I’ve been looking at vintage patterns lately and it has been a bit of a revelation. I spent years in professional attire or casual jeans; I always thought of myself as someone interested in fashion, who dressed to be stylish and projected an air of well-read sophistication. (I’m not quite sure how well-read one can look, now that I think about it.) One young friend called it the “cool minister” look.
But as I look through clothes styles from my young days, and pick out patterns I would have worn, bought or coveted, I am surprised to find that Folkwear, “granny” dresses and pinafores played a big part in my taste. I read books by and about Quakers. I liked the Puritan costumes at Plimouth Planation, although Puritan theology gives me the shivers. I had read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books; I was devoted to Yves St. Laurent’s romantic Russian styles from the seventies.
This is what I mean:
I had this pattern. My grandmother didn’t want to make it full length. so she made the top for me. Not what I had in mind. I realize that my family thought I was a bit extravagant in the fabric usage department. Because I would have worn this:
Yes, with the straw hat. Although this variant is appealing too:
That ruffle looks like fun!
I was never one to moon over my future wedding, but when I had a serious boyfriend, I sketched this dress a hundred times:
The one on the right, in lace, with a full veil and a juliet cap.
I could never have afforded anything designer, and the sewing skills required kept me from attempting this, but in my heart of hearts, this is what I wanted to wear:
And here is something I just bought, that I had wanted for decades!
I think it will make a great workdress for the croft, and in a light batiste for summer, a nightdress.
I may be Plain, but I haven’t forgotten romance!