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I recently had the pleasure of attending the debut of Nelly Don, The Musical. Nell Donnelly was an "accidental" entrepreneur from Kansas City who started out making a small dress order in her basement, and within a few wholesale orders was hiring many people to keep up! Her company was the largest dress label in America for more than 50 years from 1916 to 1978, selling one dress every 15 seconds. The Donnelly Garment Company made dresses that were not only practical, but also looked good.

Over on AmyBarickman.com I'm sharing more of the history of the Nelly Don company, but here on Indygo Junction we focus on modern sewing inspiration from the Nelly Don Advertisements.  

The Handy Dandy Apron was a Nelly Don bestseller for many years. I learned during the musical that twelve a minute could be made at the factory and the apron was put together with just one seam! 

 Apron Inspiration!

The great lines on this apron remind me of some of our Vintage Made Modern inspired aprons, all of which have some similar features or details.

 

 The Crossback Reversible Apron is one of our bestselling apron designs. It was inspired by vintage drawings of aprons! It slips over the head, and comes in adult and children sizes. Read my blog for more details on the inspiration for this design.

 

The Very Mary Apron is our modern take on an original design by Mary Brooks Picken.  A clever design, it uses a square of fabric to create a practical apron with unique details! 

There are four vintage aprons in my book, Vintage Notions! The Magic Pattern for November is an apron that is very similar in design to the Nelly Don Handy Dandy Apron, with the side panels and the pockets.

Let's talk about the advertisement for the "Print Frock"! Nelly Don's dresses had  unique floral prints exclusive to her styles!

Inspiration for Current Dress Designs 

While our Shift Dress Pattern is a much more modern design, we've made it up in a few prints reminiscent of the charming Nelly Don fabrics for another twist on Vintage Made Modern!

This 1930's inspired Moda print by Lindzee Kull McCray reminds me of Nelly Don's prints. What a wonderful way to celebrate a love of vintage while remaining true to modern styles!

And here is the Shift Dress in my Vintage Made Modern: Stitcher's Garden floral.

If you're drawn to the lines and the details of the print frock and want to make your own in a more modern way, our Boardwalk Dress is a contemporary version with a similar silhouette and pocket detail!

Head over to my blog to read more about the history of the Nelly Don company!

Follow me on Instagram @amybarickman_studio and also my hashtag #quiltmarketkcfun to see my recommended places to visit if you're coming to Kansas City for quilt market!
Join my Facebook group, Amy Barickman's Vintage Made Modern to hear more about my vintage ephemera collection and my pattern inspiration!

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Tracey on

We are so glad you enjoyed it!

Martha O. on

My family went to the Kansas City Garment District Museum in April ~ what a little gem!

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