The “I know it’s silly” Dress

My reality is that I don’t really have anywhere to wear a LBD, or a BBD in my case given that I am a size 16 and just under 5’10 (175cms).

The reality is that I have a tonne of washing to do every week.  My husband is a tiler – he gets absolutely filthy every day.  You can imagine, dust from cutting hundreds of tiles, glue, grout and building site filth come home with him.

We have two washing machines and two clothes lines.  Don’t forget the two boys.  My laundry mountain is only obliterated a couple of time a year!

So I was thinking about how silly it was that I was prancing about my courtyard taking these photos, with my clothesline in the background – mocking me with its “I’ll be seeing you later!”, while wearing my big black 50’s dress with it big petticoat underneath.

But you know what?  After weeks of fulfilling everyone else’s expectations of me – two weeks of running the kids around for the holidays, one day spent at the hospital after Noah had a terrific trampolining accident and put a tooth through his face (he’s all better, now thanks to the plastic surgeons), it felt good to do something for me.

This was a UFO – I think I started it first four years ago – it was my the first attempt using a 50’s pattern   I decided I would use some of the wool that had sat around since my student days – and that yes, it would be a great idea to use some for a toile!  Lookey, lookey – perfect fit – love that!

This has become my favourite dress pattern  and I have made a the skirt many times (omitting the front pleat).

The best thing about this dress IMHO is the “Bosum” piece, it is a Crescent shaped piece which is gathered and gives you a little “more” in that area if you are lacking!! The skirt also covers all my flaws. The little cap sleeves are kind to plump arms. I believe it is the perfect dress for pear shaped women!

To finish it I had to overlock all the seams, insert the zip, and bind the neckline and sleeves.  I did the binding in a Cotton Lycra Sateen – it’s not sitting quite flat – but I can live with it.

Thanks to my lovely friend and sewing buddy, Toni for help with the hem – we decided we should buy one of those chalk puffer hemming devices.

The 1950’s Whimsey I am wearing is a present from my friend Rozie, she bought it for me on my Birthday from Mint Condition for $25 – bit of a bargain. I love the little birds on the veil.
So now I have a black dress on standby for any occasion – not silly at all is it?

The Facts

Fabric: Wool from stash from a million years ago and some Cotton Lycra Sateen $14.95/m

Pattern: McCalls 9400

Year:  1950’s

Notions: Zip

Time to complete: It’s been years!

First worn: For the photos

Wear again: Can’t wait

Total Cost: I’m calling it nothing


17 thoughts on “The “I know it’s silly” Dress

  1. I think the dress looks lovely on you! I’m diggin’ the 50’s and 60’s dress styles lately, too. You are so right, very flattering and feminine! Now let’s talk about those shoes……I LOVE them!

    • Oh thanks Beth, so kind. The shoes are from a very daggy (Australian for unstylish) brand, where I buy all my shoes from – because I have to wear orthotics (due to very flat feet). So one day I walked in and found these babies – which are 1920’s inspired, let us say! Apparently the shoe manufacturer was commissioned with making the shoes for Peter Jackson’s King Kong movie. They were heavily reduced and they had my size, and as red and black is one of my favourite colour combinations – it was meant to be! I wore them all one day once and nearly crippled myself (my chiropractor fixed me up!) they hurt my feet so much! But just the quick thing for a quick photo! The label was called Kumfs then but is now known as Ziera – if you want to search for them online! So now you know – I live in flats – how’s that for some more reality!

  2. Hi there! I found your blog from my, Retro Sewing Vintage Fashion, and I just wanted to tell you that there is nothing silly about your LBD, it’s lovely and you look lovely in it. I suggest you wear it at least once a week if only for an hour, dance around the house, drink tea in the garden or just sit there and stare at the laundry 🙂

  3. Oh, those shoes are just DIVINE. I love the dress – the fabulous upper bodice piece gives this LBD lots of character. I think you could wear this every day if you wanted, it’s so fabulous 🙂

  4. I reiterate your previous commentors, there is no such thing as a silly dress. Why I have a whole wardrobe of them. The Frock looks fabulous and one always feels so much better dressed up, even if it is to hang out the washing…..

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