I like the idea of house dresses. Not the kind the mother of one of my roommates wore, you know, those short-sleeved, gathered-to-a-yoke, snap-front, old-lady kind, but the spiffy kind they wore in the fifties. Something to throw on and do your housework or run to the market and still look pretty.
I was looking through my grandmother’s old Workbasket magazines from the early 50’s, and came across this ad for mailorder patterns. All the dresses in the ad were house dresses.
I particularly like the little schematic to show you how the dress is put together. The dress shown closeup below is my favorite, maybe because of the checked fabric and the rickrack trim. Note that the dresses have the very useful large pockets.
The dress below is more frilly, and looks fitted but is made like a muumuu but belted to the back. It might be possible to take a modern or retro muumuu pattern and sew in the front darts to hold the belt, and put the frills at the armholes.
Yesterday my sister, daughter, niece, sister-in-law, and I went to San Francisco to look for fabric. We ended up with some nice batik, some printed cotton knit, and a few lengths of shirting fabric for me. I was mostly looking for some heavier cotton knit fabric to make shirts for the daughter, but couldn’t find any. To that end, today I went over to Hancock Fabrics in the next county and found some knit and some fabric for next year’s summer jumpers. Pictures to follow after the fabric comes out of the washing machine.