Week 3: Lace Princess Grace Gown

4:00 AM

I'm so thrilled and grateful to still be here for week three of Project Run and Play!
Thanks for anyone who voted for the Oxford Gent boy look, I really appreciate it.  It's been so fun participating in this competition and has really pushed me in a lot of ways.
{through Sunday night}
This week was especially fun for me, RETRO, picking a decade to design for.
I ended up going with the 50s and made a Lace Princess Grace Gown, dress coat,  and clutch.

My inspiration was Grace Kelly.  
Not only beautiful, she was a movie star, an actual princess, and style icon.  This dress was inspired by a red lace gown she wore in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film, Dial M for Murder.
So of course a little princess would need not only the gown, but a dress coat and coordinating clutch.

I thought lace would be too adult for a little girl, then I remembered I had this ivory polka-dot lace I'd been saving, and thought it would work great for a little tea length princess dress.  Because the lace was ivory, I had to hand dye all my fabrics so they'd coordinate. 

 It was kind of tricky because the lace was ivory, where the white sheet I used for the base, tulle, and organza were all white.  So I learned a lot about dying fabric and lucked out that they all ended up the same shade of seafoam green.
RIT dye has an online formula guide to mix their base dyes to get over 500 colors.

I really love this little gown.  It was so fun to make.

The inspiration dress had a sexy sweetheart neckline, which I loved.  But for a little girl, I just made a simple v-neck that wouldn't compete with the polka-dot lace.
I loved the sheer sleeves that to me, is typical 50s formal wear and kept the sleeves unlined in my look.

I chose to have a dropped waist on the skirt for a more modern look.  The skirt obviously had to be really full and so I have a six-layered circle skirt on this dress.
The base is a sheet, followed by 4 layers of gathered tulle, then topped with a single organza layer for a little shimmer.

The skirt is obviously great for spinning....

...or jumping for that matter.

Dress Coat:
Like all fashionable 50s looks, this gown needed a coordinating dress coat to cover the large skirt to the hem.  I designed a peter pan collar with a three button closure to make it easy to get on and off.

I had a set of vintage 50s paper dolls as a kid and I liked how they always had coordinating clutches with their elbow length gloves.  We bagged gloves here, but I did make a little clutch from the dress scraps for my little neighbor to have as payment for helping me with the photos.

The body of the clutch is the polka-dot lace with the organza lined lid.  I found this rectangular diamond looking button to add a little glam.  The clutch is lined with the gray coat fabric.

I told my little model she could open the clutch because everything inside she got to keep.
I'd just got some basic make up for her (I did check with her mom before to make sure it was OK).  
Of course her favorite was lipstick!

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  1. Oh, so cute!!! I lov the green dress!!

  2. You did a great job on this. I just went to the touring Grace Kelly exhibit and have come back with such an admiration of her aesthetic, which you have captured beautifully.

  3. Very cute dress! Did you use a pattern to make it?

  4. I just voted for you!! I love the sea foam green, and I LOVE the coat. Wonderful job!! So glad I've found your blog.

  5. That dress coat is just adorable!!!

  6. that's so fun that you dyed the fabric ~ seafoam green in perfect for the pastel 50s.
    you took some fabulous photos !

  7. Darling! I admire your gutsiness dying all that fabric - it sure turned out great! The color is perfect and your model is so cute - her face with that lipstick is so adorable!!

  8. absolutely adorable!! Love your photos, your design, and your fabric choices, and the joy your 'little model' displays wearing your creation! Very inpirational! Thank you!


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