Tuesday, July 1, 2014

60s Mama Dress

I know it's been forever, literally, since I've posted, but since the last post there's been a lot going on. Not only am I in the last trimester and closer every day to having the baby, but I had a debilitating stomach virus, finished up our homeschool year, grades, and attendance for the spring as well as turning in my lesson plans for next fall, as well as finding out our oldest son is going to have to have surgery right away and I will have to have surgery sometime after the birth of this baby. Needless to say, blogging has been a priority, nor has there even been time for it, but I've missed it and am looking forward to getting back to more regular blogging again. 

This has turned out to be another favorite maternity dress. It's made of a nice breathable, but solid linen printed with all these large colorful flowers. It looks a little too dressy for everyday wear, so I save it for special occasions and have already worn it to a wedding. My husband really like this dress, so I'm thinking it would be great to wear if we ever get a date night before the baby comes. 
Simplicity 5271
I made it up in the exact size on the pattern and again had to do some fitting around the bust. Tent style dresses from the 1960s seem to run a little too large in that area for me, but a little dart adjustment and taking in of the side seams fixes it right up. That was the only altering I did to the pattern, but I tied it in front instead of on the sides, because even though I feel huge, I'm apparently not large enough yet to fill it out properly with the side ties. So, as baby and belly grow this last little bit, I will keep trying the side ties, but am not sure it will ever be very flattering since I am already huge here. 

It's slightly shorter than I usually wear, but no where near mini skirt length, plus the tent-like drapiness of the dress keeps things well covered when sitting down. I'm think this makes a great summer dress for when I want to be a little more polished and yet keep cool in the southern U.S. heat and humidity that is already come to stay. 

I wore a vintage rhinestone brooch that I got for extremely cheap while I was in high school, but don't wear enough now. (That will have to be soon remedied.) I also had another photobomber for these pictures in the form of my youngest son who is 22 months and the only redhead so far.

Outfit Details:
Dress-made by me from vintage Simplicity 5271
Bangles-vintage lucite and bakelite from various sources
Earrings-Vintage style rose earrings from Etsy
Brooch-Vintage Rhinestone flower purchased at local antique mall
(I wore shoes, but they weren't pictured, sorry.)

 I was the most fortunate recipient of a great compliment lately, when a reader remarked how elegant I made pregnancy look. I must confess I was taken aback and very flattered, possibly even blushing a little as I read it, because I certainly don't feel that way. I've incorporated some vintage into my wardrobe since I was about 12, but really it was after my oldest was born and even though I lost a lot of the baby weight, I never really felt like my old self in my post-baby body. I took up sewing garments more in an effort to find more flattering styles and fit. As I got more into collecting vintage patterns and wearing more vintage styles, I found them to be much more flattering than most things I could just buy at a store. Learning older techniques for makeup and hair soon made getting dressed up a lot of fun. I realized that I still didn't have to spend tons of time doing hair and makeup, but with a little effort I could avoid some of the frumpy mommy looks. I don't dress to the nines every day, but I do often wear dresses and if I throw on a couple of easy accessories and a dash of makeup I feel better, am more productive, and have a better day. That doesn't mean I never wear jeans and a t-shirt, but that it's just as easy to wear a cute skirt and a t-shirt or a dress or a nice blouse with jeans.
For me it's a way to celebrate motherhood and bearing children and to accept and even welcome the changes that come to a person's body as a result and to give thanks to God for it. I don't by any means feel perfect, but I can take what I have and be content. This to me is a pathway that leads to true beauty, the inner kind that lasts, and as a Christian it is a way I can praise God for making me just as I am in this moment.

I'm not suggesting everyone has to share my viewpoint on having kids or even on dressing, but that what we wear is deeper than just putting on clothes in the morning. They do say something about us and to us, and that is something that should be considered when we get dressed.

We see too many images and read too many articles or advertisements that are all about making us discontented with ourselves in every possible way. They scream to us that we are not enough, whether in looks or in personality or whatever we do, but if we remember and realize that is their function and aim, solely for the purpose of convincing us to spend our hard-earned money on whatever they're selling, this realization means they can lose their power. 

As a mom, I want desperately for my kids to know that they are enough. That I love them just as they are for no other reason than I love them. To me as a Christian, it's because that's the kind of love God, through Jesus Christ His Son, has shown me when I deserved nothing but anger and rejection.

The only not blurry picture I could get of him smiling. He's a mommy's boy.

I know everyone will not and does not have to agree with my views on dressing, parenting, or kids, and I'm okay with that. All this to say that my dressing this way, whether pregnant or not, is a part of the process for me of being who I am and a desire to be the best me I can be for my God, my husband, my family, and for me.

Do you see how you dress as more than just clothes? How has dressing vintage changed you?


  1. that dress is really cute! I think the 60s are a great time for maternity wear. One film Ive always liked fashion wise, and yes it is a horror film, is Rosemarys baby it might not be the best film for anyone have a baby to watch to say the lease but it has some great 60s maternity fashion.

    I definitely see dressing as more then clothes. I have a difficult adolescence, very shy and akward, and all through my twenties I loved clothes but always felt unattractive and wasn't confident enough to really embrace full on vintage. I started rally dressing vintage when I turned 35, I had elements before that, and I am 36 now. I figured I was old enough to not care what others think. Ill wear a bitg 1940s hat now and if people stare so what. I definitely feel more confident, more me, an more productive dressed in vintage style. I don't think its for everyone but for me its abig part of who I am. I also think vintage style and dressing to suit your own tastes is much more positive fashion technique for woman of all ages and sizes then trying to follow current styles as modeled by tiny teenage models and movie stars

    retro rover

    1. Ha, ha, I totally agree with you about 60s maternity and Rosemary's Baby. I've actually never watched the movie, but have found the clothing to be quite inspirational.
      I don't know that I ever quite got being current and up to date with the fashion trends. Oh I did try some while in high school, but I just couldn't do it right and was not in the "in crowd", so I have up more and more. By the time I was in college and working at the mall I was able to delve more into my own style with a vintage flair. After having kids and feeling weird about my body even when I had lost a lot of weight and was working out all the time, I went through a period of just wearing something and feeling as though I'd lost me a little bit. I started sewing clothes again after my oldest was born and discovered the vast amount of vintage patterns available. I've been in love with sewing vintage and wear more vintage than ever before and I couldne be happier with getting to wear some amazing clothes. I just feel more me and definitely approaching my thirties and now at 33, I'm Over the whole trying to fit in some mold just to looks like everyone else. I'm me and I wouldn't have it any other way and am more content that way. I think the transforming and freeing ability that wearing clothes you like and that flatter and fit you is highly overlooked in our culture.
      And how amazing is the internet for connecting kindred spirits and inspiring us all to be more creative input clothing?

  2. Very much so!!! Our clothes are our facades, though I don't say that as a negative thing, to the outside world. They're memorable, statement making and powerful tools in terms of how we interact with and are, for better of worse, judged by the other members of our society.

    When I wear vintage clothing, I feel more comfortable, like myself, empowered and confident than in 99% of modern fashions. They also suit my particular (short, curvy) body type a heck of a lot better than most contemporary styles and for that reason, too, they feel like more than just clothes to me. They're my way of honouring and celebrating my womanly figure, which I adore, each and every day, while at the same time also helping me pay tribute to the past, which is something I strive for in so many areas of my life.

    Big hugs, joyful 4th of July wishes, and major thanks for your beautiful comment on yesterday's post,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you! I feel like most vintage styles are better suited for flattering my body, too. It's amazing how much what we wear affects the way we feel. And it's amazing how people treat you differently regarding how we dress. Clothes are way more than just a covering.
      Your welcome. I really enjoyed your post and completely agree with you that we often only hear or focus on the negative aspects of marriage, but why not celebrate just how amazing it can be. I know I'm guilty of getting frustrated and angry with my husband, but I really love him so much and would never even want to imagine myself apart from him. It's wonderful to see that others have been so blessed in their spouses as well.

  3. I love reading your blog. I think you are thoughtful, and elegant, and wise! I only sewing a year ago, and I haven't sewn a true vintage pattern yet. But I love the way women used to look so put together. They always looked like they put thought into what they were wearing. I'm kind of a minimalist by inclination, so I have to work at the accessories. But giving thought to how my clothes fit, and the joy of making something myself and then wearing it--I really like that, the thoughtful and intentional aspect of it.