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Monday, September 9, 2013

Vintage Style Chambray Pinafore With Anchor Buttons

I've been busy making little girls dresses for a shop I'm opening on Etsy. Actually the shop has been there for a long time but hasn't had anything in it since I made a few upcycled baby cashmere sweaters over two years ago.

It started this week as an idea to make some baby dresses for my daughter's school auction from some unused fabrics in my stash. Then I started thinking about what I really want to make and now my head is full of little dress ideas for the Country Chick Handmade Shop and The Patchwork Craft Fair in LA in November where I signed up to sell. Country Chick Handmade dresses will be inspired by vintage styles and I want use vintage fabrics as well, but in fun ways.

This little dress is one of my first creations that I'll be listing. It's a little pinafore style inspired by the 1940's. It has a set in waistband, a square neckline, a button back with vintage anchor buttons and a ruffled bodice and skirt. I made the pattern in sizes 1 to 5 but have since made some changes to it so I'm not sure if this is the style I'll be listing yet. I have to sew up the other design first.
Below is my inspiration!

This chambray fabric was bought in downtown LA. I need to take another trip down there to find more because I really like chambray. It has a little bit of a work wear feel to it and I like how it balances this otherwise very feminine style. The anchor buttons are vintage but I have plenty more in my stash. Those were a great find. I have so many cool vintage fabrics collecting dust, It's about time I use some of them. I wonder if I will ever get through all of my fabrics in my lifetime.
I woke up very early this morning and went to the flea market where I found lots of bright, vintage 60's and 70's fabric pieces I'm going to make my dresses with. I got an incredible deal and came home with a big pile of small pieces. I'm so excited! Like I need more fabric.

 Our corn is getting so big! Of course it will all ripen at once and we will have it coming out of our ears. Literally.
The set in waistband  requires hand stitching on the inside to look smooth on the outside with no stitch marks. This style takes longer to make. It's one thing I'm wondering about. Do I make something simple but hopefully still cute to keep the cost down or do I make something more detailed and time consuming, then have to charge more? And will people who don't sew understand these little things that drive up the cost of time and labor? I've seen so many extremely low priced baby clothes on Etsy I wonder how the designers can afford to stay in business. As a consumer, I don't expect handmade clothing to cost the same as clothing mass produced in overseas factories. I know it will cost more and I'm OK with that. How do you feel about buying handmade clothes?
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  1. I too wonder how some people can sell so cheap and stay in business, but I realised that if we charge what's fair for handmade, people will turn away. That's my experience in fairs... I've got a "sort of shop" in fb and they all comment how much they like it, but that's basicly it. Been thinking about my own etsy shop for years, but always wonder if it'll be worth it. Good luck to you, your dresses are always adorable, and so is this last one. =)

  2. This is so adorable, Justine! I LOVE your photoshoot too! Good luck in your new (well, sort of new) venture!

  3. This dress is adorable.. And what a fantastic model you have...[She will definitely sale for you].
    Best wishes on your Etsy shop.. Know it will do well.

  4. Justine, this dress is beautiful! I love chambray!

  5. I think chambray is going to be a hot seller this fall! One of my pattern testers did the Bumblebee in chambray and listed it her shop - it looks awesome! :)

    1. Hmmm... I'm thinking chambray is going to be hot this year too! Good luck with the Bumblee pattern Rae Anna!

  6. This looks very much like a vintage pattern I just made up for my 5 year old daughter. Only to make the set in waistband look smooth it has you cut another waistband to cover the inside seams and then it's topstitched on the outside. It also has a variation for making an apron out of it, which I did. Both versions button on the back, and I think the pattern is from the 40s. Love your version and may be purchasing some chambray to make our own version. I hope you sell lots in your store, because this is such an adorable style.

  7. cute :)
    all the best to you on your new adventure!

  8. Gorgeous Justine! I love it. Good luck with your shop!!

  9. This is such an adorable pattern, and I think that chambray was a perfect choice for it! You're so fortunate to live in an area where vintage fabric are easy to find. We live in a relatively "new" area and I haven't been able to find so much as one vintage sheet in the past 3 years. :/

    As for Etsy pricing: I just recently opened a shop for my My Little Pony costumes, and was having panic attacks that the price would scare off buyers. (Especially since I'm also sharing the tutorial to make them on my blog!) But it's a very intricate pattern to make, and so far customers seem to understand that I've made a huge effort to make the design perfect. My shop will be a week old tomorrow, and already I've had a handful of orders, and at least a dozen more messages about custom orders.

    Customers will definitely be able to tell that you are creating for the love of sewing instead of "I slapped this together to make a quick buck." So as long as you are making something that is absolutely adorable (and you always do!) I'm positive you will start getting orders almost immediately. Good Luck!
    (sorry to write you a book. :D)

  10. cute dress i love it.. and great site also... if you have some time you can check mine also Here.

  11. And when it cools down, put a long sleeved tee and some legging on her and a cute pair of boot and there you go!

  12. Darling dress! I need some chambray! Would you consider selling the pattern too, in addition to the dresses you've sewn up? Maybe selling licenses to sell too?

  13. Wow, what a gorgeous dress, you did a fabulous job! Good luck on your shop!

  14. I love this dress! The chambray and buttons you chose are perfect for it. Good luck with the shop!

  15. this is super cute! do you sell the pattern??? thanks.

  16. I love this! Adorable. Have you considered making this into an e-pattern and selling it? Would love this dress for my grandchildren. Best of luck with your shop.


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