The "Menken's Department Store" Outfit
The inspiration behind this dress comes from a few sources. First, I have a collection of vintage patterns that I have picked up at thrift shops that I really wanted to put to use. I have a real knack for collecting and not using. Second, as a teenager I bought a beautiful sleeveless dress and matching long jacket in an antique shop. The style was perfect mid 60s. It was made of buttery yellow silk covered with an intricate asian floral motif. According to the tags, the ensemble was handmade in Hong Kong for one Mrs. John Cline. Or so the hand embroidered name tag in the jacket tells me. I wore this outfit to my high school graduation (picture below, with my dad). Just for the record – it still fits. Also, I have still never found the perfect pair of shoes to go with it. Third, I am still working through my stash. This brown brocade was left with me a few years ago. It’s not something I would have purchased for myself, but the fact that I had 4-5 yards of the fabric was, alone, a pretty convincing argument for its immediate use.
- Fabric: Dark brown satin brocade of questionable origin. I’m sure it’s acrylic. I had leftover lining fabric from some other projects. The dress, jacket body, and jacket sleeve lining is all different . . . but you’ll never see that.
- Pattern: Simplicity 6193 for the jacket. Vogue 6851 for the dress.
- Year: 1965 and 1967, respectively.
- Notions: Thread and zipper.
- Time to complete: Approximately 10 hours, including thinking and planning.
- First worn: This week for pictures.
- Wear again? I just don’t know. I will have some tweaks to make to the dress to make it fit a little more smoothly around the middle. As for the jacket, I might add some buttons or a bow or something and then we’ll see. Admittedly when I put it all on for the photos, I thought it was pretty adorable, but I do find so much dark brown overwhelming. This is the second time I’ve said this of a Sew Weekly challenge, but I am not sure I like wearing brown.
- Total Price: Patterns – .99 each. Zipper $2.40. Grand total: $4.38!