What Kind Of Bird Are You?

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I thought it was about time I showed you another dress from my series of handmade outfits inspired by Wes Anderson movies. And for Moonrise Kingdom there was really only one option – a Suzy Bishop dress!

I think if I had to choose my personal favourite Wes Anderson film it would be Moonrise Kingdom. It came out back when we lived in Nottingham, and I planned a Moonrise Kingdom theme for Michael’s next birthday as a surprise. The day before his birthday, I set up a tent in the spare bedroom strung with fairy lights and filled with his presents, our record player and a birthday cake. I set his alarm clock and left a note by his bed, just like the letters Sam and Suzy exchange in the film, with his rucksack containing a Sam Shakusky outfit (which was basically one of his shirts with badges I’d made pinned onto it and a fake pair of glasses!) and a map of New Penzance. I left a series of X’s on the floor leading into the spare room, and I can still hear his laugh when his alarm went off and he realised what I had planned. I also dressed up as Suzy, and my improvised outfit was a coral coloured jumper over a cream dress with a peter pan collar, and the two tone navy and white brogues Michael bought me when he worked for LK Bennett which look just like Suzy’s “Sunday school shoes”. It was a very good day – we ate an entire birthday cake just between the two of us!!

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So I’m pleased to have finally made my own version of Suzy’s dress – and I imagine this dress is probably one of the most recreated outfits! I didn’t make an exact replica since I don’t often wear solid colours and prefer prints, so instead I opted for a floral print that I thought still captured the essence of Suzy’s dress, with a very 1960s feel. I chose this amazing barkcloth fabric from the Outback Wife collection, and managed to make the dress out of only 1.5m!

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I used the Tilly & The Buttons Françoise pattern as it’s a very similar shape, and exaggerated the collar by extending it out. I really ought to have added cuffs to be true to Suzy’s style but I do tend to wear cardigans over dresses and unfortunately cuffs can get in the way!

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It’s the first time I’ve made the Françoise and it was a very satisfying sew – it came together really quickly, and the shape is very flattering for a shift dress thanks to the French darts.

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I paired the dress with a Tatty Devine binoculars necklace I had for Christmas, and my incredible Storybook Rabbit brooch, which is an astonishingly detailed recreation of Suzy in bunny rabbit form!

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I really do love this dress and have already worn it quite a lot as it’s cute, retro and incredibly comfy. This has also inspired me to make a few more 1960s inspired dresses – I already have some in the pipeline!

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Lucy x

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