Fall for Cotton: Vintage Maxi Dresses for Me.

I’ve been pondering what I will do for the Fall for Cotton Sewalong.  A have a lovely selection of vintage patterns inherited from my grandmother that I have been meaning to sew for years but in recent weeks I have had an epiphany of sorts as to how I like to dress in my dreams versus reality.

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I was orignally tossing up between these patterns I own before I had my maxi-dress hallelujah moment.  I still intend to make them all but they have been moved down my queue for the time being.

In my dreams I wear gorgeous knee length vintage style dresses and skirts with fitted tops with delicate ballet slippers.  In reality, that look is TERRIBLE on me.  It just doesn’t work on my specific proportion/shape. Bizarrely, its also really uncomfortable.  Am I the only person on the planet that finds ballet slippers excruciatingly uncomfortable?  They LOOK like they should be sooooo comfy – like, well, slippers.  They look so elegant and also comfortable on so many bloggers I follow who rock that look brilliantly.  For me, somehow (why! why?!!) they kill my feet.  I am more comfortable in a 3″ heel than I am in ballet flats.  But 3″ heels just dont work for my oh-so-glamorous daily reality of chasing children and doing housework.  Plus everytime I bend over I am having conniptions that I am showing my knickers to all and sundry standing behind me.  I have a 3 year old so I am bending over in an ungainly and awkward manner on a regular basis.

That brings me to my epiphany.  I only have a limited need for dresses of the style pictured above, because they dont work well for me personally for daily life.  What I need and want in my wardrobe for this spring/summer are maxi’s. Why did I not realise this before?

So when researching what to make for Fall for Cotton I came across a heap of gorgeous amazing 1970s or late 1960s maxi dress patterns.  I also have a 1970s maxi skirt pattern in my inherited collection.  And I have realised that I love them!  I was born 1971 and I remember this era fondly with lovely childhood memories before the horror that was 1980s fashion exploded among us.

So here are some patterns I found from this era that would suit cotton fabrics:

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Vogue 2505 from 1971 – A fitted bodice with gathered A-line skirt.

Vogue 2505 – How much does the view 2nd from the right look like a maxi Collete Patterns Peony dress?

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Butterick 6409A – 1970s A princess seamed bodice, slightly raised waistline with a-line skirt

Butterick 6409A – 1970s A princess seamed bodice, slightly raised waistline with a-line skirt I really like Butterick 6409A.  This look could be created by using the By Hand London Elisalex bodice paired with an a-line skirt.  That’s my current plan, anyway – its on the cutting table.  We will see how it turns out.

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McCalls 6081 – High waisted 1978

For McCalls 6081 I have a couple of modern patterns in stash with an almost identical style, including Simplicity 2638 or even better is Simplicity 2582.

So there you go.  I’m all set for the challenge and looking forward to filling a gap in my wardrobe.

  • Oh my gosh, I had to laugh! I live in ballet flats, Janelle, can’t put even the vaguest of heels on and the other day I paired them with a 70’s me made a-line dress. Little M required my attention in the middle of the street and as I bent over I caught a very unfortunate draft and bared my unmentionables to the world! Agghhh. Go the maxi dress I say!

    • I really like the sound of a 70s a-line dress with a ballet flat. You would look great in that. I just have to admire from afar and wear it in my head. I am contantly flashing the world hence I tend to stay in jeans during the week, but I am so bored with that look, plus its too hot in summer. Stay tuned for a flurry of maxi’s appearing on this blog….

  • Oh my gosh, I had to laugh! I live in ballet flats, Janelle, can't put even the vaguest of heels on and the other day I paired them with a 70's me made a-line dress. Little M required my attention in the middle of the street and as I bent over I caught a very unfortunate draft and bared my unmentionables to the world! Agghhh. Go the maxi dress I say!

  • Margo Bergman

    I thought that I was the only woman out there who has trouble wearing flats! They kill my feet too! Maxi dresses are so great and I love these patterns. Can’t wait to see yours.

    • Oh Im so glad its not just me. My foot isn’t even a strange shape – just a very standard size 7/38. I was inspired as well – Ive been admiring your maxi’s on your blog for a while….

  • I thought that I was the only woman out there who has trouble wearing flats! They kill my feet too! Maxi dresses are so great and I love these patterns. Can't wait to see yours.

  • I find ballet flats and heels equally uncomfortable, and since wearing actual slippers or sneakers all the time isn’t an option I just grin and bear it! And I hear you on the ungainly positions you find yourself in with small children – the indignities just don’t end do they?

    • Im totally with you on that – I grin and bear it as well.

  • I find ballet flats and heels equally uncomfortable, and since wearing actual slippers or sneakers all the time isn't an option I just grin and bear it! And I hear you on the ungainly positions you find yourself in with small children – the indignities just don't end do they?

  • I really like the sound of a 70s a-line dress with a ballet flat. You would look great in that. I just have to admire from afar and wear it in my head. I am contantly flashing the world hence I tend to stay in jeans during the week, but I am so bored with that look, plus its too hot in summer. Stay tuned for a flurry of maxi's appearing on this blog….

  • Oh Im so glad its not just me. My foot isn't even a strange shape – just a very standard size 7/38. I was inspired as well – Ive been admiring your maxi's on your blog for a while….

  • Im totally with you on that – I grin and bear it as well.