The “Don’t Call Me Mommie Dearest” Outfit
Fabric: Dotted Swiss from JoAnn’s for $13.75 (2 1/2 yards) & Eyelet from Joann’s for $8.00 (1 1/2 yards)
Pattern: Simplicity 1297 for ~$1 from eBay
Notions: Vintage zipper for $0.05
Year: c. 1944
Time to complete: About 4 hours
First worn: April 2010
Wear again? Yes, worn on Easter and today at work. Definitely a keeper.
Most people who know me very well would guess that it was a lifelong dream of mine to dress up in matching dresses with my daughter. Truth is, I really don’t have that much of a desire to do that — in fact, I find it a bit creepy. I can’t help but think of Joan Crawford and her daughter Christina posing in front of their fireplace in their matching Dirndls (incidentally also from 1944). Anyone who has read or seen Mommie Dearest knows that certainly isn’t a mother-daughter dynamic that should be replicated.
That said, leftover fabric from my own Easter dress beckoned to me when it came time to make Penelope’s dress. The pattern I used for my dress is actually part of a mother-daughter pattern set from Simplicity. Here’s the child’s version. I didn’t use that pattern because I had no intention to create a replica dress. Instead I just used my old Simplicity 3854 standby.
My own dress was a breeze to complete. The pattern pieces to the dress are minimal — one front, one back, the sides, straps and the band (I omitted the bows and the skirt band). There were no darts or gathers and no facing to do since the band and the straps fold over on themselves.
I wasn’t diligent in trying the dress on while constructing it and didn’t realize the bodice was too big until I was almost done (I just needed to insert the zipper). So I had to take in the sides and adjust the band. The next time I make this dress, I’ll just be sure to make larger seam allowances.
The bolero was also incredibly easy. Although the pattern called for lining, I wanted to go for a semi see-through look with the eyelet.
I played with using the bows and the second band but just couldn’t get into the buttons and bows cutesyness of it all. Perhaps if I was using a different, less feminine fabric, the bows and band would add to the look.