4.11.2008

the portrait dress



Did any of you see the new "Room with a View" on PBS last night? The Merchant and Ivory version of this film was my favorite when I was a teenager. I watched it dozens of times. Once my girlfriends and I were watching it at my house. My mom walked into the room just as the rotund Mr. Beebe, the handsome George and young Freddie were joyfully dashing into the local pond, stark naked. I sort of panicked, my mind racing through my options: should I turn off the t.v., or simply try to quickly fast forward this scene? In my moment of indecision, I did nothing. My mom, who is a very wholesome, conservative sort, about fell off the sofa in uncontrollable laughter. My girlfriends and I nearly died laughing at my mom's reaction. When the scene had ended, she said: "let's watch it again!" This will forever remain a favorite memory of my mom and of this beloved movie. I hope you all get a chance to watch the new version. It's well made, but lacks perhaps the vigor and passion of the older version. Maybe it's also the absence of the amazing Merchant and Ivory soundtrack,--remember "o mio babbino caro"--that lessons the impact of the new film. Anyway, it's always fun to see a new interpretation of a favorite story.

Here's a new interpretation of a simple dress, personalized with an embroidered line drawing of my girl. What could be more personal than a portrait dress? I gave it a modern look with white embroidery thread on heavy navy linen--the perfect backdrop to frame H's little four-year-old face.

44 comments:

kennedy & friends said...

this is so clever! yea i started watchng the movie while i was doing a little hand sewing. i had not watched the movie before, but i was enjoying it. too bad i could not hold my eye lids open to see the entire thing. is this hand embroidery on the dress? it is really beautiful. your little girls is always such a great little model!

lera said...

Melissa, you really amaze me. You keep spitting out the most adorable things! How do you do it?

(I have to say I love the knee-hi's.)

eBirdie said...

It is perfect - great job!

kirsten said...

adorable dress + photos!

i watched the movie last night - i haven't read the book or seen the older version. i thought the flashbacks were a tad confusing at the beginning, but overall very well done.

Amy said...

Brilliant. Of course.

Collins said...

This is a beautiful dress. And the pictures are so great!

Linnea said...

What a dress! Could it be any more special and personalized than that? I am sure she loves it, I do!

Hello, I'm Sally. said...

OH! I love the original Room With A View. I think I would be very critical of the new one, but I should watch it.

That dress is very sweet. The colors look nice on your daughter.

Jess said...

Room With a View is one of my all-time favorites!!!!
It instilled me with a life-long love of Helena Bonham-Carter.
Also the dress is too lovely for words.

elliebelle said...

Simply stunning! I LOVE that you embroidered her portrait on her dress. She is going to have such an amazing collection of keepsakes when she is an adult.

Jen said...

Your creative brain amazes me! Do these ideas pop up in your sleep? That dress is fabulous, even the buttons on the back!

Audrey said...

I love your embroidery. Little H must love having her sweet faced featured on this sweet dress:)

Cakies said...

that is one lucky girl! i just bought some navy linen yesterday and i can't wait to do something with it... it probably wont be this lovely, but it is a start! you guys are fabulous!

Mandy said...

That dress is beautiful!

I turned on 'Room With a View' last night, intending it to be background for my sock knitting - I was doing something new-to-me and did not need a distraction - but I ended up putting down the knitting and watching the whole thing. It was great! I must admit that I have not seen any other version nor have I read the book (gasp!) so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lauren said...

Love it! It really looks like her - how adorable to wear a dress with a logo of yourself!

You have beautiful children.

Carrie said...

Once again,wonderful and clever picture! And the dress-oh my goodness,you are so amazing!!!!!
I have actually never seen Room with a View but it definitely sounds like a movie I would love ;)

Emily said...

Very cute! What little girl wouldn't want a dress with her own picture on it?!

Bethany Hissong said...

I watched the original so long ago, I don't even remember it. Then recently I added to Netflix, only to take it off because we've watched too many of my choices lately! Now it was just on tv and I missed it!! Back on the Netflix list!!!
You know that I LOVE this dress without my needing to comment! After doing children's portraits lately, it seems the perfect idea. Do you think you could possibly be the first person to ever think of this? I think you might be!!! They say there's no new ideas, but I truly have never seen something like this. I do LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress. Your daughter is perfect in it!

lynne said...

m, i love this. what a great idea! does h. feel so cool wearing this? and i love the portraits behind her. are they oils?

i am excited to watch the new version when i get home but think the soundtrack issue will be my problem, too... that scene on the hill (the old version) with the music... nothing is more romantico than that!!!

fanja said...

E.M Forster and A room with a view, so many fond memories of my college days.. this is a wonderful dress and that navy linen material is great x

Belinda said...

out of here, that is too perfect! Love the whole outfit, the soft polka dot blouse and knee hi socks. It's killing me!

Dawn Elizableth said...

So cute, the portrait makes it perfect!

Leslie said...

those buttons in the back are adorable.

Lauren said...

ps - love the story about your mom.

she is so talented and energetic!

Rach said...

Beautiful. 'A Room with A View' is one of my favourite books and films. I have not seen the new one - I am always reluctant to see re-makes of films I love

Antoinette said...

Wonderful dress! I may end the year with grown-up versions of many of your and Lynne's dresses made for myself!

kosenrufu mama said...

wondeerfulllll, i want it too for my daughter!!!!

Bethany Hissong said...

BTW, I totally forgot to tell you that your portraits of H. are very good!! You are such a good artist and I don't think we see enough of your work (I'm assuming that you did the drawings by her!). You definitely have the eye for color and shape.

katie said...

really great. i love the simplicity of it. and four-year-old legs in knee-highs? heaven.

lilou@gmail.com said...

one of my favourite movie1 didn't know they made a new version of it...

this dress is just adorable and your daughter the prettiest girl!!!

KIss

Margo said...

the original "Room with a View" was my leit motif (!) in high school and college - so whimsical, so many beautiful people and romance, and yes, o mio babbino caro!! Ah, whimsy.
Don't think I could stand to watch a new version.
I love the new jumper - looks so simple that I'm thinking of just trying to make one for my daughter. And I LOVE that H wears knee socks with mary janes. Just cute and a touch vintage.

Liz R. said...

beautiful dress! i love the color - and the embroidery...love it! it's a new found passion (or obsession) for me. i got a really neat embroidery book for my bday and have gone around the house embroidering birds and butterflies on any and all things.

i love the short dress w/ the knee highs.

Poshyarns said...

Such a lovely idea, I bet that will be her favourite dress.

Gail T. said...

oh, wonderful dress and style. and lovely pictures. how i wish i can wear your stylish dresses. alas, i'm no longer 4 years old.

does anyone know a retailer or boutique or designer that makes adult petite-size clothes in this style? until i learn to sew and grow some design talent, i will have to buy this style. :D

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

Okay, that's a cool girl's dress. Modern and vintage at the same time.

I wish my sister-in-law and I were closer. boo hoo

Wendy said...

Stunning. My mouth dropped open.

PutzFrau said...

Your daughter is the luckiets little girl in the world!

Alexandra said...

wow, melissa. how do you even think of these things? and then carry them out in real life? what lucky little girls to have you for their mom.

suzanne said...

A room with a View is my favorite movie of all times....
I had no idea that pbs was doing a remake...hmmm.
love your blog...it's wonderful!

Joanna Goddard said...

that was one of my favorite movies too! your story was so funny.

too bad helena bonham carter is totally crazy now!

stacy said...

I just found your blog and love it. All the little dresses are adorable.

Beth said...

A beautiful dress! I love the Merchant Ivory version of A Room with a View. I first saw it as a teenager. When I reached the end of the tape I immediately rewound it and watched it again. I, too was embarrassed for my parents to walk in during "the bathe" scene.

pinklemonadeboutique said...

I have it on my DVR, what did you think of Sense and Sensibility?

sue (tuscanycastlegirl) said...

love this post!
A Room w/ A View is my all-time favorite movie...
Love your blog, btw.
I'm a beginning sew-er....
The Portrait dress is simply darling, and the way you stylize your photos is wonderful.
Thanks!

Sue