The “Maria Returns from the Abbey” Dress
Fabric: Boucle from Stone Mountain & Daughter – $15 for ~3 yards
Vogue 9944 - $1 from Alameda Antique Fair
Notions: Vintage zipper – $.005
Year: c. 1960
Time to complete: About 10 hours
First worn: April 2010
Wear again? Perhaps.
Total Cost: $16
My daughter is currently obsessed with The Sound of Music. It's the only thing she wants to listen to in the car ("I don't want to hear Edelweiss!!") and I recently bought the DVD ("There's a movie???") for her viewing enjoyment. I never thought I'd watch this movie as much I have in the past month. That's okay, though, because I like the movie as well.
However, there's on thing that drives me absolutely batty: the costume direction/design. It baffles my mind that they'd spend all the money to shoot on location and use helicopters and stuff but couldn't bother to actually try to have period-accurate costumes.
This wasn't the 1830s we're talking about. The 1930s were only thirty years prior to the filming of the movie, for goodness sake! You know someone on the set had to be around in the thirties and must have been thinking "Um, does anyone else notice that the Baroness kind of looks like she just walked off the set of Peyton Place?" The baroness, is, by far, the greatest offender. While her dresses are just wrong, it's probably her hair that makes me angriest.
The point of this story? Every time I'd see the dress Maria's wearing when she returns to the Von Trapp compound, I was reminded of an unfinished dress of mine that was collecting dust in my closet. Not as offensively anachronistic as the Baroness' wardrobe, Maria's dress doesn't necessarily scream "1960s", but the design is quite similar to Vogue 4499 from the early 1960s.
I started working on Vogue 4499 last winter, right when I began sewing. Working with the fabric (boucle) proved to be way too frustrating and when I had all but sewn the zipper and hem, I realized that the dress was way too small. Instead of the trash, the dress went into the closet and I assumed I would never finish it. Fast forward to this past Tuesday night when I needed a new dress for Wednesday work and I had about 2% motivation to sew.
Thanks to regular exercise, the dress fit! Sure, it's a bit snug but I could get it on and over my birthing hips and butt. I'm still not crazy about the fabric, but it was wearable to work. I could even imagine wearing it again if I lost a couple more pounds. I have a crazy little desire to be comfortable in my clothes and this dress is just a little too constricting.
That all said, I think I would be happier if I made the dress in a different fabric, perhaps a stretchy knit or rayon. I'd also want to do the piping as the illustration shows since that is the cutest detail.