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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vintage Outfit Post-Miss Lemon's Dress,Two Ways

First I want to thank everyone who was so kind about Tuvok's picture and name worries in my last post.  To be clear, I don't really expect anyone to recognize his name, that be silly, and I dont want anyone to think I am offended.  I just find it kind of funny that so many people think his name is Tuna!   I even briefly considered changing his name right after we got him and the confusion started, but I love his name.  I just think the groomer who gets 90$!!!! should learn his name. 

Since I had this blog on hiatus for a few months last fall I have kind of a glut of vintage outfit posts to share, and here is another.  It's a 1930s fall/winter dress from Sew Vintage Seamstress inspired by one of my favorite fictional vintage style icons, Miss Lemon from Poirot.  

Miss Lemon as played by the lovely Pauline Moran is inspirational in so many ways.  She isn't an ingenue or a titled lady, she is a working woman in early middle age, yet she looks fantastic all the time!  Poirot must be paying his secretary quite handsomely for her afford all of these fabulous clothes.  

And of course Miss Lemon is worth it, she is clearly very clever and like Poirot hyper organized and more then a bit obsessive.   Another thing I love about Miss Lemon is her fondness for cats.  She rightfully tosses aside one suitor, due to his dislike of felines.  It really saddens me that Miss Lemon faded from view in the later seasons of Poirot and I really think the series went down hill after her departure.

The set and costume design in Poirot, particularly in its earlier seasons when it was perfection.  I love how Miss Lemon's clothing picked up on aspects of the stories.  For example, in the episode The Adventure of The Egyptian Tomb,  Miss Lemon has a stunning grey dress with pyramid details.

This is the dress I had Sew Vintage Seamstress copy and she did an amazing job, right down to the buttons!   It looks just like Miss Lemon's.   

Of course accessories have the power to change an outfit and as I promised in the title of this post I'll show this dress two ways with different accessories.  The first pictures show how I wore there dress on a cold winter day, January 1st in fact.  I paired it with thick winter tights and a hat Ive had for a few years from Captaine Crochet, you can find her on instagram.

I also added my halloween cat pin because Miss Lemon love's cats!

Obligatory cat pic:

The second look is from a warmer day.  I paired the dress with a 1930s hat and a gold deco belt that was a generous gift:

My favorite thing about this dress is the amazing details.    I think I like the second outfit best, and thats probably how I'll usually wear this dress which is definitely on its way to being one of my favorites.   

Outfit Details
Dress: Sew Vintage Seamstress
Burgandy Hat-Captain Crochet (find her on Facebook or instagram)
Cat Pin-Mrs. Polly's Lucite
Low Heeled Shoes-American Duchess
Black and White Cloche-I can't remember!
Heart Hat Pin-Merriweather
High Heeled Black Pumps-Remix Vintage Shoes


  1. Oh that is one fabulous dress, I love the front detailing, Miss Lemon certainly has an enviable wardrobe and that is a stunning copy!

  2. I luffed watching Poirot and Miss Lemon. You're right, her outfits were amazing.
    AND so is yours!!!! You look great!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  3. Love the dress, glad you didn't decide to copy the hairstyle...especially in the first few photos....BOL!

  4. That dress is a masterpiece! What an elegant, becoming garment. I adore it styled both ways and would imagine given its lovely grey hue, that there's almost no limit to the number of different ways it could be dressed up or down - not mention accessories.

    Big hugs & many thanks for all of your wonderful recent blog comments,
    ♥ Jessica

  5. I think its fun to see all these clothes!

  6. Firstly I love Miss Lemon's style too and I am determined, as soon as I can find the three different coloured fabrics, to make the green dress you've featured at the beginning. It's my absolute favourite one of hers.
    Secondly, your dress is gorgeous and looks so good on you. The detailing is pure 1930s. I have to agree I prefer the second outfit but I do like the touches of burgundy with the grey. x

  7. Another dress that looks wonderful on you! Great choice on that dress, the style is perfect.

    liz :)

  8. Great looking dress, love the details.

  9. Oh, that is fab! Miss Lemon is such a great character, so quietly stylish. SewVintageSeamstress did a great job of copying the grey dress.

  10. I love seeing how you styled this dress two different ways! It really is amazing how accessories can completely change a look! I love period movies and shows. Seeing all the gorgeous outfits is so much fun. You must have a great eye for detail to notice how the pyramid looking details on the dress went with the Egyptian theme of that episode's story!

  11. What a fab outfit! I love Miss Lemon's style too! :)

  12. I remember reading that Pauline Moran designed many of the clothes she wore on Poirot. The dress looks great on you!

  13. I admire the fact that you wanted the grey dress copied, but to copy a dress, one must do it down to every detail. First of all, the original dress was a wool knit which allowed it to fall gently against the body. Your dress looks to be a woven fabric and therefore does not fall as nicely. Second, the triangle trapunto detail on Miss Lemon's sleeves are on the outside of the sleeve and not on the inside like your dressmaker did it. Third, Miss Lemon has a banded neckline which means a band of fabric is sewn at the neckline to mimic a collar without the tabs. There is no collar on Miss Lemon's dress. Your dressmaker put a collar on your dress with points that distract from the flatness and smoothness of a banded neckline. Fourth, the original had a vent in the front seam at the hem and from what I can glean from your photographs, there is no vent in the front of your dress. Fifth, the angle of your decorative three trapunto triangles at the front placket are too long and give a flapping look to your dress. These are the obvious differences to your dress and Miss Lemon's. Yes, your dress looks similar, but it is not exact. I happen to be an exacting type of person. I am just a stickler for exactness so please don't take offense. It has nothing to do with you but everything to do with your dressmaker. Perhaps she cut corners, but if I copy something, I copy it exactly to the best of my seamstresses abilities. That is why I learned to sew when I was twelve. Only then could I control how a garment would turn out.

  14. Also for your information, if you did not know, (because I too love this grey dress Miss Lemon wore), a group of 7 garments plus four hats and a purse that Miss Lemon wore, were auctioned off on 17 September 2015 in Bristol and one of the garments was this grey dress!! I thought it was a wool knit and I was right since the description in the catalogue reads as follows: "grey wool dress - has a few small holes to the back of the garment. " This clearly indicates that moths had gotten to it. The group with the hats and handbag sold for £550. The estimate was between £200-300. The other garments had some issues too since it was noted many had been used in TV and film productions in the past. England has always been good about recycling garments. The American film industry recycled garments during the late 1930's and early 1940's because of World War II so various garments were disassembled to make others since materials were scare. That is why many beautiful garments from those wonderful black and white movies no longer exist in their original incarnation. I wonder who now owns Miss Lemon's lovely grey triangle dress?

  15. This is a reply to 'Seamstress' who commented on September 13 2017.

    Hello 'Seamstress', this is Melissa the lady who made this dress for Kate. I just found your comment and I must confess it really upset me . My first reaction was tears and self doubt. I've been a seamstress for over 15 years and love what I do. It's what I live for. Making a dream outfit come to life for a customer in their size and within their budget brings me joy. For a good 30 minutes your harsh words ripped all that joy out of me. I get from your soapbox speach that you are FAR more experienced and I commend you for that! I give all the love and appreciation out to others who take this profession on and hope that other young ladies and gents will be inspired to learn the trade as well. It's a hard way to make a living due to the fact that most people are not willing to pay to have clothing custom made for them when ready made clothes are so cheap now. Sure, you may get a few clients that appreciate the art and are willing to spend a big sum for something custom made in a very high quality but I find those customers are rare. Most my clients want to spend under $300 in all for a custom made and sized dress. I am happy to work with them at that budget.

    That said, let me ask you. How much would you charge to make a perfect copy of this dress in the wool knit fabric using your expert skills? How many hours would it take to get the pattern perfectly perfect, how many mock ups? How much do you charge per hour for your time and how much did you spend on supplies to make the pattern and mock ups? How long would you spend sourcing the EXACT perfect wool knit fabric and how much would you pay for that fabric? THEN let me ask, would you be willing to make this as perfect as your standards for under $200? I am in Los Angeles and the cost of living here is very high. That price also includes your fabric and supply costs. I honestly think you would not be willing to work all those hours and spend that much money on the fabric you deem acceptable for this copy within the given budget.

    So I ask you, think before you post. Your words make *you* feel high and mighty but can really hurt the feelings of those you critisize. You do not know the particularities and details of the situation. Think before you post! Of coarse your account info is blank and there is no way to know who you are, so I assume you think you can say anything to anyone you want and not care about their feelings since you are anonymous. You know who I am. There is a link in the post to my shop. You can contact me there if you want to discuss this more.

  16. Another post replying to 'Seamstress' originally posting on September 13, 2017

    PS- I screen capped this dress 1001 times and spent HOURS looking at blurry 1990's era paused video on Amazon Prime trying to make my way around re-creating this dress design. ALL which I did on my own free time. I think I did a pretty damn good job considering the budget! The pattern alone took me a day to get right and size, the trapunto triangles I mocked up and tried 3 times to get right. I spent at least 3-4 hours on these? Did you count how many rows of stitches there are on those bitches? Repeat the stitches for all 6 triangles three times and make sure they are PERFECT, then tell me how long it took you. Mine may not be '100% picture perfectly perfect' but holy hell they are DAMN good enough for the amount of work put in and the amount I was paid.

    Sorry Kate for all this negative poo in your blog. I am just so upset over this post. I work so hard and so many hours I am not paid for to be critisized over such details this person has picked on me for.

    1. Dear Melissa,

      I just happened upon your comments today since I was visiting my sister and watched the Poirot episode for the first time with Miss Lemon wearing the grey triangle dress and so I went back to this site and I see that you responded to my comments which I signed as ‘Seamstress.’ Wow, you have thin skin and I am sorry that you were so offended since that was not my intent. I do not think I am 'high and mighty' but I do think I am a very particular person who cares about exactness. My only intent was that your copy was not an 100% EXACT copy of Miss Lemon's grey dress. That is all. As I said in my post, I am about replicating something exactly and that is just me and how I approach copying something. I am glad that you responded to my post and do not take what you say personally since I do not react emotionally to someone else's emotions. Your dress was similar to the best of your budget and abilities and there is nothing wrong with that. I do know that you put a lot of work into your garment since I know that sewing is a labor-intensive task, especially with triangular pieces and top-stitching and I believe that you did work very hard on the project and do not question that. But just like everything in life--me, you and anyone else who works on a project, we can all strive to do the best of our abilities. I just happen to operate in a different way. That does not make me right or you wrong. It just happens to be the approach we each take to a project which is our own method based upon the boundaries that might limit us. I certainly am not going to replicate a garment for money as you are in the business of doing, but I do it for shear pleasure, art, and challenge.

      I weigh people's comments as information, whether I agreed with their opinion or not. Everyone has a right to their opinion since we do live in a country that allows that. I am not a malicious person, just an honest and exacting person. I see no purpose in faking my thoughts about a situation. I do not react emotionally but logically to people's statements. My comment was just an observation concerning a garment. You obviously are a skilled seamstress and I wish more people of your generation learned to sew. I have sewn for many, many years and many people learned to sew when I was 12 years old and I am probably the last generation that did learn to sew as part of their growing up. I did go to F.I.T in New York where I honed my skills in the tailoring area from a French professor as well as other professors that taught Haute Couture. I only use the old sewing techniques that unfortunately, require much time, plus I happen to be a perfection to boot, so I take out a lot of what I do to get it exact. That is my thing. I enjoy trying to challenge myself.

    2. Dear Melissa,

      I could not get my whole comment in one post (too many characters) and wanted to send the rest of it which follows below:

      I did not find my comments negative, but an analysis of another person's project. I do feel if you used a softer fabric, your efforts would have made the dress more exacting despite the various other differences I commented upon. So, you screen capped the dress 1001 times? That is impressive. I agree that top-stitching is a pain and I have worked hours on getting it exact.

      I did not criticize your abilities of sewing or questioned how long you spent sewing the garment. My comments were about the 'differences' between the original dress and yours. Everyone's skills are different because everyone's sewing skills background is different. You are doing a wonderful job in sewing for a living. That is marvelous! It is very difficult to make a living sewing and takes hours and hours of one's time and I admire anyone who does it.

      Please remember, I do not sew for a living so time and cost is not an issue for me. I am just an exacting person and that is why I made my comments. That is all. This is a nice blog and I was grateful to have found it. This is the second blog I have ever responded to and the other one had to do with migraines since I suffer from them. I will look you up and respond to you on you website just in case you do not see this post.



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