I was inspired by the Vintage Modern Design Challenge on Burdastyle to make a dress that was modern but with a vintage feel.
I love the rural valley in California where I live and wanted to make something that was an ode to the farmers and migrants who made this place what it is.
If there was ever a writer who evokes the history and feeling of California it is John Steinbeck.
He wrote about just the kind of people who populated this valley back in the 1920’s and thirties.
We are surrounded here by orange ranches that were planted by many of the migrant families that came here in the great depression looking for a new life after their farms in the midwest had been destroyed by the dust bowl crisis.
They planted oranges and this valley came to be known as “The Citrus Capitol of The World.”
I had some purple linen lying around.
Voila, The Grapes of Wrath Dress.
I imagined a pretty girl who may have lived in this very house back in the 1930’s. What could I make for her that someone would also like to wear today?
The godets, bias cut skirt, and raglan sleeves can be found on many thirties styles. This design was draped to my dress form first, then adjusted for fit.
I added the buttons and crochet for a crafty touch and shortened the hem to make the dress more modern. Thirties dresses usually fall to mid calf.
I think these photos captures the light and feeling of California’s ranches . They were taken with my new Canon T2i DLSR and I added the frames on Pixlr.
The picture on this All Year fruit label is of the same valley pictured behind Isabelle in the photo above.
Fruit labels from the area where I live. It’s one of the few areas left in California that still actually looks like these Old California images. It’s one of the reasons I love it here so much.