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Posts Tagged ‘shirtwaist dress’

That’s me sporting my custom-made shirtwaist dress by Theresa LaQuey. Photo: James Young

Throwback Thursday. Originally posted on June 23, 2011.

Last October I had a brilliant idea while strolling Fabric Row in Philadelphia. Why not buy some fabric to take home and have a couple of dresses made? What a perfect memento of my visit to Philly.

So that’s what I did. I perused the family run shop Maxie’s Daughter on South 4th Street and chose two cotton fabrics – one with a violet color print and the other a brown/orange print. I knew I wanted shirtwaist dresses I could wear with sandals in the spring/summer and with tights in the autumn.

The middle-aged salesladies with frosted updos and South Philly accents seemed more serious about the upcoming baseball playoffs than fabric. “We’re gonna beat you,” they teased. “OK,” I said. “I have no problem with that.”  Heck, I was a San Francisco visitor with absolutely no attachment to ballgames, I wasn’t going to argue with Phillies fans.

When I returned home, designer Theresa LaQuey sketched a retro shirtwaist dress with buttons down the front and a knee-length hem (very vintage nurses uniform). A few months later, voila … I had dresses that are well made and fit to a T.

Every time I wear them I think of my visit to Philly and those serious Phillies fans. Now, those are dresses with a story.

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Shirtwaist dress with matching fascinator.

I’ve been hit with Fascinator Fever … ever since I saw Kate’s feather fascinator back in March. What’s a girl to do? Make one for herself.

At Lacis in Berkeley, I purchased a small round form. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but over time and pondering I decided to cover the form with extra fabric from my custom-made shirtwaist dress.  I simply cut out a round swatch and handsewed it to the form. Initially I was going to embellish it with a bow of the same material, but my mother suggested white flower clips instead. (She even bought them for me. Thanks Mom!) They are embellishment enough and secure the form to my hair.

I wore it for the first time the other day and wow, it’s really comfortable. I know why Kate favors fascinators –  no fuss. Not like a hat, which can be troublesome in the wind, flatten hair, and/or cause a headache. 

How about you? Do you have Fascinator Fever? Leave a comment and do tell.

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