Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Shift, the Tent & a Nod to Lilly Pulitzer

The shift combined with the tent dress
The news has been all abuzz over the passing of renowned fashion designer, Lilly Pulizer. Quite honestly, I am not familiar with this designer. However, once I did a bit of research, I realized that, without knowing her by name, I wore clothes inspired by her work.

Known for her floral prints, Lilly Pulizer's husband was the owner of several orange groves in Palm Beach Florida. She created pastel, floral prints which were splashed over easy to wear, "shift" dresses--very trendy silhouettes of the early 1960's. The use of florals was an effort to hide the stains on her clothes from her orange juice concession. After many of her customers complimented her on her dresses, she began to sell her creations alongside of goblets of juice. But soon, she found her dresses were in a greater demand than the juice and hence, Lilly Pulizer, Inc was born. Her most famous client was the quintessential fashion icon, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Remembering the Lilly Pulitzer shift dress.
Use the sheath pattern but ignore the darts.
In my previous post, the photo transfers were made on a shift as well as a tent dress. For the shift dress, I used the same pattern as for the sheath dress, however, I left the darts open in the front. For my "Lilly Pulitzer shift dress" featured here, I wanted a looser fit. I left the darts in the front and back open, however, the slight curve at the waist gives this dress just enough shape to keep the doll from looking like she's dressed in a potato sack. This is the type of dress that serves as a really good support for a beautiful fabric, a great print or some sort of surface treatment involving lots of texture.

The tent dress was another popular look of the 1960's that was sweet and easy to wear. For this dress, I use the bodice slopers. Decide how long you want the dress and measure from the throat of the doll to the desired length. Next, draw a horizontal line across from the bottom of the armhole to the CF of the Front Bodice. Now, measure the length from that point to the hem. In my case it is 3 1/8". Drop several lines of identical length  along that line. You can add as much or little "swing" as you want, the important thing is that the dress hangs equally from all points. Draw in the hemline.

For the back, trace off the Back Sloper and extend the CB line the length of the desired length. Go back to the front and trace off the area underneath the armhole. Flip and place under the same line at the back. This will ensure the front will match the back. Add seam allowance.

A variation of the tent dress, I've combined the shift and the tent together. Pictured here, the under dress is made of a stretch lace with a small lace trim. The tent is made of a sheer with embroidered appliques. The two are tacked together at the shoulders.

All text and photos property of © Fashion Doll Stylist. 2013. Please do not reproduce without prior permission.

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