Built for Vintage Fashion

12 Oct

I’m attending a wedding in Atlanta at the end of the month and needed a dress to wear. I had every intention of making one, but stumbled upon this gem at a vintage store in town. The price was too good to pass up. And, the color looks pretty awesome on me. My friend Liz thinks this era suits me because of my build. It would suit me better if my arms weren’t as muscular! I find that these clothes fit me well in the torso, but are awful on any part of my body that has muscle tone.

It’s not a perfect fit. The bust is pretty snug and the back is tight. But, I was happy to discover the dress had been taken in at some point. So, I was able to get about 3/8 of an inch extra in the bust.

The yellow is a poly blend of some sort and I honestly think it’s never been worn! For its age, there are no body stains, no worn spots, no sign of wear whatsoever. Honestly, I found myself pressing the seams open and flat!

I wanted to post this dress because the construction is beyond belief. The entire dress is underlined with organza. It could stand on its own it’s so structured!  While the dress is underlined, there is no lining. The seams are finished with pinking and a straight stitch. Luckily, I have yellow on the serger and finished as many seams as I could.

The back uses a metal, lapped zipper application.

There is a wonderful deep hem which keeps it nicely formed and gives me room to play with the length.

I LOVE the bow right at the top and how it peeks through with the jacket.

Yes, there is a matching coat. It’s stunning. Stunning! It has the same princess seams as the dress.

 The bound buttonholes are nicely tailored and look amazing with the buttons / chain.

The jacket is lined with a matching yellow. It too has a deep hem.

My favorite touch is the union label in both the jacket and the dress. And, I’m a sz 10 by those days standards. Hmmm, I’m pretty much the same size now :)

I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to wear it at the end of the month.

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48 Responses to “Built for Vintage Fashion”

  1. mrs mole October 12, 2011 at 12:10 #

    What fabric is it made of? Can you reveal what the price was? It looks divine!

    • Miss Celie October 12, 2011 at 12:19 #

      I think it’s a poly blend shantung. I haven’t done a burn test to see if it’s silk or not. It was priced at $90.

  2. BMGM October 12, 2011 at 12:15 #

    What a great find. I saved a pair of 1980s era jeans for my daughter just to show her the ILGWU label.

  3. Kay October 12, 2011 at 12:19 #

    Beautiful. Be sure to take pictures of you wearing it. Also, very glad t see you post. I look forward to you blog and it has been rather sparse lately. ;)

    • Miss Celie October 12, 2011 at 12:40 #

      Thank you :) I’ve been happily busy :)

  4. Peggy October 12, 2011 at 12:20 #

    Beautiful ensemble! What a lucky find! The best part is the label and knowing where it was made! Awesome!

  5. Lipstick Jane October 12, 2011 at 12:25 #

    It is beautiful! Can’t wait to see pics of you wearing it.

  6. Texan October 12, 2011 at 12:34 #

    What a wonderful find!!!

  7. Rachelle October 12, 2011 at 12:41 #

    Holy cow, that’s perfectly lovely! Take your time, but I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of you in it, at some point!

  8. Renae October 12, 2011 at 12:48 #

    WOW! What a find! I can’t wait to see a pic of you wearing it. : )

  9. kathleen October 12, 2011 at 12:51 #

    what a spectacular find! Save that Union label, it might have to go in the Smithsonian :)

  10. Elizabeth October 12, 2011 at 12:55 #

    Love. This. Dress.

  11. Tia Dia October 12, 2011 at 12:56 #

    What a beautiful find! I love the button/chain closure on the jacket. Thanks for posting all the pictures!

  12. Seraphinalina October 12, 2011 at 12:59 #

    That is a fabulous find. Liked the dress but adding the coat…. how do you not swoon being near it? ;)

  13. Amy October 12, 2011 at 13:08 #

    Wow – it’s so beautiful!

  14. amanda October 12, 2011 at 13:21 #

    wow love it! wonder what shoes you are going to put with it???

  15. Janice October 12, 2011 at 13:22 #

    They always made vintage clothes a lot better back then!

  16. puu2 October 12, 2011 at 13:38 #

    fabulous find!

  17. Amanda S. October 12, 2011 at 14:04 #

    What a great dress! I love the bow detail and the double buttons down the front of the coat. I’ve actually never seen that technique, but I don’t spend a lot of time looking at vintage. Awesome find!

  18. Karen October 12, 2011 at 14:20 #

    Fantastic score! I well remember the union label and the cute commercials and jingle…so always look for the union label…. How sad for our country and the garment industry that those days are now gone!!!

  19. CarlaF-in Atlanta October 12, 2011 at 15:02 #

    I love the dress. I’m glad you’ll be in my part of town If you get a chance and want to do some fabric shopping, stop by GailK’s http://www.gailkfabricsinc.com/welcome-fabrics.html.

  20. bethS October 12, 2011 at 15:08 #

    oh, this is just gorgeous—luv luv luv the matching coat. As a little side note, if the bust is still snug, you may want to try the outfit with a minimizer bra—those darn things can do some pretty amazing tricks. (I’m particularly fond of Wacoal via Nordstrom but every body is different) You are going to look fabulous—pls post a pic for us

    • cidell October 12, 2011 at 19:26 #

      Oh, I’ll have to give that a try! Thank you!

  21. Nancy Karpen October 12, 2011 at 15:09 #

    I really think that this is silk. It doesn’t seem like all that fine work would have been done on polyester not back then and not now. Look at those bound buttonholes! Very nice find and a steal at that price.

  22. Shirley October 12, 2011 at 15:50 #

    This garment is absolutely beautiful. What a great find! Always look for the union label: International Ladies Garment Workers Union! My mom was a member.

  23. prttynpnk October 12, 2011 at 16:22 #

    Wow……jacket too….double wow!

  24. Angie October 12, 2011 at 16:49 #

    What a gorgeous dress. All of the details are stunning. Please post a pic of you wearing it. You are right, the yellow will look pretty on your skin.

  25. Marjie October 12, 2011 at 18:01 #

    That’s an amazing find! It’s so pretty, and that color is perfect for you!

  26. Stephanie October 12, 2011 at 19:29 #

    Wow, that’s an awesome find! I never find anything that awesome but I guess this gives me the hope to keep on looking :)

  27. Marty October 12, 2011 at 23:25 #

    When I was in Sweet Adelines, we had a 40′s era show. Someone raided their Granny’s trunk and found a bunch of vintage dresses. The one that fit me was awesome-a lovely green with that nice waist fitting. Imagine my delight when the gal who brought the dresses said to keep it-Granny didn’t want any of the dresses back. It’s still in my closet, but I’d have to lose a chunk of weight to fit in it now!

  28. Gail October 13, 2011 at 01:42 #

    The detailing on these old garments is amazing. I love the seam finishes – in the time before the overlocker there was pinking shears and protective rows of stitching. the hem finish is lovely too. Wear it well.

  29. Sherry October 13, 2011 at 04:06 #

    Awesome! It has probably only been worn once, and probably to a wedding too!
    Isn’t it amazing how all that effort goes into interlining it, yet there is no lining. That seems to be the case with a lot of vintage, maybe lining was deemed an unnecessary luxury? But I suppose everybody had slips back then too.

  30. nujoi October 13, 2011 at 06:31 #

    It is beautiful. what a great find. I love dresses with matching coats

  31. carol October 13, 2011 at 07:29 #

    This is an incredible dress. Dare I ask what shoes you intend to wear with it??? The grey nail polish actually looks nice against it, too!

  32. Claire October 13, 2011 at 10:06 #

    Believe it or not backing (the organza backing) was standard practice back in those days – now you understand I wasn’t back in those days (yada, yada, yada!!!!)….and pinking was standard way of finishing seams (without sergers, etc., this was probably the most economical way of finishing seams. Those princess seams were classic (see Secretariat for more princess line clothes). And most likely the reason why it fits snug through the shoulders/arms is because women were NOT muscular or even developed that much in that part of their body, and the “prototype” that designers were sewing for at the time, were not that large through their arms and shoulders (see “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” for more body shapes). But also too much fitting with the princess seam (as in the shape of a Dolly Parton, just wouldn’t work…well it does, but it doesn’t look right and becomes problematic (that shape needs more darts to make it look right).

    I absolutely adore this style…you will wear this forever, and it’s classic enough to be a great go-to outfit for you. Have you thought about lowering the armhole a little to allow more room in that area?….that’s something you can do, although once lowered, you can never bring them back up again, and you would need to trim to make it work.

    What a steal!!!

  33. LinB October 13, 2011 at 10:11 #

    Oh my goodness gracious golly, what a lucky find! Fate and/or God meant this dress for you. I agree that it is more likely to be silk than polyester shantung — don’t know that polyester was widely available in that weave in that era. But don’t quote me. And … vintage? Hahaha! I am obviously even older than I thought. This looks like what ladies wore to church when I was a child in the 1960s. Lined dresses were unheard-of in our off-the-rack world. Underlining is as couture as it got back then, unless you were, say, Jacqueline Kennedy. Have a wonderful time at the party.

  34. CGCouture October 13, 2011 at 17:18 #

    Beautiful! And with a matching jacket?! That is so awesome!

  35. Clio October 14, 2011 at 11:33 #

    Wooooowww (wiping drool from my keyboard)

  36. JustGail October 15, 2011 at 10:18 #

    What a great find, and I haven’t seen one of those labels in years. I remember seeing the commerical on TV, but only the first line and part of the second line of the jingle. Unless I needed to let it out until the seams allowance was really small, I probably would have left the finish as it was. As Claire pointed out, it was a standard for quite a while, and during that time, we expected our clothes to last.

    I look forward to seeing you in this, and what you wear with it.

  37. themateriallady October 16, 2011 at 09:07 #

    Lucky you – this is a fabulous outfit! Enjoy the wedding.

  38. Cissie October 16, 2011 at 22:29 #

    What a find! Lucky you!

  39. fourkid October 17, 2011 at 05:59 #

    Stunning ensemble! I have never seen that kind of buttoning – I love it.

  40. senaSews October 18, 2011 at 03:08 #

    That outfit is adorable. Love the color and style for you. And the closure of the coat is amazing – haven’t seen that before.

  41. Kelly October 28, 2011 at 00:25 #

    That is absolutely stunning. I was excited about the dress but when I saw the dress with jacket I just about fell out of my seat. My mind immediately started racing trying to figure out how I can recreate it. I can’t wait to see you in this!


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