The Answer to a Question No One Seems to Ask

by Erin on June 21, 2010

So a question I often pose to myself in idle hours (not that I have any "idle hours" anymore; "idle forty seconds" is the most I can hope for) is: is there a garment you could wear in any era? Say, if you were a time traveler (for example, cough, a companion to a certain Time Lord, cough)?


This pattern might be a contender (especially the cowl-neck Princess Leia version). Doesn't it say "I'm going to get medieval on your ass" and "the future has stewardesses" simultaneously? If it were made from that fabric they had in the Zenna Henderson stories which could be smoothed and stretched to any length, this would be perfect. Lengthen the skirt for the past, raise it for the future, add a nice cardigan and go anywhere in space or time!   

This pattern has a very precise location in space and time: it's at CoconutPie's Etsy shop. (And Susan at Coconut Pie offers a a 10 per cent discount to anyone who mentions "dressaday" in their notes to seller.)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

sewistafashionista June 21, 2010 at 6:08 am

My husband is a big fan of Dr. Who. The Doctor traipses about and no one seems to notice is sartorial irregularities.

I like the Princess Leia version a lot. In cream too. I don’t know what that says about me.


apeppermintpenguin June 21, 2010 at 6:43 am

So you are still clinging on to 10th? Doctor “Bow ties are Cool!” hasn’t got you yet?

Amy Pond has TERRIBLE clothes. In fact there haven’t really been any dresses on DW for a while. I’m not counting the period appropriate wear of the denizens of where/whenever, just the companions. It’s hard not to like Ms Pond though – “did you just *Shush* me!?!”

Shrinking and stretching hemlines – excellent concept. Will Spoonflower print it?



Sheila / Out of the Ashes Collectibles June 21, 2010 at 7:29 am

Love it! Most of the Simplicity Designer Fashion patterns were awesome and unique.


Margaret June 21, 2010 at 7:43 am
Beangirl June 21, 2010 at 8:19 am

Amy Pond can NOT dress, but AJ is (as usual) so right: “Did you just SHUSH me??” is brilliant.

I’m not super-keen on the new Doctor, but I said that about the last one too and I ended up loving him (it’s really hard to get over Christopher Eccleston– just in general I would think).

This dress is SO Not Too Distant Future Retro. Perfect.


lsaspacey June 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

Yes, ALL of your links in the post go to the Zenna Henderson site.


Linda June 21, 2010 at 9:04 am

That beige dress is beautiful. Wish I could look like that. I’m too short-waisted to wear that large a belt.


Caryn Ann June 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

It is now sold, but does anyone remember how much it was? I will be looking for another of it on ebay and want an idea of a fair price.

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Kate in England June 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I’m glad it’s not just me who spends endless amounts of time wondering what to wear when accompanying that particular time traveller. That might also account for the otherwise inexplicable length of striped brown suiting I have in my stash.


PatternJunkie June 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I LOVE this pattern! I have it and the cowl version is on my list to make — when I become a time traveler and can travel to the time to called “hours of leisure to sew”!


Kim June 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

This pattern has sold already! Boo! I really want to do a search for the pattern, but I can’t make out the pattern number. Can anyone help???


Sarah June 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I actually would like to make and wear the dress on the right – does this make me strange?? As for the good Doctor, I have a husband who is a long-time fan (he wants a Dalek for his office desk….). As for me, I can’t seem to get into Matts Smith’s Doctor – sorry but David Tennant has set the bar so high….loved the Agatha Christie episode in particular.


Lisa Laree June 21, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Another Zenna Henderson fan!! Shoot, I’m thrilled to find someone who’s even heard of her… :-)

Shrinking…stretching…change the color by stroking it just so…fabric nirvana!


Coconut Pie June 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

It’s Simplicity 8648. Sold for 12.95. I wish I had another one to sell. Hope to see you ladies in my shop!


Rebecca June 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I love Zenna Henderson!!! Glad to meet another fan (or two).


Anna June 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

I was never clear on whether the stretchy fabric in Zenna Henderson’s books was stretchy because it was special fabric, or stretchy because of something the People could do.


Kathryn June 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Nice spotting of a very versatile pattern. This would be a good one for a would be theater costumer to add to their stash.


Maria June 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

“The future has stewardesses”?! That totally cracked me up. The dress is pretty fabulous, too, although I can’t really wear that style successfully.


Nathalie June 23, 2010 at 3:30 am

Love that dress. The cream version is gorgeous!

And have finally warmed to 11, bow ties and all. The Van Gogh episode got me hook line and sinker and I haven’t looked back since (not that I could with all those tears in my eyes, it was so sad and moving!).


Bunny Hand June 23, 2010 at 5:33 am

so glad you referenced Zenna Henderson. Didn’t know about the book and rushed right out on the net to find it. Zenna made adolescence bearable for me…


Jesse June 24, 2010 at 7:47 am

According to all those Modern Girl Trapped in a Fairy Tale/Time Travel made-for-TV movies, it seems all a girl needs is high-heeled boots and a long velvet jacket…and this dress, of course.


Kathleen June 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

I really like this style but I’d make the neckline come down a little further.


Fourth Daughter June 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm

As usual I prefer the picture to the actual photo of the dress… funny how in the 60s their ‘futuristic’ style was mini skirts and plastic boots etc and now it’s more like full body vinyl a la Lady Gaga… I much prefer the 60s vision!!


Ken MacLeod June 26, 2010 at 4:40 am

Teresa Nielsen Hayden has a story about how she identifies time travellers here. Clothes are part of it.


Mugdha July 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Absolutely love the Leia-style dress. It positively makes me want to learn to sew.


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