautiful! the pleats were worth it, the whole outfit turned out so cute! Love the pink dress

  10. What a fun series! Those pleats are just perfect. Great job!

  11. I love this idea for a series! And I love your interpretation of the target dress!

  12. Great series! And Natalie you did an amazing job! And I am obsessed both with the vintage dress you were inspired by and the one you are presenting. I can't wait to see what comes out of it!! Great job!

  13. I don't even know where to start!
    This great series? Victoria's gorgeous dress? Natalie's wonderful creation? Or that so inspiring baby vintage dress Natalie and her daughter's use to wear? Love it all!
    Natalie, the dress you chose to inspire me is so much my style! My mother also saved lots of my childhood clothes and my kids still wear them all the time. Funny isn't it? I was afraid the zipper was black and was really relieved when you told us it was blue (I love blue on kids but black not so much...)
    Can't wait to start sewing!

  14. That's such a gorgeous outfit. I love the fabric combination you used for the blouse - that Japanese print is so special and it's perfect for the inset. Can't wait to see what Marta makes next time.

  15. wow. Those outfits are perfection. There is a sweetness about the vintage look in children's clothes.

  16. great interpretation. I love the craftsmanship and the fabric you choose.

  17. So cute, Natalie! Love it. The fabric combo is perfect. Great job!

  18. Wow! Nat - you are SO talented (and you know I think that already) - this dress is so sweet! I wish I had the ability to create like you do. Love it!

  19. I think I am going to adore this series. I love everything that has been created so far. Thanks for taking your passion for one dress and turning it into a creative outlet!

  20. Such a sweet outfit! Your kids are very lucky - I can imagine the wardrobe they will have growing up!

  21. Every time I think you can't show me a cuter item to make, you do!

  22. How fun! Thus series is going to be great:) lovely start nat:))

  23. What a great start to the series Natalie! The outfit is great. Love the colours :) I am a huge fan of Mara :) The pleats on the skirt were so worth it. Your little girl is just a doll, and after seeing a pic of you as a little girl, I see where she gets her looks from ;)

  24. This is amazing. I adore that japanese fabric too! The interpretation is spot on without being identical which is great. And the new inspiration dress is going to be so fun.


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