Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DIY: The I-See-London-I-See-France Dress

I am a bit of a haphazard seamstress. So I have this fear, when I wear my own sewn dresses, that  some rogue seam is gonna come loose and the end of the phrase "I see London, I see France..." will actually become my reality.
 Bonjour, compadres! What you are looking at here is an example of Pro-Cass-tination. Oh, you didn't know I was the Queen of Puttin'-Off-Everything-'Cept-Candy-Eatin'? It's true. And this dress is no exception. After months of sitting on this half-finished dress, I finally knocked it out. And just in the nick o' time, as me and the wee artists are about to be neck deep in all things Paris, France. Oui oui, ya'll.
Um, did you know I have a bit of a Mary Blair obsession? Have you seen the movie Single White Female...? Just kidding, my therapist and I have it way under control. As long as I take my meds. This photo of It's a Small World was taken last Christmas at Disneyland.
 So I picked up the Parisian-themed fabric over the summer. I knew I'd be taking the kids on European adventures in art and wanted to create a dress for the occasion. When hubs said, "that fabric looks very It's-a-Small-World," I knew I'd made the right choice.
If you are thinking this dress design looks  familiar, then you might be thinking of my Empire Strikes Back dress and the Presley Poodle Dress. Yep, all three are from the same vintage pattern. I'm a repeat offender.
 After sorting through my mountain of dress patterns I went with the same ole dress pattern I've used before. I really like this pattern for a couple of reasons: that giant band around the waist is super slimming and, because of the three parts of the dress, I can have fun playing around with fabric combinations. For the top half, I decided to go with my two favorite colors, salmon pink (with polka dots?! yes, please!) and turquoise blue. The skirt fabric is from Hoodie's Collection "L'amour de la vie" for Timeless Treasures Fabrics.
You remember my embroidered poodle from my traveling DIY? Well, this was also completed on that same trip. For this I used an embroidery design from Stitcher's Revolution.
Now if only Mary Blair paintings were made into fabric designs, I'd be oh-so-happy.
To top off the look (like literally), my friend Jen of Peachy Tuesday created this awesome Eiffel Tower headband. I love it! And I know the kids are going to as well. You can find Jen's shop here...and you can preview her designs before they go up for sale on her Facebook page. Merci, Jen!
The gorgeous Mary Blair. A little bit of history on her: she and her hubs joined Walt Disney Studios in the 1940's where she worked on concept art for movies like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. The designs for both are beautifully published in childrens books, along with a couple others she illustrated (if you have not seen the adorable I Can Fly book, please check it out). She is most famous for creating the designs for It's a Small World. Sigh. If I could live in that sweet world, I totally would.
Now that I think about it, this seems like the perfect dress to wear the next time I ride It's a Small World. Given I don't experience the dreaded butt-blowout before then.

 Oh, look, there's me attempting my best Mary Blair pose. Yeah, I'll keep workin' on it. The beautiful portrait of Mary was created by comic book guru Michael Netzer.

 Whew, I-See-London-I-See-France-Please-Lemme-Be-Wearing-Clean-Underpants Dress complete! Next up on my sewing table: my Halloween Horror Movie Dress to be worn at the countless haunted houses we'll be attending this fall (yes, seriously). When I mentioned that upcoming dress to hubs, the following convo ensued:

Hubs: I know you haven't started on that dress yet.
Moi: Oh yeah, how do you know?
Hubs: Because it's not the night before you need to wear it.

Hey, they don't call it pro-Cass-tination fer nutin'.

Au revoir!


  1. LOVE this dress! The fabrics you used work together so beautifully. :)

    P.S. I'm another died-in-the-wool procrastinator. Like we're supposed to go to a Renaissance Faire next month and I haven't even thought about a costume! (Since we usually go dressed up...) I figure my best work happens when I'm on a tight deadline. haha! Procrastinators Unite!

  2. you introduced me to Mary Blair! I always loved It's a small world, but had never realized it was based on her artwork/design until you began pinning various works of hers on @pinterest. Love the Dress, thank you for the shout out, and I am sure they are the luckiest art students EVER to have you as a teacher:)

  3. Love that dress! And I can't believe I hadn't heard of Mary Blair before - thanks for the art history lesson!

  4. you look amazing! i found your blog today through flickr. you are such a talented seamstress! wow. i'm your newest blog follower. :) lora

  5. Anonymous8/28/2012

    You are absolutely adorable! :)

  6. Wow i love that dress <3!


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