Mar 26, 2018

The Retro Homemaker

Here's another dress from my stash of 1970's era dresses that my mom wore back in the day.  For the most part, I liked the dress.  I just wanted to tweak it a little and make it a little more retro.

I cut it at the waist and reattached the skirt to get rid of the dropped waist.

The sleeves were a bit too long and full.  I detached the upper gathered part of the sleeve and trimmed away the excess.  I then re-gathered the top edge and stitched it back together.  I cut the sleeves shorter and reattached the cuff detail.  

It wasn't a huge refashion, but now the dress was more in line with a retro themed party.

The ladies at our church celebrated the birthday of our women's organization, the Relief Society.  We decided on a fun retro theme this year.  Our past themes have been a Mad Hatter Tea Party, and a Mary Poppin's theme.  I always like a party with a good theme!

We had three vignettes set up at the front of the gym.  
A kitchen scene....

A living room scene....

And, a sewing scene....(including the original Singer Featherweight I learned to sew on as a young girl!)

This cute vintage apron was picked up from a thrift store.

Our centerpieces were simple.  We printed off vintage food labels and glued them to empty spaghetti sauce cans.  A few flowers and a vintage picture completed the look.  I made a variety of dish soap aprons using vintage fabric from my stash.  These were given away throughout the night as door prizes.

A bunting of vintage doilies, hankies, and an apron dressed up the serving table.

My friend, Megan, made this beautiful sandwich loaf.  It was an authentic 1950's recipe with layers of bread, deviled ham, egg salad, and covered in cream cheese.

I had my first attempt at using Jello molds.  They turned out great, but, boy are they a process!  We also served deviled eggs, mini quiche, pigs in a blanket, meatballs, seafood dip and crackers, chex mix, veggies, and fruit kabobs.

The bouquet of fruit kabobs added some height to our serving table.

The dessert table was adorned with vintage aprons and embroidered tea towels.  We served a layered marble cake with seven minute frosting, a layered angel food cake with lemon pudding and whipped cream, and a tomato soup cake...also an authentic recipe.

We couldn't resist having a tribute to Jello!  Did you know there was a National Use-Up-Your-Leftovers-in-a-Jello-Salad Week?  Ugh!

Even our littlest "housewife" came dressed in her apron and had fun playing with the small retro kitchen.

I wore my refashioned dress and vintage gingham apron.

It was a fun evening.  

We took a test to see how well we could pass a 1954 Home Ec. class.  Needless to say, we need to study more!  Who knew that the first thing to do when you woke up (before putting on a robe or brushing your teeth) was to open your window and let your sheets air out!  Or, that the proper frequency of washing your hair was twice a month!

The ladies modeled their aprons as we read aloud what they wrote about the history of their apron.  Everyone voted for their favorite and the winner received a basket of Betty Crocker baking supplies. 

We also watched some fun vintage clips:

I like to link to these great parties!

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  1. Your newly refashioned dress is darling! Gives me some ideas....

  2. Such an awesome post, loved the dress re-fashion and the rest of that post. Thanks!

  3. That sandwich loaf caught my attention at the Show and Tell Link Party. I thought it was a cake, but it's even more interesting now that I know it was a dinner. This party seems like such a fun idea! I would love to attend or throw some themed parties like this one. Your dress was perfect for it. Boy, just love everything about this post. Hehe.

    1. Thank you! My friend did such an amazing job on the sandwich loaf. It was a lot of fun!

  4. Loved this post. I lived during this era and you really nailed it. The pearls and the shoes added to the perfect dress.
    The layered sandwich cake was always a fave at a shower but never saw one decorated so beautifully.

  5. What a fun post, Susan. Loved reading it. You've obviously done your research. And your dress looks SO much better without those full sleeves.

  6. I love the way you updated this dress. It looks modern and sassy. Well done.

  7. We're doing a 1950's inspired RS Birthday party as well. Who designed your invite and did they use a template? It's perfect and we wanted to do something similar.



Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan