Do you ever create something with so much meaning behind it that its hard to even express to others? I designed the most beautiful shift dress (the Paradise Island Shift Dress). I could tell you all about the intricate neckline. Or how the fitted nature of the dress is designed to show off your curves. I can rave about how you can make one for both you and your daughter so you can match. Or how the ladies version has seven cup sizes so you won’t need to do a bust adjustment. But, for me personally, none of that really matters.
Instead, I’m going to tell you why this dress is the most personal design I’ve ever released. Let me explain why.
My story behind th Paradise Island Shift Dress
I’m going to take you back to when I was 17. It was the summer of my final year in high school. The world was ahead of me and with my vivacious spirit, I knew I could do anything, be anything. I was headed to the mountains in the Carolinas for short summer trip. I had planned a little window shopping with girlfriends in the small town of Ashville. One of them had wanted a new dress, and in I walked for the first time into a Lilly Pulitzer store.
Now not many people can say they remember the first time they ever stepped in any clothing store. But I can remember this moment so clear in my mind. The bright colors, the detailed prints. The feeling that summer could last forever, and I could life life to it’s fullest. That is how I felt the first time I stepped into a Lilly Pulitzer store.
That 13 year old girl that wanted to be a fashion designer was awoken as I stared at those beautiful dresses with their neon textiles. They were beautifully lined and understitched with a lace trim adorning the hem. Each one was made to perfection.
Now I would like to tell you that I walked out of that store with my very first Lilly. But sadly my 17 year old self could not afford their $300 price tag. But I remember that I made a secret promise to myself that one day, I would come back and buy a Lilly dress. Fashion called to me like nothing else I can remember. And it stayed with me so strong all these years.
Then to now
Fast forward several years, my husband and I are on one of our very first trips to Nassau, Bahamas. We were staying on Paradise Island near Atlantis when suddenly I see an advertisement for the most beautiful fabric. It stopped me in my tracks. It reminded me so much of Lilly Pulitzer. The colors were bright, the print was tropical, and it had a feeling to it, a quality that I hadn’t seen in quite some time.
I can remember stopping my husband John and telling him I had to take a closer look to find out who sold this fabric. The company was none other than Bahama Hand Prints. I once again made a vow to myself that I would find and buy fabric made by Bahama Hand Prints. Only this time, I would design a dress and make it myself.
Ladies and gentlemen, that day is here. The Paradise Island Shift Dress may seem like a simple shift. But to my journey as a designer, it is so much more than that. It’s Lilly inspired and dream driven. It has got to be one of my most favorite things I have ever drafted and ever sewn. And for once, I did it just for me. Take a look below at the design featured in beautiful Bahama Hand Prints‘ fabric:
And for girls
To say I am in love with this design is an understatement. If you would like to see more tester photos, please check out the product listings here for ladies and here for girls. There are simply too many beautiful dresses to put in one blog post.
Also, in the spirit of giving, I reached out to Bahama Hand Prints. I gushed about how I was such a super fan of their collection, and they graciously offered to sponsor this pattern with a free giveaway. If you would love to have the honor to own your very own piece from Bahama Hand Prints, we are giving away a beautiful cosmetic bag from them. I have to confess, when they sent it to me in the mail, I almost thought about just mailing them the money for it and telling them I was keeping it myself. It is simply gorgeous, and I will be officially jealous of whoever wins it!
To enter to win the giveaway, enter the rafflecopter below. And do me a favor and check out Bahama Hand Prints’ website and order yourself some fabric. You will NOT be disappointed in it!
So who will be making themselves a shift dress (or two!) this summer?