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Prepping – ish.

Simplicity 8229

This is a 1969 Simplicity pattern which was one of two that my Mom or one of my aunts and one of her friends used to make beach coverups when they were in high school. They’d go to the flea market and buy cheap, brightly colored beach towels and then cut the front and one sleeve out of one towel, and the back and the other sleeve out of the other towel. The other pattern they used was a self-lined cape which would be cut in the same contrasting fashion and would be considered reversible. Because they went swimming in the Pacific at Santa Cruz, a terrycloth dress was a welcome layer after a brisk seawater swim.

Years ago, Grandma gave me all of the old sewing patterns she’d had lurking around in the drawer in her spare room, and those ones my Mom had used as a girl were among them.

I wasn’t sure that I’d ever really use this one, since I’m not normally an Empire waist girl, but now that I’ve pitched up pregnant, I’m seeing the potential in this pattern.


The first is this sleeveless effort made out of an offcut of rayon-based jersey I got from a friend who’d been cleaning out her craft supplies stash. I really love the print, which is an abstract floral, perhaps stylized daffodils? I feel that it fits the spirit of a 1969 dress pattern.

For the second dress I made, I nicked the flutter sleeve (the middle layer from View 3) from another 1969 Simplicity dress pattern, seen below:

I once made up View 2 in white eyelet, then never wore it. I gave it to my sister, who used it for Halloween one year when she went as an angel. Even when I was 19, this look was too ingenue for me.

Anyway, this sleeve combined with the other dress will work out pretty well. I wanted one with sleeves, for when I am feeling lazy about shaving my armpits (which is usually). This is what I ended up with:


Once again, I feel that I have managed to hit an period-appropriate note with the combination of fabric and style. This is a polyester based knit which I’d originally purchased to make a 1980s-style batwing top, but decided against because I remembered in the nick of time that I look like hell in big, drapey, cowl-necked tops.

Since looking “good” is more or less optional during pregnancy, I reckon these two dresses will see me through June/July. I recently picked up one proper maternity pattern, Butterick B5860, which features a wrap-dress as well as a simple trouser pattern. I have two nice pieces of jersey for the dress: one in a clever gradated polkadot pattern in teal-and-white, and the other a classic pattern of concentric rounded boxes in magenta, black, grey, and white.

I’ll probably make up the trousers in black for work. I also got two non-maternity but sufficiently tent-y blouse patterns that should make acceptably chic tops for my work uniform. Vogue V8709, which you can see via another seamstress’s interpretation here, is a “trapeze” line top with a collar, pockets, and buttons up the front. Vogue V1274 is a bit more dramatic, with an asymmetrical front closing and a handkerchief hem. I’m afraid I’m using nothing more elegant and lovely than plain old white cotton percale for these tops, but they are for my work uniform, and therefore must be washable-bleachable-and-dryable.

I’m holding off on the majority of my baby-based sewing projects (outside of diapers), as I’m wanting to find out if it is a boy or a girl. Not that I’m planning to be going all crazy-go-nuts pink-is-for-girls-blue-is-for-boys, but rather, I want to know if I should make the sailor suit with shorts or a skirt.

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