Treasure hunting

Posted by Kristin on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

While I've been on vacation, I've done a lot eating, napping, and sun burning. 

I have taken copious pictures of Bailey doing nothing.

I have practiced using the way more settings than I will ever need on my camera.  By the way, this is the "night landscape" setting...

And because I have a pretty severe addiction to fabric, I traveled to a local fabric store in Morehead City, NC.

I wasn't overly impressed until I saw this:
It was only a remnant, about 2.5 yards worth of fabric.  I thought it was beautiful but I was about to leave it behind until I saw this along the selvedge:

Was this real Alfred Shaheen fabric???  Wait, who is Alfred Shaheen you ask?  He was a fabric and fashion designer from Hawaii.  He is probably best known for his women's dresses and hand printed fabrics.  He also created traditional Aloha shirts for men.  You can find vintage Alfred Shaheen dresses and the prices range from $100 up to $500. 

This one above is a bombshell style dress.  The bodice is fitted and the bottom is a sarong style skirt.

Here is another beauty that was for sale on etsy.  Again, it has a fitted bodice with a shirred back and a full skirt.

I thought about just taking my treasured find home and stashing it away for a while.  Instead I have been designing in my head.  I only have 2.5 yards of fabric, so I can't do a full dress.  I thought about a skirt, either a full skirt or a sarong style skirt.  But I really want to stay true to the Shaheen style which means a dress. 

I signed up for a Craftsy class over a year ago and haven't done anything with it.  It is Gertie's Bombshell Dress class.  Would this be perfect or what???


I bought the pattern and another fabric to create this dress.  My pattern has a full skirt attached to the fitted bodice.  As much as I love the sarong style, the pattern above doesn't come close to my size and I don't trust myself to grade it up that much.  So unless I find another bombshell style dress pattern for the curvy, I'll stick with my full-skirted version.  I envision my purple and teal fabric forming the skirt and a solid black as the bodice. 

I can't wait to get started!  I've got a few more projects in the works that I want to finish before I attempt my Alfred Shaheen style dress out of vintage Alfred Shaheen fabric.  I also want to gain a little more experience and confidence before I cut that fabric since it is truly irreplaceable. 

2 Responses to Treasure hunting

  1. Jen O

    Hi, I came over from Gertie's blog to see your Shaheen fabric and I love what you found!
    When it comes to sewing your own dress I say, make it a straight skirt. Probably the easiest way is to use a great vintage look like the one Gertie has on Butterick (#5814). This is a simple straight skirt with great vintage side drape that should be easy to alter a fit and would look perfect with that bodice. But if you want the more traditional sarong drape, try looking in vintage 80's patterns where there are many draped styles, like Butterick 6150 (now on sale at Etsy).
    --looking forward to your posts on making this dress!

  2. Kristin

    Thanks for stopping by Jen! I actually ordered that Butterick pattern, but I wasn't a fan of the bodice. So I also ordered Butterick 5850 which has a straight skirt style as well. I'm with you, I'm thinking straight skirt. I just finished a full skirted style, and am working on Colette's Crepe, another full skirt. I'll check out your other suggestion as well!

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