Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Vintage Patio Dress Pattern

Recently, browsing through Pinterest I found a pinned picture of a wonderful vintage dress with a tiered skirt trimmed with lots of rick racks (or ric-racs). I soon found out that this was a so-called "Squaw Dress", fiesta dress, patio dress, whatever... How I love these photos!

A quick research led me to an amazing post on squaw dresses (though I don't like this name) on the blog of Lil' Vintage Homemaker (actually there are 3 posts about this subject). A picture research brought up a huge number of squaw, fiesta, patio dresses in all colour combinations. So much inspiration!


As it happens, since I was a teenage girl, I am very much interested in Southwestern culture and lifestyle. My interest was focussed on the Native tribes of the Southwestern region. No wonder that I also have some beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry. So I realised that, having become a vintage lover as well, I need such a dress to wear with my jewelry. Or the other way round. Immediately.

I found some vintage dresses of the same type on Etsy, but most of them unaffordable, not in my size, or with glittery silver ric-rac trims. (I don't like glittery stuff on my garments. I prefer to wear some jewelry.)
Nonetheless, some silver and turquoise jewelry is almost a "must have" or rather: "must wear" when you wear such a dress.

I had more luck when I searched for a similar pattern.

The embroidery of these two dresses looks almost like a necklace...


Apparently, from what I could guess of the patterns I found on Google, this style was very popular from the late 1940s to the late 1950s or very early 1960s the latest. The skirt was usually combined with a blouse with kimono sleeves, short or long, or a short-sleeved peasant blouse.
On most patterns there's at least one design with ric-rac- trims.

This last picture shows the probably latest pattern - from 1961 - featuring a this kind of dress.

I found this gorgeous one on Google, but it was nowhere for sale... Sad face.

So another look at the Etsy marketplace brought up several results. In the end, I decided to buy this one,  Advance 6760, as I really wanted the blouse with kimono sleeves in the first place with the tiered skirt. I have a separate pattern for a peasant blouse, as seen on one of the patterns shown above, already.

Today it arrived, and I was so excited! While I was feeding my little ones, I was reading at the same time the sewing instructions. Some people read the newspaper, I'm reading sewing instructions. I am so in love with this pattern!

It offers a variety of possibilities. Make a blouse of the same fabric, so it looks like a one-piece dress, or make some more matching more blouses in different colours so you can change the look of this skirt or dress completely.
The separate skirt is also called "broomstick skirt", maybe because for all witches it's most useful to have such a comfortable garment for a ride on the broom. Ha, again, this pattern is just suitable for me in every way!

It needs a little bit more fabric than many other full skirts as all these tiers as ruffled. I was trying to calculate how many yards of ric-rac trim I need to buy. On the pattern it says one spool of 100 yards - I still will have to figure out the exact amount. Otherwise this project will cost me a fortune!

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