Another wrap-it-up dress

Butterick 6655

Reader Renee sent this lovely pattern image to me — she's actually made it, and the pattern was her grandmother's.

The pattern envelope reads:

"Make it in a jiffy — then simply slip it over your head, wrap the back to the front and button — you're set for a dozen chores in and out of doors. Carryall pockets are a handy addition. (A) Short cobbler's apron. (B) Coverall."

Renee also helpfully sends us the back of the pattern (have I mentioned lately how much I love you all? I really do)

Butterick 6655

Because I am an evil, horrible person, before I posted this I searched on eBay and found and bought one — in my size, even. I now recommend you do a search on eBay yourself (since I got mine). (See how awful I am?)

The only other one I found online is at SoVintage Patterns … and it's $35.00. I would love to go find Renee's grandmother and tell her that this Saturday knock-around dress pattern now goes for $35. Worth every penny, really, but still!

The nice thing about this version (compared with the the other wrap-around dress, Butterick 4790) is that this one shouldn't have the skirt-riding-up problem that was reported. Oh, and it has POCKETS! Triangular ones!

I think what I like best about these dresses is the implied assumption that you had STUFF TO DO; stuff that might be dirty or messy, but still, STUFF, and you were going to do it, and look good while doing it. And happy. You were going to look happy, too, or at least these women were. I don't see many modern clothes with this assumption … so I have a huge rant building up about the unnecessary disparagement of practical clothing for women. Prepare yourselves …

And I head to Tokyo today and Taipei on Tuesday, so posting might be spotty over the next few days. If you're a recent arrival here at ADAD HQ, may I direct you to the archives, over there on the right? Scroll down …

A great big tease.

Vogue 1955 pattern book

Peggy very nicely sent me the link to this eBay auction, which is for the June-July 1955 issue of Vogue Pattern Book.

I used to collect these old pattern magazines until I realized that all they did was make me covet the patterns, which were then impossible to find. It's not like I could hie myself down to JoAnn's at the $3 Vogue Pattern sale and pick up a couple copies.

Sadly, the one on this page that I really like (4544, lower right hand corner) did not reveal itself to the Questing Robots of Google, nor was it available in the Hanging Gardens of eBay. And the couple others I looked at from the listing images were AWOL from those places, too.

However, if YOU like to torment yourself by drooling over pictures of patterns you probably won't ever be able to find, go ahead and bid. Be my guest. Or if you have a line on Vogue 4544, leave a comment …

Random Walks

McCalls 3053

Do you know what my favorite organizing principle is? (No, not "the pile", although if you've seen my office, that's an excellent guess.) My favorite organizing principle is "random".

"RANDOM is not an organizing principle!" I hear you saying. Well, just because something isn't a GOOD example of a category doesn't mean it doesn't belong to that category. (For instance, 'vomit' is a flavor, it's just not a good one.)

Things are nice and tidy and predictable when they're in categories and folders (and, yes, piles) but I like to choose things arbitrarily. Pick the fourth restaurant on the list and eat there. Opt for the book with the most colors on the cover. Talk to the person carrying the largest bag.

Or, my favorite, choose a random four-digit number and search the eBay vintage pattern category using it. That's how I found this gem, McCalls 3053, and I love it! If this were my size, I'd have bought it already — but it's B32. (Sigh.)

I just love the little button and the tuck that defines the sleeve. I'd probably put a different skirt on it, I don't like a center-front skirt seam, but hey, that's just me. Maybe I'll pick the skirt randomly, and see what happens …

Would someone please throw a party?

ebay item 120144108018

Seriously, would someone throw a party? I know at least five people who need an excuse to wear this dress. We may have to wait a while, because flocked gingham (flocked TAFFETA gingham) isn't really a late-July, early-August kind of thing, but still.

Here are the requirements for the kind of party needed to showcase this dress:

  • grown-up drinks
  • soft lights
  • 'sophisticated' canap├ęs, circa 1955 — e.g., pigs in blankets
  • a nice low armless chair so you can sit and spread out the skirt
  • red lipstick

That last requirement is for the wearer, not the party … not everyone at the party has to wear red lipstick, although it wouldn't hurt. But seriously, that's it. How hard is that?

This dress is from seller Tori at Flashbak58 Bombshell Frocks, and it's a nice larger size … B42,W34!

The only thing is that I'm late posting this so there's only half a day left in the auction (I don't usually like to post things with less than three days to go …). Click on the image to grab your winter party frock now …

My eyes are up HERE

Tocca Dress

This falls squarely under the category "What were they thinking?"

I mean, really. I can't imagine any sane woman buying this dress and expecting not to have to constantly, um, *refocus* the conversation. Or feeling comfortable wearing it any place where she might possibly encounter fourteen-year-old boys.

Of course, if you were of the right cup size to wear this dress sans support, you might enjoy a little bit of optical reinforcement. Maybe. Perhaps. It's a thought.

Aw, hell, who are we kidding? This dress is a train wreck. One caused by the engineer taking his eyes from the track, actually.

The topper, of course, is that the slightly darker image on her right side looks like a third nipple. (Hey! You were thinking it too! Or if you weren't, you are now.)

If you would like to buy this dress (perhaps to film yourself wearing it and the reactions of those around you, as an interesting documentary topic), it's at Nordstroms. It's by Tocca (who should Know Better), and is $319. (As usual, click on the image to visit the catalog page.)

[Thanks to Dianne for the link!]

To the Max(i-dress)!

Malia Maxi-dress

Holly tipped me off that a bunch of eBay sellers are doing a special promo on the maxi-dress through August 8. The dress above is part of the promotion, and you can find other dresses by searching for the label TVMF ("The Vintage Maxi Factor").

Despite hardly ever wearing them, I *love* maxi-dresses. They're so hippie-glamorous. I feel that they should be worn at home, entertaining, with bare feet. There should be something jazzy playing on the stereo (or coming from your iPod), none of the seating should be more than eighteen inches off the floor, and all the drinks should be at least half ice.

All of which would explain why I hardly ever wear maxi-dresses, because all the above prerequisites are hardly ever met, at least for me. But maybe I should relax a few of those conditions, so I could snap up dresses like this. This one is COTTON (a lot of those maxi-dresses are synthetics, which I really don't like) and it's got such a great print! If only it weren't beige … I can't really wear beige, unless I want to practice looking naked and/or invisible. But if you had darker skin than mine (I will NOT say the dread word TAN) this would be gorgeous on you! And look both elegant and effortless at once.

And maybe your feet wouldn't HAVE to be bare … flat colorful sandals would work. No heels, though. Heels with a maxi-dress is Trying Too Hard.

This gorgeous maxi is from the eBay seller nomusicnolife and is B38 … and in great condition! If you are looking for the perfect fancy beach party/casual outdoor wedding-guest dress for this summer, I think this is it.

Make sure you hold one of those froofy parasol-required drinks while wearing it, though. That's one condition I won't waive.

Following up

butterick 6936

Remember the busy-day dress with the fancy pockets, the one I wrote about here? Well, I knew I'd written about it before, and there's the image up above (actual previous post is here).

The bodice on the busy-day dress is different, as I mashed up one from another pattern … this one.

Oh, and if you're still interested in a tape measure (see below), you might want to get a move on … half of them are gone ALREADY! (I know, I can't believe it either.)

So here's the link again, for handy reference: