Progress on my Christmas outfit is slow, but I finally have pictures of the blue 1950s housedress I made weeks ago. I made it right before we moved, and obviously moving and unpacking doesn't leave much time for pictures. Then when I started getting caught up on the work, the weather didn't cooperate and I don't have a good place to take indoor pictures (we'll see how that goes this winter...) But at any rate, here it finally is!
I used some nice cotton shirting, in a practical shade and pattern for everyday wear, and this pattern.
I've found it to be quite easy care (the cotton blend looks only a tad wrinkly so I usually don't bother ironing it) and comfortable to wear for everyday. It's a dark print, so it can be worn in just about every season; since it's a thin cotton even with the 3/4 sleeves I can wear it in summer, or add a white sweater and wear it just as comfortably in colder weather.
It was very easy to make, and I kept it simple. I love the way the skirt is done, with the front fullness that is still nice and trim at the waist due to the inside tucks. This is also the dress that I first used my vintage hem ruler on.
In the back, it only has a few darts, and the skirt is fairly narrow.
This was one project I didn't need to debate over finding the perfect buttons. These cute nautical thrifted buttons I paired with the fabric almost immediately and was so pleased with how it turned out!
The dress may be a tad more constraining than a modern spandex-cotton blouse or sweater, but I've found it certainly comfortable enough to work in without inconvenience.
Apart from the buttons, the only trim is a little bias band around each sleeve, and of course the wing collar and shoulder gathers.
Keeping it simple for the housedress-style outfit, I only paired it with my Two Old Beans vintage pumps and pearl earrings for these photos. And of course a thrifted belt that I hadn't gotten much wear out of previous to wearing it with this dress, which it matches perfectly.
As a little aside...I've also been experimenting with my hair, trying to soften it up so it still will retain the curls and yet not look so frizzy after a hair wash and new curl set. I keep striving for that perfect smoothly rippled look you see in vintage photos, where the hair is well brushed (not ring-letty) yet still well shaped. I tried a slightly different curler size arrangement, and added more conditioner to my hair washings, and think I've succeeded since this day's hairstyle looks softer and better controlled than the 1930s gold blouse photos, which was also a fresh set. Also it's easier to brush.
But at any rate, I do definitely enjoy my new housedress (it certainly has been a nice addition to my everyday wardrobe) and feel very 1950s when I put it on. In case you didn't know, daily chores around the house are much more pleasant to do when you're wearing a vintage dress and maybe a cheerful apron, and have your hair styled! If you don't believe me, try it and see. :-)