Monday, 12 September 2011

maxificent!

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You don't generally see me in a floral maxi dress (which won't be changing any time soon), but this one is special. My mom made it in the 70s! When she was around my age she lived in New Zealand for a few years, and she says she made this to go to a Christmas work event with her then-partner. Considering my total lack of sewing, or you could say, practical life skills, I'm beyond impressed. It's slightly too short for me, but I love the criss-crossed back, the pattern, and the heavy but cool fabric.

Things I've learned about maxi dresses:
1) They make you feel elegant while doing your homework or swishing to the bagel shop.
2) It's really difficult to walk upstairs carrying two cups of tea

I wore this to a BBQ filled with family, family friends, and folk music. As usual, I made our friend play Gone the Rainbow. A sad one but a good one. Except our friend Eric plays it even better than the video! I guess I'm going to miss family Thanksgiving again this year, so it was great to have a summer replacement.

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Photos by Shona

dress: handmade family vintage, necklace: hand-made on Granville Island, shoes: Urban Outfitters, ring: some market a long time ago, sunglasses: Lucky Brand

46 comments:

The Headless Mannequin said...

Swit swoo....loving this dress :) From the maxi-ness and the floral pattern to the amazing criss-cross back. Just listening to that song too and finding it very soothing...like nothing bad could ever happen whilst listening to such a lovely song!

Lay Rosa said...

so cute!

Closet Fashionista said...

That is so much fun!! I bet my mom still has some of the clothes she made lying around, I'll have to dig in her closet :) She used to make clothes for me when I was younger (still does sometimes if I want something specific)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com

Rachel, Cold Knees said...

You have such lovely actual vintage pieces, your mum sounds pretty cool what with the dress and the sandals from a previous post.. xx

Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage said...

Amazing dress and necklace! Love the story behind it too. Talented mom= lucky daughter,
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

Margaret said...

Another thing about maxi dresses: They're especially dangerous in NYC when you come in and out of the subway since they easily get caught on the escalator :/ That doesn't stop me from wearing my long hems, though!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Margaret: Eeep! That does sound dangerous!

Annebeth said...

I always feel like a lady when I wear long skirts and dresses so I totally feel ya. Just wish my mom had kept some of her 60s-70s wardrobe: she was SO stylish! but alas, she is the absolute opposite of a horder: she chucks everything. Sadface.

Annebeth said...

hoarder*

Sewon said...

Your mom has such good taste, and it sounds like there's another big adventurer in your family. :] I love the floral dress on you, especially with that violet ring! xx

Celynne said...

I can't tell you how many times I've nearly slammed face-first into stairs while wearing a maxi. Juggling the mail, groceries, my purse and any other amount of crazy items as I try to get up 3 flights of stairs... But oh, the swishing! So awesome that your mom made this, and it looks great.

Ashley said...

Um WOW your mom is talented :) I am really loving this, and I have an affinity for criss-crossed backs as well.

And yes...carrying two cups of tea in a long dress like this can be disastrous!

Amber Blue Bird said...

this dress is a beauty. Your mom has some serious sewing skills. I wish I could sew but its a talent that just doesnt come naturally for me.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Amber: ditto. I'm determined to try again though, one day when things are a bit more settled...

Sweet Harvest Moon said...

Lovely dress!

Michelle said...

A love wearing maxis because you feel so ladylike in them, and slightly victorian when you show your ankle to walk upstairs. Agree on the issue when hands aren't free though.

Katie said...

What a beautiful dress! I especially love the pattern and the criss-cross back. And it looks lovely on you. ♥ I love how you did your hair.

It's too bad you are going to miss Thanksgiving with your family, but I'm glad you got to have a summer replacement. :)

Natalie Suarez said...

super cute!! love it :)

xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Michal said...

Wow that dress is awesome. I can't believe she made it! I am so impressed by hand-made things because I have only managed to make one skirt in my whole life and it wasn't that charming. hehe Your BBQ sounds like a ton of fun. I love sing-a-longs/jam sessions. A Benik family party isn't complete without one of them. :)

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

Beautiful dress, Emily! Your mom did such a great job with it (the fabric! the cut!). I must confess that I'm a bit envious of anyone and everyone who can sew well. I'd really like to take a sewing class someday as I, too, am lacking in that particular ''practical life skill.''

Le Salt Lake said...

This is for sure one of the cutest maxi dresses I have seen. You look beautiful in it too.
xx
lesaltlake.blogspot.com

thinkmilkandhoney said...

That's a lovely dress and I like the detail on the bust, your mom did a good job with it.
I love that every grandma and mom could sew back in their days, it's a pity that it's no longer like that nowadays.

Shybiker said...

What a great dress! I love items with sentimental value. Your mom has real talent to make this: the criss-crossing straps in the back are delightful.

Virginie's Cinema said...

Houuu I love this look on you and am soooo impressed with your mom's skills! Looks like the love of traveling is something that is passed form generation to generation in your family!

I'm glad you are enjoying your time in Canada!

Virginie ♥

Amber Rose, Laughing With Broken Eyes said...

It must be so enchanting to wear something made by your mom.

You look so beautiful in her dress.

She is Sara said...

Your mom made that!! So cool :) It fits you perfectly too, that is so awesome. What a special dress :)

Gabrielle - I LIKE IT FAST said...

Love the dress! Beautiful

Terri said...

It's good that you were conscious of celebrating the holiday now...and it is simply amazing that this dress of your mother's fits so well.

Meghan said...

I love that your mom made that dress!
My mom made a crochet shawl as a teen but she won't give it up yet ;)


<3Meghan

Ashley/ MILK TEETHS said...

dannng holla at your mom for having sewing skills! I love how this maxi has a story to it :)

islabell said...

dammmmmn your mom made that? sweet job, i love the back and the print of the fabric. Its amazing she kept it and it moved continents with her. It sounds like you have been having a wonderful chilled post thesis, well deserved, time.

2 cups of tea, a maxi dress, stairs and you will fall on your face. haha! loved that wee list.

I did get another pair of those boots :s I just NEVER find boots i like, or ever buy new stuff and when those desert boots fit so good and were SOOO comfy I couldn't resist. Alas my shopping budget for the fall is non existant now.

x

Lee said...

My gosh your mam was a talented lady!

I have a jumper that my mam knitted years ago with 'Police' on it. Her sister was obsessed with the band The Police, so she made HERSELF the jumper! Sisters, huh?

Lee x

Rosalind said...

What a special dress - and not only because your mum made it out of such great fabric, but also because it looks like it was pinned and fitted for an exact fit on you. I love that feeling of wearing little bits of my various family's stories when I wear clothes that formerly belonged to them. Oh and yes - long skirts/dresses, plus an attempt to carry 2 cups of tea upstairs - not a success!

Jazzy E (hivenn) said...

You're such a cutie! I love that your mum made that, my mum can repair stuff but not sew a whole dress. x hivenn

Cristina L said...

such a lovely dress!!

visit and follow http://fashionismyway.blogspot.com/

Diana said...

this is such a fun piece to have! you are lucky and its even more special that your mom made it :) i dont wear maxi skirts too much either but i am inspired to put one one :) xo

http://dressedupallligators.blogspot.com/

Monique said...

this dress is amazing...i love the 70s fabric both in texture and in print so amazing your mom made it. sounds like your visit home was fab!

SreeBindu said...

mom's Rock in the floral look. :)and u look cute in the floral too..special love the back!

Lizzy said...

Talented Mum you've got there, this dress is gorgeous. The colours are beautiful, and I love how you've picked out the reds and oranges with your sandals. This suits you very well!

I always find maxi-dresses difficult; the shape and print have to be just right, and usually I stay away from florals because I end up looking like curtains!

Tomz said...

i luv this long dress..its diffrnt frm ur previous styles

ouestladiscotheque said...

That dress is beautiful, the fabric is lovely!! There is nothing better than family made vintage!
Also loving your necklace!
- Charlotte x

Courtney Erin said...

That's such a pretty dress! Love it.

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.com

bridechic said...

Great dress with lots of style!

charli said...

I love your dress. I have a maxi dress which is floral!!! I am following you....... I hope you follow back.

dusanabotswana said...

ah, I am so behind on your posts but I must say, you really do look fantastic in this dress! It certainly looks like a good length to you and you must be similar to your mom's size when she made it because it looks made just for you. Love the fabric and pattern. Glad you could enjoy family and friends for a bit! Thanks for your kind words for my recovery as well : )

Stef / Diversions said...

Wow, your Mom got some serious skills. I love the criss crossed back, so pretty :)