Monday, May 12, 2014

The Humble Housewife Maternity Dress

 I called this the Humble Housewife Dress not because I'm particularly humble (being a blogger, I think, automatically means I'm a little proud of myself), but I am a housewife and I thought this dress sewn from Simplicity 1766 is a great example of the everyday dress for the pregnant woman of the 1950s. I have a weird fascination with housedresses and the everyday clothing of women in the past. To me, the glamorous hollywood type fashions are pretty to look at and do set the trends to an extent, but it's the everyday clothes that really show who the regular people were and what their lives were like. They are also the vintage clothes I prefer to wear daily myself. They tend to be just so practical!
Simplicity 1766
 No it doesn't look like the  picture on me, but it's comfy and I love this dress just the same and wore it for my last two pregnancies. It features a same fabric tie belt and kimono sleeves and buttons part of the way down the front (Does that make it a shirtwaist?). This dress is also meant to be worn after pregnancy and I actually have worn it afterwards and can say it is flattering even on someone without a big 'ol baby belly. 

Pockets with adorable feaux button tabs? Yes, please! 

 It was a little chilly out that morning and we were making a trip to our local library, so this blue sweater I've had literally since high school was perfect to knock off a little of the chill.

Outfit Details:
Dress-made by me
Sweater-purchased who knows where about fifteen years ago
Brooch-Vintage orange celluloid pinwheel brooch from the 1940s(?) purchased on ebay or Etsy a long time ago
Earrings-Vintage silver, screwback, flowers purchased at the Homestead Shop antique mall several years ago
Shoes-I know I wore some, but cannot remember exactly which ones I wore. (My mocassins, maybe?)

I also have been experimenting with some vintage appropriate updos in anticipation of the hot summer to come. Keep in mind I'm not a hairdresser by any means and my updos always turn out a little messy.

I did a tiny ponytail ('cause that's all I got right now) and sectioned off a part of the front and just pinned a few pin curls in what, I thought at least, was a somewhat artful arrangement. I kind of like it, but will be playing around with it more I'm sure.

 And to round it out is a full picture of the dress along with a couple photobombers. My sweet little six year old mini me and if you look closely at the bottom left corner you'll see the valiant and forever in motion three year old boy. I don't usually share pictures of my kids for privacy reasons and just 'cause I feel a little weird sharing their pictures with the world. So, I would ask that if you pin any pictures from my blog to pinterest or share them any where else, please only use the ones without my kids. I know I'm paranoid, but that's not going to change, so there.

Being a housewife and mom is definitely different today, but the clothing of past women who were busy taking care of their homes and children are still super comfortable and easy to wear. After this baby is born, I think I'll be sewing up some more housedresses, and possibly another version of this dress beforehand. I've got patterns for housedresses from the 1930s to the 80s and can't wait to sample them all. It may take the rest of my life, lol.

So, what do you think of this easy to wear maternity/post-pregnancy dress? Do you wear or like vintage updos? Oh, and if you have any links to any easy to replicate vintage updos, please share with me, I'd love to see them and try them.


  1. that dress is very cute and I think your hair looks great! I cant do hair at all which is why I keep mine short

    retro rover

    1. Thank you. I don't feel as though I have a lot of skill in the hair styling department, but I can say that learning how to pin curl a little and what works with my hair has helped. Not to mention I don't post pictures of really bad hair days, one of the inaccuracies of blogging versus real world. I'm very trial and error in that department and am seriously envious of the ladies in the past who made it all look so easy.

  2. Love (underline that a good thousand or so times) your hair worn swept up (channeling, I feel, Betty Grable in the process) immensely! It look so becoming and beautiful on you!!! The curls/mini on the side are a marvelous touch. They make me think of Lucy (Ball) a bit as well.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you so much, Jessica. It's already getting pretty hot and humid here, so I can't have too many updo options. I've always felt a little funny about wearing my hair up, because I've a very round face, lol, but I'll definitely be doing some variation or another of this hairstyle again.

  3. super cute dress ... and hair!!!! you look wonderful.

    1. Aw, thank you! I don't always love the way it looks afterwards, but have always loved playing with different updos. Your hair always looks fabulous :)