Button, button, who’s got the button?

by Erin on November 5, 2006

ebay item 260049006142

Every time I think I've seen every damn pattern ever made between 1948 and 1963, I'm surprised by another one — and this one is quite surprising. I love the collar that wraps around like a tentacle — of COURSE it must be buttoned down, else it would throttle the wearer without the slightest provocation. In fact, you can see that there's just a faux button closure (with no buttonhole) to prevent any kind of escape plot.

This one is on eBay (as always, click the pic to hit the link) and B30. Bidding starts at $9.99. I was thinking of buying it (just to keep it out of circulation and you all safe, you understand, as it's not my size), but the more I look at this one the more it (no pun intended) grows on me. I'd love to see someone (someone ELSE) figure a way to sew it in stripes. Bias stripes. Anyone up for the challenge? Send pictures and/or cries for help to the address on the right.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 5, 2006 at 7:07 am

If my bust was 30″, I wouldn’t be spending all my time on the computer reading people’s blogs; I’d be romping on the beach in Rio. I wish it fit because I love it too.


Marie-Chrisitne November 5, 2006 at 8:39 am

But wait, how can it be a fake buttonhole? You couldn’t get out of the dress if you couldn’t unbutton that last one…


kmkat November 5, 2006 at 8:42 am

Bias stripes? Surely you jest. I’m betting that if, back in the day, they put suggested fabrics and patterns and “not suitable for” tips on the back of the pattern envelope, this one would say, “Not suitable for bias stripes.”Of course, now that you’ve put the idea in my head I’m starting to imagine the dress in bias stripes. Stripes that match perfectly across the bodice and collar, across the button front.Luckily that pattern is nowhere near my size nor my taste or I’d be making it NOW. In those darned bias stripes, perfectly matched.


Anonymous November 5, 2006 at 10:18 am

Lovely dress! What does the “wiggle” in the item description refer to? I noticed another listing by the same seller also for a “wiggle” dress and at first I thought it was the manufacturer, but the listing says it is a McCall’s pattern…


Anonymous November 5, 2006 at 10:20 am

Whoops! A quick google search turned up lots of answers to my question including a previous post on your blog. Sorry.


Anonymous November 5, 2006 at 10:41 am

Oh, I’m such a sucker for unexpected and/or weird details like that. Good thing I haven’t been B30 since I was 12. I would have worn this at age 12, too!The gloves really make this work. Can we band together to create a resurgence of glove-wearing? I hate my nailsthey never look good. This would be the perfect solution. Dresses and gloves for all! Off to make some bumper stickers at Cafe Press…


Summerset November 5, 2006 at 11:35 am

Ok, I’m watching on my list, we’ll see. I can see how it would work in bias stripes. Marie-Christine – the dress may have a side zipper, which would make any of the front button/buttholes pretty much not needed.


andrea November 5, 2006 at 2:30 pm

I have that one.I’m not going to make it in bias stripes. Not even if Erin double-dog dares me.


Minya, Warrior Seamstress November 5, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I see the friendly dress tentacle, and I want to make it into a snake looped around my neck with the eye in the fake button spot. Haven’t quite worked out where I’d put the tail, though.


nance November 5, 2006 at 3:27 pm

la belladonna,i’m catching up on the comments today and i must respond to 2 of yours. first my mother in law lives in haverford. the next time i come to visit i would love doing the garment dist. in philly. how exciting. i’m starting to reaccess my figure / wardrobe. have taken a palmer and pletch fitting class. i weart a 16 with a large bust adjustment and need extra room in the hips. i used to be an hour glass figure. (these dresses of erins are taking me back to my youth and the dresses my mom used to wear! ) but alas i am now more of the venus of willandorf type. you so well advised annonymous 1:16 that i wonder if you would be willing to help me? what in the world can i wear besides a sack? i want to wear more dresses… even around the house for everyday. anyhelp would be so appreciated.nance


Robinson November 5, 2006 at 9:40 pm

Nance- I was half joking to a friend today that I’d like to send la belladonna my picture and have her tell me what will work on me now that I no longer have that figure that can pull off anything. She could start a wardrobing advice business!


Julia November 6, 2006 at 6:23 am

You could make it in a snakeskin print and let the tail be ambiguous.


Anonymous November 6, 2006 at 8:51 am

B30?! You must be kidding. That was in FOURTH GRADE. Where are the patterns for curvy people? I’m not overweight, just “blessed.” Yes, please, someone set up a service to tell us what would look good on us. I’m short, long-waisted, small-waisted, small-hipped, and well-endowed. All I know is–a shirtdress is *not* it.


Ladygrande (Texas Marie) November 6, 2006 at 9:15 am

I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston this last weekend. Buttons galore! Would have looked lovely on this dress. Not many current patterns call for gorgeous buttons – shame!


Anonymous November 6, 2006 at 1:59 pm

I think the artist was inspired by Betty Rubble.Esther A.


Floridaprincess November 6, 2006 at 10:37 pm

It is a cute dress. I have not been a bust 30 since I was 16.


La BellaDonna November 7, 2006 at 10:50 am

Nance, I was quite serious about being willing to lead Philadelphia Phabric Phorays; you let me know when you’ll be in the area, and we can arrange it. Saturday is a better hunting day than Sunday, just so you’re aware. And I’m perfectly willing to do Philadelphia Phasion Philanthropy as well, but … telling me you’re built like the Venus of Willendorf, while poetic, is a little non-specific. The more information I have, the more information I can give. Now, Anonymous at 9:51 is built the same way as Victoria, the Anonymous poster from the earlier entry for whom I gave a detailed historical period analysis, so the same advice I gave to Victoria would work for her; she is, by her description, an upside-down triangle, and as long as she keeps the proportions correct for her height, she’ll look fine – after all, many of the ladies who wore those earlier styles weren’t very tall at all, either!Robinson, the same holds true for you as for Nance – if you give me the information, I’ll do the best I can for you. For the ladies who would seriously like a little more guidance as to what suits their figures, the more information I have to work with, the more accurate my advice is likely to be. Telling me that you’re “busty” is not quite as informative as telling me that you wear a 32DD; that’s busty. A 38B is not “busty,” even though the woman who wears a 38B bra has a 40″ bust, and the woman who wears a 32DD has a 37″ bust. It also helps to know where you carry your weight, AND if you specify any fitting problems that you run into over and over again. Fitting problems, especially consistent fitting problems, are helpful – although not when you’re shopping – they point to a piece of information that you need. Do your jackets always ruck up in the back? If so, how? Do the ride up towards the waist, crawling up over your hips, or do they buckle in folds above the waist? Those are two different fitting problems, caused by two different figure types.Nance, if you’re a 16 pattern, making a large bust modification AND a hip modification, it sounds as if you may be an hourglass still – you may have a bit more sand in the bottom, but it sounds as if you’re a modified hourglass, rather than a true pear shape. Bone structure is what dictates body type. The size of your shoulders, in proportion to the bones of your hips, determines whether or not you are a “true” hourglass. It is perfectly possible to be a busty pear; those of you whose bust measurements and hip measurements are the same, but who look in the mirror and wonder what’s wrong with what you see, and wonder why your bra straps are falling down and your shirts are collapsing at the shoulder – it’s because, if your shoulders are narrower than your hips, you are a pear. It’s also possible to be a flattish hourglass – if our 38B bra-wearer has 40″ hips, she’s going to look at her 40″ bust and 40″ hips and wonder why her clothes don’t look right. If her shoulders are narrow, it’s because she’s a pear, even though her measurements say hourglass. If her shoulders are as wide as her hips, then she’s an hourglass – just not a very bosomy one. If her shoulders are wider than her hips, she’s an upside-down triangle – even though her measurements say “hourglass” in each case.So … the more information I have, the better advice I can give. I will post some of the “pear” fashions later on tonight, for the ladies who are pretty sure they’re pears, a la Venus of Willandorf.


nance November 7, 2006 at 6:36 pm

bella donna in advance…thank you mille fois ! my measurements are 46, full bust, 42 high bust, 42 waist, 55 hip. that said. my shoulders appear almost as large as my waist. the bulk of my waist is in my stomach. the sides of my waist actually go in from the shoulders if you look at me from the side you see large bust(40ddd) stomach rounding from midriff to below belly in front, protruding high hip , bubble but in back, proportionally smaller but not small thighs and calves, narrow ankle. small foot sz.8. i’m 5′ 6” tall. in a sz 16 pattern adjusted for a full bust i add 4″ in front and 4″ in back, for a broad back. my shouldres are not sloped. i only need a fraction for a high round. i really appreciate this. i am transitioning from one period of my life to another and my self image needs a bit of a tweak! so much of us is reflected in what we wear. and then too it goes the other way around. what we wear influences how we feel. i’m leaving for a week and a half to cal. so i will look for your reply then. your comments are great. you have so much insight.nance


nance November 7, 2006 at 6:38 pm

oops ! i meant my shoulders appear almost as large as my hips…not waist.nance


Robinson November 8, 2006 at 3:04 pm

Oooo, thanks belladonna. I’ll do my best to give you a picture.You mentioned bra size in one of your other comments and that women are often wearing the wrong size, so I looked into that. I’ve measured myself using three different methods and have gotten three different cup sizes in the process. My best guess using those three different measurements is 44C, but it might be a D, definitely not a B (although I’ve come up with all of those possibilities). I’m going to the dept. store soon to get help with that because regardless the bra I’m wearing doesn’t fit afterall. I wish I lived near some fabulous city where there might be a real expert available to me on this topic. Anyway… I’m 5’9″ and to the best that I am able to get measurements on my own my figure is 45-38-49. I’m not really a rectangle although I often feel like one when I am trying to find clothing that fits me. I have a hard time finding clothes that aren’t tight in the waist when they fit me otherwise. And as far as my top half goes, while I don’t know if you would consider me busty, I have a hard time finding something that closes around my bust without looking like I’m wearing a shapeless sack. I’m going to try do a shirt with a FBA this weekend and see what happens. As far as RTW items, the best luck I’ve had is with dresses with empire waists and lots of tucks in the bodice but I can’t wear a cocktail dress everyday (and the two that I have that I feel attractive in are definitely cocktail dresses).Anyway, thanks again and thanks to Erin for being so patient with us when we hijack her blog!!


Anonymous December 19, 2006 at 8:15 pm

This dress. Is necessary. To my existence.Thank GOD I have an amazing seamstress…oh Cooooookie, I have a PROJECT for you!!!


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