4.04.2008

the village frock


Most of the fairy tales seem to take place deep in some dark, foreboding woods. There is usually some trauma, a main character gets lost, a wolf seeks to eat them, or some other unearthly danger befalls the threatened character--"babes in the wood" being one of the darkest and saddest stories, in my opinion. Beyond the forest, there is usually a village. It is not always mentioned, but alluded to. And somewhere beyond the village, most likely a city. Lynne and I have wracked our brains to think of a city setting for any of the fairy tales. We could not think of one. (If you have any brilliant ideas, pass them along, s.v.p.)

It may seem a bit anachronistic to have a villagey dress in an urban setting. But in my opinion, it's not. Since the days of the fairy tales, our social patterns have changed: we don't seem to have villages in America. Officially, there might be some, but they are more likely called a town, or a township, or a suburb. I grew up in a suburb of nowhere; the nearest city was four hours away. Now I live in a suburb of somewhere, somewhere big and exciting and full of foreboding skyscrapers and threatening characters, and much action and adventure. Some might call NYC a utopia, some might call it a hell. Others, the perfect setting for a modern-day fairy tale. Certainly the perfect backdrop for a turquoise linen frock: handmade in a village and worn in the city.

75 comments:

amy said...

the turquoise is gorgeous, as is the dress. i do love this post as fairy tales are so, well, magical. wouldn't it be great to live in an actual village? well, it might not be a classic yet, but enchanted was set in the city :)

Just Pure Lovely said...

I think this is one of my favorites (outfits). Turquoise-Blue linen...mmm, I can just imagine how nice it was to sew with that.

I wonder: what makes it a village, exactly? The community, the size? I imagine we could stretch it and say we do have villages...but I've yet to have seen one that suits a fairy tale. I think, for me, it would have to have no concrete in it to be good enough - not that I don't live on a concrete slab myself (I do), but I like fairy tale inhabitants to not.

zigzagstitch said...

I love this post, and the frock is just beautiful!

Jess said...

Melissa!
You are so imaginative in your clothing design.
Another beautiful fantastic dress.
Your daughter must be the envy of all the girls.

Artsy Momma said...

breathless...

lera said...

You are killing me with these dresses! How do you invent them? :-) Gorgeous. Again.

lilou said...

what a beautiful dress!!!! and the picture is trop trop belle aussi

sally said...

That is such a cute dress. I am so impressed with the whole thing. I'm wishing I knew how to sew as well as you do. Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

I couldn't be any more in love with this dress if I tried.

Wee Pintos said...

This is an AMAZING dress. I can't believe you made it up! If you sold patterns I would buy them in a SECOND! You are a very talented lady. Thank you so much for sharing.

Carly said...

You have gone and done it this time! There are no words for this one (except for maybe A-Mazing!) I would also buy your patterns in a second...

Jenna said...

I've been checking your blog since Wee Wonderfuls linked to you. You two make so many beautiful clothes for your girls, who are also beautiful. I have little girls that I like to make things for sometimes, thanks for being such a great inspiration. This blue dress is amazing. Will you ever be making any of these into patterns to sell?

Cakies said...

gosh... i am jealous of that little girl!

eBirdie said...

I absolutely LOVE that dress. Wish y'all would sell patterns for the things you come up with.

lynne said...

melissa - this is just gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. i love the buttons and the sleeves -- the whole thing.
h looks all set for a big trip into that village...

margaret k. said...

I too have been lurking since the Wee Wonderfuls link. I love love LOVE the clothes you two make. My little girl is about to turn one and it is so fun to dream of making her some pretty dresses. Your fabric combinations and designs are fascinating!

Thanks for sharing.

Carrie said...

This dress is my dream come true!

elliebelle said...

This dress is so beautiful! I want one in my size! ;) The work you do is just stunning. And the fairy tale story to go with - lovely!

Myshell... said...

I love love love this one!
I want to make it for my little fairy tale lover, Roxie. Do you have a pattern I could get or were you winging it?
Feeling totally inspired now, Thanks and a cheers to you on this Friday!

Emily said...

Great dress! I really like the color and the design is so unique.
I agree, there really aren't villages anymore. I have always dreamed of growing up and living in a village, all that space to roam, yet still all that intimacy with the neighbors. I must say, Mapleton back in the day was pretty close. In fact, my neighbor always refers to her childhood as her "fairytale upbringing." Sometimes I wish my kids could have more of that village-freedom. Or just the dress :) Either way.

Deborah W said...

Love this dress! Do you sell your patterns?

Poshyarns said...

I love this dress, the colour is incredible and the neckline and sleeve details are so pretty and unusual.

miss chris said...

Oh my, your dresses... Each one is so unique and whimsical. I love your work.

amy k. said...

stunning! gasp!
I would comment on fairy tale urban locations, but the dress is too distracting for me to think. . .

Jen said...

Love the color, love the buttons, love the sleeves!! I hate that I'm always about one skill short of making your designs! I echo the request for patterns... at least a how-to on the neckline ;) Well done!

Eva said...

This is the cutest dress I have ever seen :)
LG Eva

artemisandollie said...

Love the dress but am crazy-curious about the backdrop. Is that wallpaper? If it is, where did you get it? I love it!

zannestar said...

*swoon* Sophisticated enough for a fairy tale in a big city, and proof that you don't need fluffy glittery skirts or tiara's to be part of a fairy tale. I'm smitten!

Emily said...

A fun tidbit... Scarsdale, NY is a village. But I never saw a dress this cute growing up there. LOVE IT!

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful dress. I'd like one of these in adult size!

Joslyn said...

oooh i think NYC is a bit of a utopia...but i'm partial to big cities.

will you make an entire wardrobe for me. please.

Audrey said...

This is my favorite creation of yours Melissa. It is absoultely beautiful. I bet H loves it. I want one in my size. I just finished sewing a couple of boy items. Thanks for your constant inspiration!

TeamMcDonough said...

Koodos...:) Again, you've created another sophisticated dress and photo to match.
I've always found NY City enchanting and spooky.
So I guess you can say it fits a fairy tale perfectly. You really need to make some patterns. You're both so talented.:)

LaMammina said...

That dress sure is a winner! Does your daughter love it as much as we do? Or is she just used to such spectacular creations?
Is sewing just a hobby for you, or have you done some sort of study? I'm a complete amateur but I have recently found a book on pattern drafting and it makes perfect sense to me. I've made a foundation pattern for my daughter and have used the instructions to design a little dress for her. I haven't made it yet, but if it works out ok I'll be trying to make some more elaborate things for her.
Mind you, I don't think I could come up with anything nearly as gorgeous as you!

east.west said...

this is the most beautiful dress i've ever seen.

Dawn Elizableth said...

The dress is so beautiful and the color absolutely gorgeous!

Belinda said...

Another beautiful post, this dress is just exquisite.

Brooke said...

This is a perfectly luscious dress! I can't think of enough complimentary things to say about it - from the fantastic neckline to the fun sleeves to the covered buttons and gorgeous color. My 4-year-old daughter and I are big fans of your blog and you're always inspiring me to bigger and better projects!

Kuky said...

That's a very lovely little frock. I've been lurking on your site for a couple of months now (since it was mentioned on le train fantome). Love everything you and Lynne make.

Doodles said...

Your dresses make me sew with abandon for my boy!

Mama Urchin said...

I am totally in love with this dress. We live near a few villages, some fairy tale-ish even. I think it's possible.

little dresses said...

Melissa, It's just beautiful!

cookie said...

when are you going to give(meaning sell) us some patterns??
and PPPLLLEEAASSEE do some in adult sizes!!
your clothes are amazing! they deserve to be on a catwalk.

Rach said...

I am always so incredibly impressed, in awe, and invigorated by reading your posts. I simply cannot understand why you and your sister-in-law do not go into business or at least, become freelance designers. Your work is stunning.

Christie said...

What about the little match girl.? I guess that was set in a village not a city. That's the best I can do.

The dress is so beautiful. Thank heaven's for little girls & crafty mamas! I love your blog & the beautiful clothes you both make.

Larissa Holland, coffee achiever said...

I have two little girlies and I adore this dress (well, all the clothes!). Do you ever share your patterns? I'd love to try one. You both have quite a passion and talent.

Chandra said...

My girls would all love to be dressed like that! Simply gorgeous!!

Liz R. said...

my MIL went to Prauge a couple of years ago. It is a very big city, but very old, so looking at her pictures i thought it was the perfect fairytale-like place.

here's a picture looking out from the palace:

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/kimba/europe-2005/1128342420/010_10.jpg/tpod.html

isn't it beautiful!?

great dress too!

Julie @ Letter9 said...

A beautiful dress and a lovely little story to accompany it. : )

Alexandra said...

so adorable. and this makes 50 comments! you guys are officially blog celebrities! and you should be.

Maureen said...

This is such a great dress!!!

esther said...

your designs are absolutely stunning! i'm thinking all the time that any day now you are going to be noticed, discovered, featured on the cover of Cookie magazine, put into production and be fabulously famous!

lookwhaticando said...

WOW!!! I wish you sold these because I am IN LOVE with this dress...gorgeous. xo

amy said...

I love this dress! and the few others on the page. I would wear them without a doubt in my mind as an adult! I also love the fairy tale inspiration. This is my first time visiting and I know I will be back.
I agree about the city, it sets up an entirely different adventure!

Anonymous said...

oh my GOSH! this has got to be one of my favorite dresses yet!! you are both so talented! thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work and inspiration!!!

Lauren said...

Love the dress - you have to teach me how to take such great photos!

The NYC commentary makes me laugh - when I was in college and traveled all over Europe the only place that made me feel like I was in another country was Manhattan.

It certainly is not a quant little village. However, I love that I walk everywhere and there is a castle in central park by our house..........

kennedy & friends said...

i was going to write something.....but i can't. i'm at a loss for words. maybe A-M-A-Z-I-N-G would be fitting. and turquoise....aww....my favorite of the colors at the moment. this dress is a fairy tale on its on. no need for princes. the buttons are jaw dropping and the sleeves....the whole thing....just beautiful!

devinemom said...

I just came across your blog for the first time today and wanted to let you know how much I love your work. this dress is great in so many ways.

thank you for the inspiration.

Bethany Hissong said...

Fantastic dress!!!! I couldn't imagine where you couldn't wear it!! I grew up in a village. Too small to be a township and very cute, in the burbs of Cincinnati. You are brilliant Melissa!

robinettehandmade said...

You ladies constantly amaze me with your dresses...always love the stories that go along with each,too! This dress is absolutely beautiful. And the color!

sarah said...

good gracious this is amazing!

Kellie said...

really..that dress is beyond fabulous! You have made an absolute hit here! (can you tell?) =) You must share some tips. So talented!!!
thanks for sharing with us.

Beth said...

The dress is beautiful! I want one for myself!

Sharon said...

that dress is great. I'm thinking HCA's "The little match girl" might have been urban as it was somewhere where one could peer into people's homes while walking by ... I haven't thought about this one for a long time ... as I recall it's not entirely happily ever after.

Monica said...

i love this dress--absolutely beautiful! I would love to make this in an adult size for myself!

Susan said...

Wow! Your talent is incredible. I aspire to sew half as well as you :)

Tea Pony said...

Oh , I'm in love! What a gorgeous design, well done. From one designer to another I salute you. Just loving your blog!

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

Holy cow how do you know how to do that? I want to hang that dress on my wall.

Nelly Knits said...

this dress is gorgeous, the style and the color are fantastic..I need one in my size.lol.

Shiny Black Shoes said...

I love this, wish it came in big people size :)

Rebecca said...

siiiiiiiiiigh. fabulous dress. love its color, and also it's style and details. please say you'll publish a pattern soon?

Senandung K said...

beautiful!!! if only i can fit into one :)

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