The Traveling Dress: Chapter One
The Traveling Dress Visits the Farm
Once upon a time, there was a Traveling Dress.
She had seen many decades and fashions come and go.
Now she was going on a real adventure.
She was going to visit many different states, and even cross an ocean!
So one day when sunshine had chased the rain away and the wild asters were heralding September, her first stop was...a farm in Pennsylvania.
On a farm like this one, a girl hangs up laundry and picks beans and ripe red tomatoes, makes pickles and is proficient at bread and pie crusts, and likes to sit on the porch to drink iced tea in the golden summer evenings.
Being only a visiting dress, the Traveling Dress didn't get to experience these things.
But she did get to explore!
There were gardens...
...and a funny round chicken house...
You never know what's just around the corner!
The ducks were curious and talkative.
The chickens were not!
Buddy had to say hello...
...but quickly lost interest.
How fun to visit the farm, before the dress travels off to new adventures and strange lands!
All the Little Details
Thanks so very much to Joanna from Dividing Moments for starting this journey, giving us the opportunity to have so much fun, and providing the Traveling Dress!
The dress was lovely and a fun bright print, perfect for summer. Since it is rayon and limp, I considered wearing it with a crinoline, but I was going for a strict 1940s look, so I opted instead for a half slip that was tiered so it had some body to it.
The dress was a trifle snug, but fit me very well, which surprised me since my torso is so short I always have to shorten patterns between the arms and the waist. The hem didn't hang quite evenly, but I wasn't sure what caused that.
The hardest part, and what took the most thought, was deciding which of my dozens of vintage hats, pairs of gloves, and other accessories to wear with it! There are so many ways you can accessorize this dress, and it looks a bit different with each way of wearing it.
My gloves were vintage 1930s or '40s – a bit stained and not in mint condition, but still lovely. An antique shop find. I have other gloves I liked better, but with the busy print of this dress I didn't want to wear fussy gloves with it, and these were the perfect shade of off-white to go with the clutch and brooch.
I picked up on the seashell theme with the clutch – a thrift store find...
...and the brooch, which I made. The neckline was a little too low for me, and in the 1940s frills were often worn at the neck or shoulder, so I crocheted the little ruffled brooch and sewed a seashell button in the center. (Here's the free pattern to crochet the brooch!)
The leather belt was not vintage, as far as I know. The earrings were vintage style from Cato.
The hat is a treasure I found in a lovely bridal-new-old-stock-vintage shop in Weiser, Idaho, while on vacation there in June. It had belonged to the mother of the lady who owned the shop. It cost more than I usually pay for vintage hats, but wide-brimmed brown hats are hard to find, and this one was in absolutely mint condition with that perfect elegant '40s style and shape. So I got it and after much trying-on-of-hats decided to wear it with this dress.
The vintage 1940s shoes were an Etsy find. I was particularly pleased with them since I somewhat nervously painted their heels myself to cover up some staining on the leather.
Besides, I love two-tone shoes.
The seamed nylons are actually modern pantyhose bought on Ebay for this purpose – costume wear.
For those interested, here are some closeups of my hairstyle. I wear variations of it almost every day during the summer.
And of course the location was in my own back yard - on our 15 acre all-natural farm in the Cumberland Valley, where we raise pastured beef, chicken, and pork.
The barn was designed by my mother and built mostly by my uncle and cousins. Isn't it lovely?
My little niece, in the 1940s dress her mother made for her, wanted to be in the pictures too.
Later, in the house, she was imitating her “Aunt Ditten” and found some things in the dress-up box to match me! Can't you see a budding model and vintage fashion enthusiast??
And of course this post wouldn't be presentable if it weren't for my oldest brother and his beautiful photography. Thank you, Dale!
When the fun was over, the dress was packed up and sent to the next location. I can't wait to see the creativity of everyone else in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress!
All photos of me in the dress taken by Dale Stoltzfus. All other photos mine.