Mollie Parnis pattern

by Erin on March 28, 2007

I know, I know, I said "no more patterns" a while back, but frankly, I don't think any of you thought I meant it. I certainly didn't. And how could I hold to that resolution, when confronted by this pattern, from eBay seller stevijean?

Spadea N 1338

It's by Mollie Parnis, who I admit I knew nothing about before googling her. (And I still don't know that much, except I know I like this dress.)

I didn't think I was a big ruffle person (parsed either as "person who likes big ruffles" or "person who really likes ruffles") but for some reason this dress just seemed really FUN. Like, make it in blue gingham fun. Like, laugh a lot while wearing it fun. Just plain FUN fun.

And I think it would also be charming in a nice thin black batiste, very summery yet not too girlish (despite the ruffles) worn with a black grosgrain ribbon belt. And if I could find dark-gray-on-black seersucker? THAT would be perfect.

The only thing I don't like about this pattern is how deep the vee is in the back, but I'm pretty sure I can fix that in the cutting-out.

Sorry no dress yesterday; it was my first day teaching (a class on dictionaries at Northwestern) and I wanted to be overprepared. (I think I missed overprepared and skewed right into "brain dump" but we'll see.) I'm also going to be scarce here until at least next Tuesday; we're taking off tomorrow for a family visit and I'm toying with the idea of Not Bringing My Laptop Along. It's scary (well, not too scary, I can check email on my phone) but the point of vacation is to vacate, yes?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

becky f. March 28, 2007 at 10:15 am

oh, I wish I could take a course on dictionaries. Why don’t they have that at my school? :-)That dress is fun. I’m a ridiculously devoted lover of gingham, and it’s a perfect pattern for that.


john March 28, 2007 at 10:15 am

you could also cut the skirt without the ruffle-


dawn March 28, 2007 at 10:24 am

Tulle is everywhere lately, under dress hems, peeking out. How bout if the ruffle were less full, but with some tulle peeking out?


Jonquil March 28, 2007 at 11:08 am

Ohhhhh.This would also be kickass in seersucker. Maybe gray seersucker with pink piping or a pink tulle petticoat?


Theresa March 28, 2007 at 11:23 am

I love that dress but I would make it in BLACK eyelet. (Even if I had to buy white and dye it myself!) I hate sewing ruffles..all that gathering, but it would be worth it.


Alison March 28, 2007 at 11:30 am

I see this pattern in a navy blue. It will tone down the ruffles to just the right level without being too severe.


Isabelle March 28, 2007 at 11:50 am

Fantastic dress! I do love ruffles. Can’t wait to see what you make with it.


Margo March 28, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I must say that a print would fight too much with the design of this dress – solid colors are the way to go (but with, you know, contrast piping or belt, of course). And Erin, we will miss our daily dose of dresses, but by all means, VACATE. We will be even fonder of you when you return!


bailey March 28, 2007 at 8:32 pm

I very much enjoy your blog, and that pattern is amazing. Thank you for posting the link to the ebay store. I thought I’d return the favor. an excellent website. Also is a very good source for books.


Aunt Saidee March 28, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Wonderful dress! Guess I missed the prohibition on patterns: I’m glad you violated it for this one. I’d heard of her, but didn’t know anything about her. Now I’m intrigued. I have some black eyelet, purchased at Stone Mtn. & Dtr. in Berkeley, but not enough for that skirt! A friend always gathers by hand; I tho’t she was nuts, until I tried it, and it’s the way to go. It makes for very nice, even gathers. The control is the thing. I encourage you to keep the vee in the back.Do enjoy your vacation: we will miss you, but that’s the point!


Anonymous March 29, 2007 at 4:13 am

It’s a little to apronish for my tastes. I’d feel like I should be holding a dry martini on a small silver serving tray waiting for my husband to walk through the door at the end of a hard day’s work at the office.


Knitting Out Loud March 29, 2007 at 11:15 am

We’d miss you, but vacate, baby, vacate!


Lisette March 29, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I know where you can get black/dark grey seersucker if you’re serious about it! I’m not listing it cause then it will be all gone before I can buy some this weekend but email me if you want it!


mar March 29, 2007 at 7:22 pm

Erin I think that dress is very lovely. Personally, I think it would be a mistake to make it in black. It’s a summery dress, and a fun dress, a dress to wear and feel playful. In my opinion it is asking for a vibrant and bright colour. Whichever colour suits you, but a fun, exciting colour.


marla March 29, 2007 at 11:48 pm

Erin…love the website…it has been a bit of beauty in my life, as well as encouraging me in my sewing experiments…I now realize how much I need a dress form. Love this dress…think the vee at the back makes the dress more grown up than it might be without it. How about black and white gingham with an outrageously bright colour for the belt? However, I do like the thought of it in eyelet…Thanks.


Anonymous March 30, 2007 at 8:47 am

This is surprisingly ruffly for Mollie Parnis. I’m a huge fan of her 70s Ultrasuede dresses, which are quite streamlined, but then Ultrasuede lends itself to that look.


knitgirl March 30, 2007 at 9:58 am

Going through withdrawal here! I hope you come back full of things you need to get onto the blog, because I really miss you. Hope you had a nice, relaxing, vacation.


FIT Fashion Design Student March 30, 2007 at 10:39 am

I just wanted to say that I love when you feature vintage patterns… that was the whole reason I got hooked to Dressaday in the first place. Please dont do away with them. Maybe you can pick a day a week that is pattern day :)Just a thought… enjoy your vacation!


Anonymous May 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Please cotact me at: do you know about Lisette Pattern designs from aMr. and Mrs, Bludau in Hallendale, FLPlease contact me regardless.Thank you, Orgelius Wolff


Martha April 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I swear I’ve seen this dress, made in blue and white, before. Have you already made it and are walking around town with it on? Thanks so much for the pattern. I had one similarly made from a shop on a few years ago for my sister’s wedding. I don’t remember the shop, I’ll try to find it.


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