The ‘Modern Garden Party’ Dress

I made this dress about a week ago but wanted to share it with all of you.

I decided it was time to make my version of Lady Mary’s garden party/flower show dress from Downton Abbey.  I had the fabric and the inspiration, but just had to settle on the pattern and my final vision.  I wanted to do a modern take on the dress because I don’t wear things that are too heavily vintage.  They just don’t fit in with my own personal style and I wanted to be sure that I would wear it.  I played around with several pattern ideas until finally Colette announced her newest line of Spring/Summer patterns.  As soon as I saw the Hazel dress I knew exactly what I had to do.

So I set to making my own version.  A shorter dress to keep it modern and because I hardly wear long dresses with the California weather.  I very much live off of my Spring/Summer sewing as it easily shifts into something wearable for Fall.  Throw on a sweater and tights and you’re set for Winter too!  I added a bit of lace trim and vintage buttons to the neckline, so it was reminiscent of the original dress I was being inspired by.  And to create the effect of the darker band at the waistline, I made my own belt from a kit from a Fashionable Stitch.

I love how the dress turned out and I know it’s going to get a lot of wear!  More construction details and sources for my materials can be found on my blog, What’s Up, Cupcake?

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9 comments… add one

  • Love it! A great modernized version! :)

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  • Very nice! I love how you used that dress for inspiration while still keeping it modern and very wearable.

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  • This is a really beautiful dress, and your belt is gorgeous! I love that you’ve ‘modernised’ Lady Mary :)

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  • This is lovely, so summer-ry and really flattering too. It it is good for me to see the pattern in use on someone of a similar shape – I will have to buy the pattern now!

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  • What a great idea to ‘modernize’ the lady mary dress. What about adding a little cream crochet shrug or shawl?

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    • I actually have a grey cross between a cardigan/wrap that I wore with it as it was a little chilly in the evening in San Francisco. It doesn’t get nearly enough use so I was excited to see that it went with the dress perfectly!

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      • Cool.
        I notice you play a squeezebox too (I play the button type). Nice to meet another retro sewing free reed player.

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  • Thank you everyone!

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  • This is lovely, really lovely. I can totally see your inspiration in it, too–it’s a great “update.”

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