This Week’s Pattern Story

by Erin on March 24, 2009

From Cemetarian:

ebay item 8305987417

DATELINE: BEDDING, PA: Polly Featherstone, the Winner of Bedding, Pennsylvania's annual "Miss Pillowcase Contest," in (as the rules require) her dress made from a pillowcase, is about to pin on her victory corsage, as her court (First Runner-Up Miss Pillow Sham, and the winner of Miss Soporificality) look on.

The new Miss Pillowcase will sleep in the window of downtown Bedding's Sleepytime Arcade on a mattress made of mattress catalogs for one week. Her other duties include changing the sheets on the town's historic "Washington Slept Here" bed, and leading the town's annual Pillow Fight on July 4.

The title comes with a new mattress, a year's supply of clothespins (because everyone knows line-dried sheets are nicer to sleep on), and a scholarship to the local vocational school for a certificate in interior design.

"We're all so happy Polly won Miss Pillowcase," said a local official. "She's notorious for sleepwalking, so we feel it's especially appropriate."

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Myra March 24, 2009 at 8:16 am

To be that long of a dress, it would have to be body pillow size or it would have been a mini-dress!


Theresa March 24, 2009 at 8:28 am

THat last line (the quote) just slayed me!Myra — maybe she is VERY short


Anonymous March 24, 2009 at 8:38 am

I think Erin was craving a nap when she wrote this story!


La BellaDonna March 24, 2009 at 8:55 am

Ow! Poor Polly, I hope there’s some way to fluff up those mattress catalogs. Either that, or one of her prizes is unlimited chiropractic visits!It’s especially sadistic expecting her to sleep on line-dried sheets! Sure, they SMELL great, and it’s very ecological, but line-dried anything dries stiff and really rough – scritch, scritch, scraaaatch!Heh. This one’s pretty funny, especially since I so recently posted instructions about how to turn a pillowcase into a petticoat. This wouldn’t be a bad nightgown or beach coverup, though, and it would make a nice beginner project for a fairly linear lady.


Anonymous March 24, 2009 at 9:54 am

I think this is a great dress. It reminds me of some dresses by Claire McCardell as she was known for using simple shapes and finding ways to make the size adjustable. It also reminds me of styles from the late 70s and 80s. My mom had several dresses basically made from rectangles of fabric with draw strings. Made in soft fabrics, they were very pretty. I can see this made in a sheer ethno-print with a bias-cut slip/liner in a coordinating color.Amy


Justine March 24, 2009 at 9:58 am

The prizes are so good this year because they had heavy competition for sponsorship. Ambein, Sonata, Lunesta, Tylenol PM, and Somenex all tossed cash and product themed toys, T-shirts, and goodies their way. Congrats Polly! That sleep walking, sleep eating, and sleep driving will wear off once you’ve gotten used to the meds. Then you just won’t sleep at all. But no pesky sleepwalking!


paisleyapron March 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

I cannot stop giggling. Thanks for brightening up my morning.


Nancy (nanflan) March 24, 2009 at 10:29 am

I’m intrigued by this pattern and tempted to replicate something similar. It would be perfect for summertime.


ZombieLace March 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

Hahaha, this randomness just cracks me up, reading this blog gives me a whole new way to look at the illustrations on patterns!


Jess March 24, 2009 at 10:52 am

He he. These always make me smile! Im just starting to learn to sew Ive started a blog over at All advice welcomed!


Nan March 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

The handheld corsage, gloves, and hat make me wonder whether this dress was intended for bridesmaids. (You can wear it again, honest!) But I agree with Anonymous that the idea of a dress you can simply tie on is just lovely.


evalyn March 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Finally: a dress so ugly that the pattern was printed in solid colors only. Any figure on the fabric at all would be an obvious nod of recognition to that fav from the last depression: Dresses from Flour Sacks.


Chantelle March 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I love these stories and have found myself looking more carefully at the pattern envelopes. I’ll bet the stories the envelope women could tell are quite interesting :)


lise March 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Miss Soporificality, hee hee.


Anonymous March 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Pattern ladies are usually of flat, non-rounded dimensions – so are most models! Put this dress on Marilyn Monroe and you’ll find it clings and seduces and voluptuates (yeah, I know it’s not really a word) and all of us will want the pattern!!Thanks for all the stories, Erin, they are great pick-me-ups!


Jean March 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Seems to me Miss Polly is probably started sleepwalking because her neighbor snores so loudly he keeps everyone just on the verge of sleep….Cute!


gwensews March 24, 2009 at 3:59 pm

These are wonderful stories! You have such an imagination, and a grasp on the past!


Gigi March 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Love the pattern, in fact I purchased a knit top made just like this a couple years ago in a white with black polka dots. At first I too thought it would look frumpy, but it is really nice on. An the bonus, I was able to adjust the gathers from sleeveless or cap sleeves. One of those that don’t look as good until you try it on.


Hana March 25, 2009 at 7:48 am

LaBallaDonna: They aren’t scritch-scritch-scratchy at all, if you iron them afterwards. We have always line-dried everything and the trick is to iron. And to remove any folds and creases BEFORE you line-dry them.Erin: This is really an amazingly funny little story. 😀


Nadine March 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Excellent story – one of my all-time faves! I’m in the frumptastic camp with regard to the dress style. And I’m amazed that line-drying results in scratchiness – I’ve never ever encountered that, but then I do live in a place with wind.


Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 6:39 am

They’re a guerilla performance art team. Blondie is the leader. She’s giving her team a bit of a pep talk, and she’s already pulled out her flower. The Brunette is holding hers in her left hand so you can see it. She’s looking around for authority figures while Red tries to look innocuous.All I can say is that there’s going to be a lot of paint, petals and primary colors.


Genevieve March 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

To me the dresses look like the vintage version of slashing your t-shirt sleeves to make fringe.


Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Yes, Genevieve, it reminds me of the ribbon-straps that the little girls wear on their shirts when they play soccer.My co-worker told me of a soccer team defeated because the opposing team all had matching ribbon-straps.But I also think it could be a pretty dress in a floaty floral chiffon.


Rebecca Z. March 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I used to have that dress; made of a soft, loosely woven cotton in cream. I loved it. (But I was young, it was the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, and I wore a size 4 on a fat day. I could have worn flower sacks and looked great.)I’ve been surfing the knitting/sewing blogs for a while now; this is the funniest. And inspirational, to boot. I purchased a piece of fabric on ebay because of the post above, matchmaking fabric and pattern. Maybe I’ll make myself a new version of this beloved, and much missed, dress.Thanks


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