Me Made Monday: “Ray of Sunshine” Dress and Vintage Reception

Hello dolls! As promised, my Me Made Monday contribution is coming a day late, since I couldn’t resist the opportunity to include photos taken at Disneyland in my newest creation. This dress was originally supposed to be the one I graduated in, as yellow is one of my school’s colors, but my sewing machine chose to revolt and conk out when I was about halfway through. Oh, well. Sometimes the sewing fates decide things for you.

In an attempt to make do and reuse (so forties), helping the environment as well as my currently limited budget, I remade a dress of mine that I completed back in 2011 (!!!). It was certainly not my best work, as I was still learning then, and was showing its age as well as its lack of style. I always felt the dress lacked a certain panache or detail; additionally, it had too short a skirt for my current taste, so apart it came! Here’s how it used to look…

tumblr_lklattQlSQ1qzm4qr tumblr_lkfsviKwtk1qzm4qrIt was originally sleeveless, though even then I covered the bodice with a sweater since the neckline didn’t turn out how I intended. (Also, I couldn’t resist including the latter photo. I’m wearing a pair of gloves my grandmother gave me, that her father gave her in the forties! Aren’t they divine?)

My new dress is constructed from Simplicity 1459, a delightful reprint from a sixties original. I may do a review of this pattern in the future, if y’all would like that! I think I’ll be using it again; the three-quarter sleeve option looks incredibly similar to PUG’s Birdie dress!

IMG_0262 IMG_0273The white collar and skirt panel were done by necessity – I simply didn’t have enough fabric leftover from the last dress to do otherwise – but I think they added so much more charm to this number! Additionally, gingham skirts with a thick white border are quite authentic and I think the effect is darling.

31a9890ef604e85bdbd0053064e17855Florida Fashions, 1951

And CHECK OUT how identical the below dress is to my own dress! Such an exciting find to run across a period photo that closely matches your in-progress piece.fe645b16fbe87a2a453f7a411f56e9caMontgomery Ward, 1959

The reception of vintage is unlike anything else, I’ve noticed. People respond incredibly well to these classic fashions, from young children to mothers and fathers and grandparents alike. I think there is something incredibly relatable to vintage era dresses, as they can be demure, sweet, sexy, adorable, and more all within the same outfit – a very hard thing to achieve, particularly within the limits of modern fashion.

IMG_0297 IMG_0302 IMG_0289

My close friend Rachel (who dressed in her own handmade gingham dress, hers from a forties pattern) and I received a great amount of attention, all positive! Young girls stared or pointed, several adults noted how they thought we looked lovely, and a few people even mistook us for cast members, which was the second best compliment, I think. The first? The Evil Queen herself (from Snow White) repeatedly called me a “ray of sunshine” (in a begrudging voice 😉 ) in this dress, which delighted the inner child in me! I think I have a new favorite face character at Disneyland – she was too fabulous. She whispered to me with narrowed eyes how my hair reminded her of that of another “fair maiden” (her name for me) that she knew. Disney goals achieved. Though my smirk isn’t nearly as epic as hers.

IMG_0305 IMG_0303 IMG_0306 IMG_0307Vintage has an effect unlike any other, and while I don’t sew for the attention, it certainly validates my efforts when complete strangers stop me to mention how much they love my garments.

What is your favorite compliment you’ve received while wearing vintage?

Until next time,

Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

20 thoughts on “Me Made Monday: “Ray of Sunshine” Dress and Vintage Reception

  1. Vintage suits you very well. Your remake is lovely. An interesting piece of trivia; my grandmother told me that in the 50s women wore hats, gloves, and heels with their dresses when visiting “the Disney park.”


    • I appreciate your wonderful compliment, Piper! Thanks for that tidbit – I’ve seen photos on of women dressed up and looking so lovely at Disneyland in the 50s and 60s. It’s such a fun site, and definitely backs up what your grandmother said! I kind of wish people still dressed that way for the park or that “Date Nite at Disneyland” was still a thing (dancing on the Mark Twain riverboat? Yes PLEASE!). Though my feet would ache even more after a day at Disneyland if I went in heels! >,<


  2. Oh my God, the poses with the evil queen are perfection! I love that she posed with you! I agree, people seem to love the vintage/retro style! I am definitely one of the only gals who wears a petticoat in my office (possibly THE only one!) and I always receive such great feedback and compliments. My boyfriend loves going out with me when I am all dolled up – I think gets insanely proud when folks stop us or point, look, etc. I hardly notice anymore! It’s all positive anyway!

    I love the new version of your dress – love the white collar!! =)


    • She told me exactly how to pose with her, so I’ll take none of the credit! That’s so lovely that your boyfriend takes such pride in you when you’re out looking your vintage best – I think mine does too 🙂 and you’re right, you do definitely get used to the attention when wearing vintage in public.

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you like the new version of my dress 🙂


  3. AS I said on Instagram – this dress is so beautiful. I love the white details. ♥ And the compliment the Evil Queen gave you is wonderful, but your hair really does remind one of Snow White.
    I also love when elderly ladies tell you they dressed like you back in the fifties. (:


  4. I would love to see a how-to on how you added the trim to this skirt! I have been pondering for a while how to add trim to some of my circle skirts to legnthen and add a pop of color but I can’t figure out how to go about it!


    • I can do that! This skirt is actually just several rectangular panels, so adding the trim is much simpler, but I can easily make a little how-to for both a straight and curved hem. I’ll write it down on my schedule 🙂


  5. I’ve just discovered your blog (from Vintage at Heart’s) and am now scrolling back through your old posts, so apologies for the comment on an old post, but I just had to say how much I adore this dress and its story! I love the idea of making something new from something old and this looks so gorgeous – I especially love the colour and the fact that you wore it to Disneyland, amazing!


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