Too Much? Or Never Enough?

by Erin on November 21, 2007


ebay item 8305987417

I can't believe I missed this wonder (it was at MOMSpatterns). What was I thinking? For that matter, what were THEY thinking? Because there is a LOT going on here. There's the placket and the buttons and the collar and the gathers, plus the pocket/belt-loop combo. No wonder she's wearing shades!

Of course, I totally want this pattern now, so that I can obsess about making it in some bright color and coordinating the topstitching on the pockets with the belt. And the buttons. And, quite possibly, some sunglasses of my own.

I'm purposely not looking at the green and black trompe l'oeil it's-a-blouse-and-skirt-No!-it's-a-dress combo. La, la, la, I'm ignoring that. Keep looking at the pretty lady in red with me. Also ignore that green-and-black is holding what could reasonably be a Marc Jacobs handbag.

Which leads me to my next thought: what if some magnificent prankster is designing NEW old vintage patterns, ones that only exist as these digital images, and planting them to drive me insane with covetousness? I am well and truly punk'd if that is the case … I give up. C'mon, where's the hidden camera? You got me.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

twollin November 21, 2007 at 7:14 am

My mom was a real fan of the “make the top different and somehow you might fool someone into thinking it’s a blouse and skirt” thing. I do not know where that came from – I’m sure some media historian out there has a Vogue or Good Housekeeping magazine from the late 40s/early 50s that had an article advocating this. But like you said, there’s an awful lot going on with this. Almost too much, really.

Reply

Linda A-Z November 21, 2007 at 7:52 am

I think that I would much prefer it if it were a skirt and blouse combo. I have a skirt my mom gave me that looks like that and every time I wear it my husband tells me I am channeling Mrs. Cleaver! LOLLinda (wearing a sparkly, sequined sweater today, just because I can)

Reply

diane November 21, 2007 at 7:52 am

I also think its interesting that the true waist with the belt is lower than the waist seam. I have a couple of theory’s about this dress. It is very 50s, emphasize-the-breasts-as-much-as-humanly-possible. That front placket works to seperate. The gathers create fullness and interest. Even those curved collars act to frame. I think the skirt blouse thing is just another lets-be-as-clever-as-we-can attitude. I would like to think this dress was created in a “madmen” type of plot twist. The men let a secretary design the dress. She, knowing it was her one and only chance, pulled out all her most clever design tricks and put them into her one masterpiece. I like it very much. And unlike Channel, would not take a single piece away. I enjoy checking in on Dress A Day, Erin! It is a nice relaxation for me! Thank-you!Diane

Reply

The other diane November 21, 2007 at 8:02 am

I’m voting for the green and black combo. Having the skirt and blouse as a dress eliminated the blouse from pulling away from the skirt as happens traditionally. Of course, Donna Karan addressed this problem with the bodysuit in the 1980s but we got tired of undoing the snaps every time we went to the restroom. Most of the time a faux blouse/skirt would have a matching jacket. It would seem Ms. Green left the house without her bolero.

Reply

Kristen November 21, 2007 at 8:09 am

i have to admit a strange and inexplicable like for green-and-black also. i theorize that you just like red because she looks like you. ;)

Reply

libby November 21, 2007 at 8:23 am

What cracks me up is the little dolman sleeve. How could they miss the opportunity to include yet another pattern piece?Black and olive touches the retro-button at a very deep level. I can’t explain it either, Kristen. (It’s my current favorite paint combo being offered at Harley-Davidson, too.)

Reply

Cawti November 21, 2007 at 8:47 am

And those of us who were once hourglass shaped but are now edging into pear know full well the benefits of a lighter color above the waist and a darker color below. I personally love this, but I’m in a thanksgiving-ish mood and wanting fall colors, so I’m thinking something tawny with red undertones for the top of the bi-color one, with a too-brown-to-be-cinnamon for the skirt. And garnets for jewelry.

Reply

kim p. November 21, 2007 at 9:02 am

Looks like a home ec final exam project to me!I noticed that handbag, too. Highly suspicious. Even looks like it has a pocket for a cellphone. Actually, it was probably for ciggies!They do look like a couple of fun gals, I have to say. I like the shades/glove combo especially.

Reply

enc November 21, 2007 at 9:04 am

. . . at last, Miss Erin’s paranoia takes hold . . . .tee hee(If only someone were clever enough to devise that diabolical a plan!)

Reply

Gaile November 21, 2007 at 9:41 am

oooooooo I so covet that!!! I loooooooooove the green and black. and yes, it indeed cries out for a coordinating jacket. wiping off the drool. adding this to my automagic ebay search list. yummmm

Reply

Stephanie November 21, 2007 at 9:45 am

Green & black for me, too! Also, I LOVE the idea of someone making faux vintage patterns. It sounds like a really good art project. Now I wish someone would actually go do it. (I can’t draw worth a flip.) I want a giant one to hang in my craft room.

Reply

marcysweb@gmail.com November 21, 2007 at 10:52 am

for some reason, comments are coming up with some form of asian language (anyone else getting that?) but hopefully this cry will be heard:PLEASE MAKE THAT DRESS. THE BELT LOOPS ARE PART OF THE INSANELY HUGE POCKET, FOR GOD’S SAKE.i love that dress.since i don’t know if i will show up as an anon: love, marcy.ps: my parents used to sit with their coffee and wait with anticipation for me to come down the stairs in some sequined-lace-bedazzled outfit. all hail those who make the everyday spectacular!

Reply

Kate November 21, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I love the Green & Black, too, if only because it’s now officially named after a rather lovely brand of chocolate. I read somewhere today that Chanel used to do a lot of combining skirts and tops so they looked like two-pieces but were actually one. I guess it would stop that annoying skirt shifting itself around as you walk so the seams are all in the wrong place thing (or is that just me?).

Reply

Dawn November 21, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Well, you can count my vote for the green & black, too. That is very sharp. Apparently (and thankfully) I’m not the only one swayed by the colors used by the pattern artist. More than once I’ve found myself making a garment in colors similar to the ones on the envelope. Makes me feel creative if I’m ever able to make myself just use a different fabric! Cawti’s choice of autumn colors would look wonderful, and sadly I’d probably never have thought of that. Erin, can you contact whoever bought this and ask her to show us her version of it? Hey, that would be a fun challenge for us, though no doubt impossible – all of us get the same pattern and see all the different looks that we come up with!Dawn

Reply

Dawn November 21, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Well, you can count my vote for the green & black, too. That is very sharp. Apparently (and thankfully) I’m not the only one swayed by the colors used by the pattern artist. More than once I’ve found myself making a garment in colors similar to the ones on the envelope. Makes me feel creative if I’m ever able to make myself just use a different fabric! Cawti’s choice of autumn colors would look wonderful, and sadly I’d probably never have thought of that. Erin, can you contact whoever bought this and ask her to show us her version of it? Hey, that would be a fun challenge for us, though no doubt impossible – all of us get the same pattern and see all the different looks that we come up with!Dawn

Reply

vespabelle November 21, 2007 at 1:40 pm

for me, that dress is all about the placket and gathers at the bust! I’d make it up as a shirt rather than a dress though.

Reply

Andrea November 21, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Hmmm, if you click on the pic and read the momspatterns description, it says “2 piece dress”. This, to me, means skirt and blouse combo. I’d love to see the line drawing or pattern pieces. Either way, I love both versions of this outfit.

Reply

Karen November 21, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I love the shape, and the green and black combo. But this is a great example of why I only buy about 5 patterns a year with the intent to sew them. I can not pull off that gathered bustline, it distorts my top half too much. I do want the red fabric, maybe its just the picture but I see a really neat texture in that, almost like a subtle feminine herringbone. And I love the white gloves and sunglasses, how COOL is that model?

Reply

Anonymous November 21, 2007 at 5:36 pm

I love the green and black with a love that knows no end. Unfortunately this pattern is probably several years beyond my skill level, but oh, how long and lovely my legs would look with that high waistline. And you wouldn’t necessarily need a coordinating jacket (which might be too matchy matchy…). A cardigan would look adorable with it as well. -Elizabeth

Reply

Theresa November 21, 2007 at 6:33 pm

We could all do the Butterick Walk-A-Way dress…I think by now we all have the pattern…or the duro…

Reply

Virginia November 21, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I’ve been reading your blog about a month and really got a kick out of today’s entry – I’m the one who bought the pattern. After I make it up (and I’m not promising when that will be), I’ll be happy to pass it on.

Reply

laura November 22, 2007 at 12:49 am

I have to confess that it’s the green and black combo that really caught my eye!

Reply

lorraine November 22, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Go, green and black! It’s hard for hourglass shapes to pull off a button-down and skirt. The top keeps pulling out and poofing at the waist. This is perfect. And how ’bout her hair?! I’m taking this picture to my stylist!

Reply

Deirdre November 23, 2007 at 11:43 am

What’s up with the red dress woman’s teeth? Vampire much?I second the comment that this dress needs to be made purely for the patch-pocket-that-doubles-as-a-belt-loop ingenuity.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: