Mum loved the muumuu. She adored the simplicity and style of it. Not in a ‘you can hide everything under it’ sort of way but out of a deep respect for what she saw as clean, stylish lines . She loved the boxiness and symmetry. To her, the muumuu was a welcome departure from the figure hugging, curvy styles of the 50s. She didn’t do ‘figure hugging’. And thinking back, it’s a wonder because she had a tiny little waist. Figure hugging styles would have loved her. But she didn’t love them back. She hated 40s and 50s fashion, adored Twiggy and embraced the 60s with a passion!
The dictionary defines the muumuu as a long, loose-hanging dress, usually brightly colored or patterned, worn especially by Hawaiian women. Something like this
No. Mum’s idea of a ‘smart’ dress was something understated and uncluttered. She usually chose a solid colour…….but never a bold tone. Now when I found this pattern on Etsy at BessieandMaive (and on instagram @bessieandmaive), I finally got Mum’s penchant for muumuus. I just loved the simplicity of the style and yes, the clean lines. I don’t know whether it was deja vu (I’m sure this is the actual pattern that mum used for me) or whether I have finally found a little joy in 60s. style. You see, personally I’m a 40’s and 50’s girl…..I think.
But this? I love it! So full of potential! So many possible variations. And unlike Mum, I LOVE the big florals. I think this pattern has got black and white Marimekko written all over it. Not to mention polka dots!
In my inimitable fashion I opted for linen to put my own stamp on the muumuu. Blue ice no less, which I couldn’t leave Tessuti without (www.tessuti.com.au; Tessuiti.blogspot.com). This would have to be one of my all time favourite colours. I love white and I love bright. But I am a sucker for pastels in ice shades.
The dress was, as the pattern says, simple to make. I omitted the frill from the hemline as it was just one frill too many for me. I made the sleeves according to the pattern and enjoyed working on the detailed finish. It sewed beautifully in the linen.
The bodice was lined and I also lined the skirt because the blue is so pale……had the potential to be see through.
When I had completely finished the dress I unpicked the sleeves and reinserted them (what a pain!!!). The dress was just a little too wide at the shoulders. I also cut 1 1/2 ins off the hemline as it all just felt a bit enveloping…….and looked a bit frumpy.
The back is finished with tiny pearl buttons…which was no mean feat for me. Regrettably I am no buttonhole expert….and that is putting it mildly.
Overall, I am pleased with the dress and I think Mum would be thrilled to see me in a muumuu. I also think this dress qualifies as a contender for the vintage sewing pledge. I haven’t actually pledged anything yet but I intend to. Incidentally, my machine has been out of action ……being serviced. So I made this whole garment (and others) on a $99 spare! and I was very pleased with the results. It does a lovely zig zag. And because there wasn’t a huge amount of difference between the cheapie and my own machine, I got to wondering about the virtues of an expensive fancy model? I am however happy to be persuaded otherwise. I would kill for a top of the range machine.
Have a good weekend!