Saturday, September 20, 2008


I’m developing a program, “No Skimpy Christmas Here,” a one-woman presentation in which I portray my grandmother, Ina Dobson. I have one scheduled presentation -- in December, of course. With that in mind, I have been seeking a frumpy frock, a housedress or housecoat, that I could wear as a costume. My ideas as to that dress are fairly fixed, and I have looked through all current pattern publications for a suitable pattern or one that I could easily (emphasis on “easily”) modify. Failing that, I also searched the web and finally found the pattern shown on, my favorite website for vintage patterns.

This pattern, published in 1931, is a size 16. The bust is supposed to be 34 and hip 37. A size 12 in today’s patterns lists bust 34 and hip 36. I haven’t taken my measurements in years – and a part of me just doesn’t want to know. The pattern pieces look good. I might have to copy or re-draw them to make alterations. I suppose I should treat the pattern with some deference since it’s truly antique. In teeny-weeny print on the back of the pattern envelope is this sentence: “This garment is fitted closely at the hip.” That’s the story of my life! Unfortunately my hips are not fitted closely to my waist, but I believe I still remember what I have to do to make a garment that fits. And I want a garment that’s somewhat ill-fitting – loose. I hope to make the dress less fitted through the waist and hips.


Hallie said...

Hallie's philosophy on sewing alterations: "It's how it shows on the outside that counts, not what you did on the inside to make it happen."

I refuse to be controlled by rules.

murray.warnock said...

There are neighborhoods here in Philadelphia where you still can see lots of older ladies in housecoats.