Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!

by Erin on November 19, 2007

Hey, do y'all remember Andrea, who sent in the picture of the totally awesome eyelet dress a while back? Yes? I knew you would. Well, she's made a hysterically cute 1970s dress now, and here it is:


Isn't it adorable? It's from this pattern:

Simplicity 9964

Andrea says it's her "Marsha Brady" dress, which (as those of us who grew up in the 1970s will attest) is a good thing … sure, Jan was great, but it's nice to be Marsha every once in a while. Especially in a huge-collared wrap dress!

(Also: Andrea sure knows how to make the boots+dress work, doesn't she?)

And in unrelated news, I'm hoping to run a contest for the wiki, to help get us up to, say, 1000 patterns by the end of 2007. Any ideas? I was thinking about maybe writing Secret Lives for ten patterns chosen at random (or the ten highest-rated, or the ten with the most links) from all those uploaded, as soon as we get to 1000.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Lydia November 19, 2007 at 8:27 am

Where. Did She Get. Those. Boots.*ded from boot lust*–Lydia


Elrond Hubbard November 19, 2007 at 9:20 am

Genius. If I had to work in that environment, I would hope that there would be someone around who would wear (and make!) things like that dress and those boots.


barbie2be November 19, 2007 at 9:43 am

oh my god, that dress is SO totally marcia brady! love it.


Cassie November 19, 2007 at 9:44 am

Speaking of Secret Lives, you once mentioned that something in the computer burped just as you finished one. And that was a while ago. *puppy eyes*


Anonymous November 19, 2007 at 10:22 am

I’ll be the contrarian-that dress is totally wearing her and not the other way around. Vintage should not look like a costume.


La BellaDonna November 19, 2007 at 11:33 am

I will throw out a point to ponder (or at least, a point that I ponder): why do people – or rather, some people, sometimes – say “Costume” as if it were a bad thing?I haven’t worked that out yet. It’s not illegal, immoral, or fattening – although it may empty the wallet a lot faster than one would like!If all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women (merely) players, then of course they need costumes!A bit of Costumery is not a bad thing, IMO.


Kristi November 19, 2007 at 11:44 am

She looks adorable!


rebecca November 19, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Oh, I so agree, la belladonna! My mother credits my fashion sense with the truly incredible dress-up box she provided in my childhood. (turn-of-the century shirtwaists! felt flapper hats! poly double-knit sundresses?!) I still dress with a “let’s see what we have here” attitude and I have yet to find someone who enjoys clothes more than I do. Great dress, Andrea!


Melodie November 19, 2007 at 12:47 pm

I third, (or fourth) our Lady Labelladonna. We all wear costumes everyday. Some say “I fear I won’t be taken seriously unless I wear a severe suit,” some say “Scrubs are just the easiest thing to wear even though I don’t actually work anywhere near the medical or childcare fields,” some say “Oh, this, yeah, I slept in this last night and wore it yesterday.”Those of us who have boring office jobs need to amuse ourselves in some manner, and wearing fun clothes is a pretty good way to do it.I don’t even know what “that dress is totally wearing her” means.She looks happy and comfortable and there is little more one can ask.


Anonymous November 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Kudos to Andrea for creativity, boldness, and a sense of fun. But I have to agree with anon 11:22. Too costumey in its final execution. A different choice of fabric and a pair of tights would change my mind.


moggy November 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm

I fifth you la belladonna! Does “too costumey” mean “you don’t look like everyone else around here”? Nothing wrong with that! IMO it beats “fashionable but unflattering” in my book, which is more common. If you “costume” it up, you get to pick what suits you best and makes you smile (says she who is wearing a circle skirt and net petticoat to work today)


Anonymous November 19, 2007 at 3:42 pm

It’s Marcia Brady, not Marsha Brady.Also, you said ‘nauseous’ and what you really meant was ‘nauseated’.Now go wash your hands!Hee hee! :) That’s actually kind of fun!


Moonwishes November 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Well I am with those who are thinking ‘unfashionable and unflattering’. Even during its heyday, that dress was for young ladies and might look cute on a 15 year-old if it was a good color on her. This dress makes the wearer look like she is wearing someone else’s dress. Perhaps it is the color, perhaps it is the awful miniskirt hemline (I can’t believe those are back) or that she is too old for the dress. I don’t think it works.However on to the Wiki project. 10 life in a vinatage dress stories would be good payment. Say one for every 100 dresses. I certainly want to contribute as I have time, but right now I am in a sewing mood and so I need to sew — Christmas is a coming!!!!


Laurel Lyon November 19, 2007 at 6:00 pm

I’ve been influenced by your blog enough to start buying vintage patterns and fabrics, but not made anything yet… Can I make an unrelated comment? 2 fabric things on ebay worth seeing today: this fabric sold for 1,627 dollars: was going to bid 15 bucks on that!) and I spent waaaay too much money on fabrics here:'s so great! and so tempting! If all this had been available when I still had a 22 inch waist god only knows what would have become of me.


Anonymous November 20, 2007 at 1:29 am

Hey, it’s “Anon. 11:22!” I wanted to explain a few things. As for “the clothing wearing the wearer”-I mean that if an article of clothing does not look as though the wearer is at ease in the clothing it can look like the person is merely a prop for the outfit. I guess that the term is a regionalism that I grew up with. It’s one of those things like porn; you know it when you see it.As for “too costumey,” well, I am a “fancy” dresser who is 35 and still has the “dress-up” clothes bag. I believe that we all have variations on a uniform that we wear-others have mentioned scrubs, suits, etc. When it veers into the costume territory to me is when the wearer wears an item without regard to whether it flatters them or if they wear it to convey a message…like a costume. I feel that Andrea saw this pattern and said “Hey, I love this cool ’70s look. Let’s go all Marcia Brady with this piece!!” Not “Hey, I love this cool ’70s look. Maybe I can make it with contemporary colors, lengthen the hemline and make it look awesome on me whilst still rocking the retro look.” Take everything with a grain of salt. I will be wearing motorcycle boots, a dashiki dress and Heidi braids to work tomorrow-yes I totally plan my outfits the night before-I am sure someone will be shaking their head and muttering to themselves “Get a load of that costume!”


Carol November 20, 2007 at 5:51 am

I’m afraid I think the hemline and the strange height of the boots (they remind me of an old man wearing socks with sandals) cut her into thirds below the waist and make her look stumpy. Maybe it’s just me.


Laurel Lyon November 20, 2007 at 6:11 am

Well, it’s pretty cute for a maternity dress.


Margot November 20, 2007 at 8:24 am

It’s adorable and she looks so cute in it. I think it is more Georgette from Mary Tyler Moore than Marcia Brady, but all the other “she doesn’t look runway perfect stuff” is kinda beside the point. She isn’t on the runway folks! I get annoyed with the whole hollyweird gofugyerself mindset — as enjoyable as *that* can be to read sometimes, if you take a conversation or an outfit out of context-it’s easy to slip into a critique as if it were drawing 101 yer freshman year in college.


supermollio November 20, 2007 at 8:45 am

Oh, if I had Andrea’s gorgeous long legs, I would wear exactly that hemline every darn day! She looks a-dooor-able.


Katherine November 20, 2007 at 9:22 am

It is totally fun. I’d like to work in an office with her and I would secretly think…I wish I could pull off something like that. The boots make it modern-hip.


Thursday November 20, 2007 at 9:28 am

I agree absolutely with la belladonna and margot. I love the dress and I think one should wear mini-skirt hemlines for as long as oneself can bear to. If that’s only until 17 fine, if it’s until 50, great. I think people should take more risks. I’d much rather see someone in “an age inappropriate dress” that’s fun than someone who is dressed right for their age bracket in sweats and horror of horrors, crocs. The only sadness this post brings me is that I do not own this pattern to make for myself.


Alison November 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

I think the dress, and Andrea, look wonderful and fun. In fact, I’m thinking of rummaging in my old patterns right now for something similar and I don’t have anything like as good a figure or legs as Andrea – but I think I’ll still look good!


Danika November 20, 2007 at 10:43 am

Once my boyfriend was leaving the house in a spectacularly cape-y dark plaid winter coat, and I said, “you’re wearing your Sherlock Holmes outfit!” It was only when I realized he thought I was insulting him that I also realized other people do not instinctively identify their outfits as “costumes.” But almost all my favorite outfits are ones I think of as allowing me to channel a particular personality trait! I have a prim librarian outfit (good for when I need to speak sternly to my students), a sexy professor outfit (good for when I need to feel powerful, even though no one is in trouble), a fifties waitress outfit (good for when I feel like feeding people pie), a couple of Mary Tyler Moore outfits, a Sporty Fun Barbie outfit (for when I need an extra pick-me-up in order to get to the gym), and so on. I find it incredibly satisfying. How could anyone see this outfit and not just want to go giggle in the ladies bathroom with Andrea? Personally, I am pro giggling.


Anonymous November 20, 2007 at 11:42 am

Andrea totally rocks this outfit! It’s the *attitude* that determines whether one can pull off an particular outfit, and Andrea obviously has that attitude goin’ on. We are not all six foot tall skinny-minnie candidates for Go Fug Yourself, nor should we be judged by those standards. Girlfriend made that cool dress *herself*, and it fits her well – how many of us can even accomplish *that* much? If one spends the better part of one’s waking hours in cubicle-land, pretending you are Marcia is a great way to stay sane.Andrea, You Go Girl! *Love* the dress! I can’t wait to see your next creation.


Katie Alender November 20, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I think this is adorable. I’d love to find something similar… maybe a wee bit longer, to cover my blindingly white legs. I love dresses with whimsy and wit. This has both!


enc November 20, 2007 at 2:09 pm

I applaud anyone who can:a) sewb) find their style–whatever that isc) find joy in what they weard) be courageouse) enjoy life in a cube farm.yay Andrea!


Anonymous November 20, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Cute, cute, cute!!! And the boots are fab!!! Remember those clunky, chunky shoes Marcia used to wear? I have a pair of the clunky Mary Janes that would look so cute with this dress. . .


standgale November 20, 2007 at 4:29 pm

I can’t believe that so many people were so rude. Hopefully the nice people evened it out a bit :(Regards costumes, I deliberately wear costumes because I like dressing up and most clothes are boring. So why bother? The yellow collar veers this slightly in the direction of costume (which I regard as a neutral comment on anything) but only because it is not what everyone else wears every day. Imagine if everyone else in the office is wearing suits, or everyone else is in jeans and t-shirt, this women is like sunshine and I hope she dresses like this everyday to relieve the eyes of her timid co-workers.


Lorinne November 21, 2007 at 9:16 am

I feel giddy and *delighted* when I put together an outfit that feels like a costume!What a fun, fun dress!


Marie-Christine November 21, 2007 at 11:44 am

Can’t help thinking all those bitchy people are just plain envious.. Personally, I’m job hunting, and if I ran into anyone that looked anything like Andrea I’d lie down, chain myself to a cubicle, and refuse to budge till they hired me :-).


Anonymous November 22, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I have to side with the “costumey” folk — I think a less-amoebic, less-bright-yellow, less-miniskirty attempt could be beautiful. But kudos to Andrea for having the courage to make it and the love to wear it!Also, major kudos to Erin for not censoring any of the comments, mean or not. Doing so would immediately have turned the argument into “Is it all right for me to voice an opinion?” rather than “Ought I be kind to the blog’s guests?” The answer to both ought to be a resounding yes!


Anonymous November 24, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Ah, I wish she worked with me. I get the feeling she’s the kind of gal who would just cheer you up when the boss /work/day was getting you down. Excellent energy! Yeah, this outfit isn’t me–but she’s rocking it and it suits her to a T. I’m so glad she did the version with the cool collar.


JuliaR November 25, 2007 at 3:03 pm

No matter what you do, someone somewhere won’t like it. It’s the way of the world.


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