Scary Chic

by Erin on April 6, 2011


I almost didn't post this fantastic dress (pattern on Etsy from Sandritocat) because of how painfully thin the model in the photo is — she's not smiling, she just moved her lips aside so we could see her clenched teeth —  and she looks so cold! Thank goodness for those pockets, at least her hands are warm.

Luckily, the illustrated view is a bit less grim.

This isn't my size (neither is the model) but if you're on the more petite side (and under 11 feet tall, which this model also seems to be) you might want to snap this up. It's much chic-er than I remember the 1970s being (and much chic-er than I was in the 1970s, although, to be fair, nobody in elementary school was wearing stuff like this, either). I wish it were my size, because I know I personally have about twenty-five yards of various shirting cottons that would work for a dress like this … 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Serenity April 6, 2011 at 5:34 am

Her boobs look nonexistent! Maybe I need this dress….


MB@YarnUiPhoneApp April 6, 2011 at 5:39 am

It amazes me how many vintage 1970s patterns are at 32 1/2…were women really smaller busted then? Anyhow, the line drawing shows more of the bodice detail which draws the eye upward and really really flatters a small waist. I could probably fit into the pattern given the model barely fits into her dress if she’s wearing a 32 1/2. The bodice alone could work as a top. So many possibilities!


Kate in England April 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

Other sizes available on Etsy – one of them now mine, hooray. Thanks for the tip off!


Lori Clark April 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

I made this one the first time around. Cream colored linen with lots of rust top stitching. I loved that dress. Of course, it was when I had no chest to support and a tiny waist. I’ll pass on it this time but thank you for a great memory.


Packrat April 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I could never wear this type of pattern. No fullness on me to fill out the top. lol


Rachel W. April 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

There are several ’70’s patterns languishing in my local thrift store that I can’t bring myself to snatch up, just because the models are so frighteningly thin!


Maggie April 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

This same model is now featured in the current Vogue Patterns magazines. They did a piece on her last year in the fall. She looks good…not as thin as she was here!


Molly Harrington April 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm

ooooh I had to snatch this up! So glad it was still for sale, I’ve missed out on so many I’ve seen before on here! I’m not rail thin, but petite and a size 0. I’m crossing my fingers!!!


PZ April 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Nice collar, horrid bust and bodice
with pockets like that, who needs a handbag!! Hip hip…


Susan D April 7, 2011 at 6:51 am

Hey, isn’t that Trixie Belden in the pink?


Corinne April 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

I also wore this the first time around. Just to be clear, I was never than thin, but the cut of a halter top does thin the profile because shoulders appear to be wider.


Carol April 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

In the 70s size 10 was extra small! I wore a size 12 pattern in high school. I am 5’7″ and weighed under 120 lbs.


Dawn April 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

Scary is right. It’s photos/models like this that keep a lot of women from making certain dresses just because they won’t hang straight down like that. I would never envy that washboard chest, though.


Theresa April 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Good Lord, someone get her a sandwich, STAT!


Beth April 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Yikes! She is a little frightening- gorgeous dress though, I love those huge, long skirts– perfect for striding across a quad with an ‘Equality Now’ placard. (Or maybe just for sprawling in the park.) And yes, I agree, the girl in pink is indeed Trixie Belden. Any moment she’ll be looking for the ‘new Dodge’.


Briana April 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I just finished reading your novel today … and when I read that you had this blog, I wanted to find it immediately.

My mother and I share books. She passes along her romance novels, her mystery books with recipes, and the occasional book about vampires. Well, actually, she just shares with me … she doesn’t usually care for the classics I enjoy.

She said your book was different from her normal reading fare but that she had enjoyed it. I absolutely loved your novel.

Thanks for writing … and for making me think. I’m inspired to reminisce about the stories of the dresses I own and love … and I’m secretly hoping that one day I’ll find a dress that shares its backstory with me.


Berenice Trickett April 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

I loved this pattern, I think I made it 7 times in high school! Grandma always made me sew the bodice up though… Good girls don’t exhibit that much chest (not that I had any to begin with). Thanks for the memory lane trip.


Pattern Junkie April 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I’ve had this pattern on my wishlist for a while! So cool!


KathyB April 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Wow, That was a trip into the past for me! Thanks. I’m happy to see that you are still sewing clothing. Kudos to you, girl! I bet you have a wonderful stash of new and vintage fabrics. I rarely sew clothing ‘from scratch’ anymore, but I occasionally recreate pieces for myself. My love of sewing has become my art medium, and now I use very small pieces of fabric. Stop by and see what I do with the


AnnieH April 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Hi… I actually made this dress out of orange fortrel. I loved it. Unfortunately I also outgrew it! But it made a nice pinafore for my first granddaughter (who is 24 now!)


JM May 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Couldn’t you just wrap it around yourself and grab a pair of castanets?


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