Louisiana Hayride Dress

So Guinevere’s new dress got through the laundry safely. Oddly enough, she really resisted getting her picture taken. It took a little convincing and coaxing. Turns out she didn’t want to deal with the flash of the camera. Once she found out that the camera wouldn’t flash if we were outside, she was all for a modelling session in the front yard.

When I was working on this dress, I had in mind something a little bit “Gone With the Wind”, a little bit “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. Basically something reminiscent of a mid-century Hollywood version of an old-fashioned country picnic.

Turns out I had a more specific dress inspiration subliminally implanted in my mind. As soon as Grandpa saw her in this dress, he started singing “Get Going Louisiana Hayride” from the movie “The Bandwagon”. I haven’t seen that movie in years, but taking a look at this picture from the movie, it certainly appears to have influenced my creativity on this project.

I used this pattern for the dress. When I say “used a pattern” I mean that in a very loose sense this time.

The instructions and pattern pieces are for a very formal type of gown. They include linings, underlinings, and petticoats and basically lots of layers of stuff. As important as those type of underworkings would be for a bridal party gown, I was looking to make something a little less complicated and a little more comfortable.

The bodice is self-lined. I had to make the skirt 7 inches shorter than what the pattern was drafted at, and the overskirt a bit shorter than that to get the look I wanted and to allow for the addition of lace trim around the edge of the overskirt. Since the overskirt was shaped, that meant that I had to redraw the front of the overskirt. I almost completely ignored the assembly instructions because there was so much to them that didn’t apply, or that I wanted to short-cut on. For instance, the bodice is lined as far as the construction of the top edge, but for the rest of it, I basted the edges together and treated both layers as one. This saved me the trouble of hand stitching the lining at the waistline and sleeves, and kept me from having to finish the edges of any of the inner bodice seams because they are all enclosed. I will admit that this isn’t the prettiest finish for the inside, but once I went over the edges with my serger, they are plenty sturdy and don’t seem bulky in the least. Since the skirt is full, I just turned the bottom edge under twice and machine-stitched. I used a lapped zipper in back for a vintage look, and to avoid having problems with an invisible zipper trying to cross the multiple layers at the waistline.

Twirling pictures to show off the skirt.

*Movie stills from DVDBeaver.com via Google Images






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