THE MONTHLY DRESS SERIES: THE APRIL DRESS

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress. Spring colors are bursting all around me. Trees and flowers and wardrobes are adding pastel pinks, blues, and yellows after a winter of drab. April is the perfect time of year to gather up a bouquet of garden flowers and head to an elegant tea party! The April Dress is the first dress in my monthly dresses to have a pattern with more than one color. The main color of the dress is canary yellow. I picked this specific shade of yellow because it evokes feelings of freshness, happiness, and energy. Our colorful world begins sprouting to life again in April, and The April Dress needed to be as vibrant as the first few days of spring.

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowSIMILAR PEARL EARRINGS  ||  YELLOW BADGELY MISCHKA FLATS c/o

all table decor items linked at the bottom of the post

 

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow    The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow    The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

Inspiration

I’ve had a pretty clear vision for most of my dresses, but for some reason I had the hardest time envisioning April. I just couldn’t wrap my head around any one idea or concept. I found this incredible yellow and white lace fabric when I was searching for The November Dress fabric, and I knew I had to use it for one of my monthly dresses. April was really the only month that made sense to use it, but I didn’t want to just pick a fabric–I wanted a good story for it. I needed a little inspiration. In February, one of you predicted that The February Dress would be a tea party setting. I loved that idea! Then, in early March, I connected the idea of the yellow and white lace fabric with the setting of a tea party and it all clicked. 

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

A New Twist

As I thought more about the actual design of the dress, I decided a dress for a tea party had to be tea length. It’s a little more playful than the other gowns, and it cuts a very fitting silhouette that pairs well with canary yellow. It’s so perfect, I’ve decided that this is exactly what I will wear when Kate and Meghan invite me to high tea at Kensington Palace. Can’t wait!

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

Tea Party

For the shoot, I of course wanted a tea party, but I was thinking more of the opulence and sumptuousness of a party thrown by Marie Antoinette than the prim and proper gatherings from a Jane Austen novel. I stuffed the table with flowers and treats in a nod to the French queen. The Marie Antoinette movie is the only DVD I’ve purchased in the last however many years. The costumes and colors are a feast for the eyes! I wanted the shoot for this dress to invoke a similar feel.

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

We searched high and low for the right setting for our tea party. Within seconds of walking into Dots Cafe Bakery in Pasadena, a new local spot, I knew it was the perfect place. The wallpaper, flooring, tables and chairs–all of it! There’s an amazing ambiance there. It didn’t hurt that their cupcakes were both beautiful and delicious. (You have to try the dulche de leche cupcake…it’s my fave.)

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow   The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

Flowers

Our incredible florist, Flores de Bosquez, pulled inspiration for the flower arrangements from the wallpaper at Dots Cafe, and it brings the flowers on the walls to life! With all of the colors and patterns and pastries, I love that the dress is still bold and bright enough to stand out.

Fascinator

Oh yeah! No tea party outfit is complete without a fascinator! We designed the fascinator to feel like an extension of the dress. The center flower petals were hand painted for a more realistic touch, and the yellow feathers and matching birdcage veil combine to create a fascinator fit for an elaborate tea party.

Jewelry

I kept my jewelry simple, just over-sized pearl earrings, and added a bit of sparkle to the look with crystal embellished canary yellow Badgley Mischka flats, with an homage to April’s birthstone, the diamond.

The April Dress, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowSIMILAR PEARL EARRINGS  ||  YELLOW BADGELY MISCHKA FLATS c/o

LARGE FLORAL PLATES  ||  SMALL FLORAL PLATES  ||  MATTE GOLD FLATWARE ||  MATTE GOLD FLATWARE   ||  ROSE GOLD CHAIRS  ||  OVERSIZED HIGH GLOSS PINK CANDLESTICKS  ||  PINK GOBLETS  ||  ART SHAPED TEACUPS (on sale for $20 off! They come in a set of ivory, pink, and rainbow colors)  ||  WHITE CAKE STANDS  ||  HIGH GLOSS JADE STAND  || PINK AND BLUE CAKE STANDS ||  PINK GOBLETS

photography by Jordan Zobrist 

 

Thank you for joining in with me for the reveal of The April Dress! Until next month . . . let them eat cake!

 

Here is the full time-lapse video of how I created The April Dress..

Worn during the draping: GINGHAM SHIRT  ||  DISTRESSED JEANS (only $88, amazingly flattering fit, run tts)  ||  GOLD WOVEN SLIDES

 

And here is my inspiration board for The April Dress…

The April Dress Inspiration Board, part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowThe April Dress inspiration sketch done by Jill Paz Illustration 

 

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

 

SIMILAR DRESSES:

 

 

Make sure you check back next week! I’ll take you behind the scenes with an all-new Behind the Dress episode. These webisodes follow the journey of each dress. I wander around LA looking for fabric, talk into the camera as I sew in the middle of the night, and share the excitement of the day we shoot the dress! This shoot had a ton of moving parts, and making it all come to life was so much fun!

You can see my other Behind the Dress episodes for:

 

 

THE APRIL DRESS PHOTOSHOOT SOURCES: 

CUPCAKES AND LOCATION:  Dots Cafe & Bakery– Pasadena, CA

CAKE: Sheila MAE – Pasadena, CA

FLOWERS: Flores de Bosquez – Pasadena, CA

MACARONS: Vanilla Bake Shop, Pasadena, CA

LARGE FLORAL PLATES  ||  SMALL FLORAL PLATES

MATTE GOLD FLATWARE 

FLORAL WALPAPER

ROSE GOLD CHAIRS

OVERSIZED HIGH GLOSS PINK CANDLESTICKS

CUPCAKE STANDS: WHITE STANDS, HIGH GLOSS JADE, PINK AND BLUE CAKE STANDS,

PINK GOBLETS

HEART SHAPED TEACUPS (on sale for $20 off! They come in a set of ivory, pink, and rainbow colors)

FLORAL FASCINATOR: handmade by Jill Paz

PEARL EARRINGS (sold out, similar here)

YELLOW BADGELY MISCHKA FLATS c/o

MAKEUP: Kendal Fedail

HAIR: Valerie Beck

 

Don’t miss any of my dresses from The Monthly Dress Series. You can follow along on instagram at #themonthlydressseries, or click on any of the dresses below to view the full post and time-lapse videos for that month.

 

The February DressTHE FEBRUARY DRESS

 

The March Dress- The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

THE MARCH DRESS

 

If you don’t know how to sew but are interested in learning, make sure you check out my online sewing courses for beginner and intermediate sewers.

 

 

 

20 Comments

  1. I love it! It’s so light and fun and the lace fabric is gorgeous!

    • Thanks Kelsey! The fabric is even prettier in person!

  2. I had to set my alarm to wake up and see what the April dress was…. yellow is PERFECT! Love this series!

    • You DID!?! Oh my gosh that makes me SO happy!!

  3. Oh this dress Is lovely & perfect to Welcome Spring!! The pictures are Amazing. Love the setting so much!! Great Job

    • Thank you so much Karly! I’m thrilled you like the shoot!

  4. Such a beautiful dress! Love the tea party shoot! Such a fun location and all the props!! You’ve outdone yourself!! Love the April dress!!

    • Thanks Jenna! There were so many moving parts with this shoot, I’m glad (and relieved) it all came together in the end!

    • Thank you so much Ashleigh! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  5. Seriously, these just keep getting better and better.

    • Ahhhh! Just WAIT for June!!!!!! It’s already my favorite 😉

  6. Beautiful dress!! You are so inspiring!☺️

    • Thanks girl!

  7. Leanne, This month’s dress takes the cake. I love the styled shoot. So creative and perfect for the yellow dress. I don’t know how you keep topping the last month’s dresses.
    jean

    • haha! yay! I worked overtime on this one, I’m SO happy that you liked it!

  8. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this monthly surprise. You are immensely talented!!! XO

    • I’m so happy this is something you look forward to Maggie! I love making it a surprise!

  9. Omg. When I saw the pic on Instagram the thought that popped instantly into my head was Marie Antoinette! Then you mentioned her in the post! ? this shoot is so beautiful and so is the dress!!!

    • Yes! That’s exactly what I hopped would happen Anna! Thank you!

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