Pure Sugar.

Okay, another link from , who has somehow internalized my taste. (Julie, you should really go to the doctor and get that checked out.)

If I had a little girl, I would absolutely make her this dress. Of course, whether little girls today want to dress like this is another question entirely — so many of the clothes I see for little girls seem predicated on their having to be available, at any moment, to jump in as backup dancers in a music video — but I would make it, absolutely. I'd make it (as the pattern suggests) in white-and-blue dotted swiss with a blue midriff and blue bows, or pink and white seersucker with a pink midriff and pink bows. Or really, in any combination she wanted.

I think when I was twelve I would have cheerfully dug a ten-foot ditch for a dress like this (in grass-green gingham, by choice). But then, I was an odd child …

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0 thoughts on “Pure Sugar.

  1. It looks to me that 6 is the new 10. Since when was 24″ waist and 32″ hips a size 10? Thats more like size 6 nowadays. But I’m not complaining… It helps me hold on to the denial.

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  2. I found a vintage Gunne Sax dress (God, I loved Gunne Sax back in the day!) and offered it to my 15-year-old). She looked at me and said “Oh, right, I’ll wear it to Sunday School when I’m learning to be submissive.” She loves skirts; she’s just more into the funky Goth/Victorian/Japanese/Indian hybrid look.

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  3. I’d like to sew that dress to my confirmation party. Yes, I’m 14-years-old and I love that dress! But it’s another question how an earth I’m going to do it. All those gatherings and all… (I’m not sure if “gatherings” is a real word. I live in Finland. :D) And I don’t understand how the bodice is done. I think that dress is forever just a dream. 🙂

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  4. I’m new to ADAD and love it! Thanks, Erin, for brightening my day. I find today’s fashions so boring. Everyone seems to wear jeans/pants and a shirt. Retro dresses are the best — so feminine, interesting and pretty — and today’s feature is no exception.

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  5. This is my first time posting on the site, but it’s the first site I look at each day…I just love dresses ! This dress is a beauty…I can imagine it in flocked organza, with a satin waistband. Very reminiscent of the clothes I wore waaay back when I was a kid..lol..kudos to Erin for a site that makes me want to haunt fabric stores and add to my “stash” 🙂

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  6. The delightful thing about children is that you can MAKE THEM wear such things. I am all for dressing up little girls like little girls, instead of miniature hookers! 🙂

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  7. who has somehow internalized my taste.It scares me sometimes, maybe I’ve been reading Dress A Day too long?Of course I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees a dress with a midriffband and thinks “Erin would love this!”Could we have minion* status?Julie*which would be nice if it included hats, coffee mugs and hefty discounts on fabric

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  8. When I was a kid my mother tried to dress me in ultra feminine clothes and I resisted with all my might. (I was the only girl, and the youngest, in a family of boys and evidently I felt that a frilly dress was an emblem of second-class citizenship.) Now that I’m middle-aged and would look ridiculous in anything too girly, of course that’s what I’m attracted to.

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  9. Pure sugar, indeed. I could probably get my 14 year old to wear this dress if I did it in some really hip fabric and got her some really hip tights and didn’t complain if she wanted to wear her Converse high tops with it.Molly, somewhere on ADAD is La Belledonna’s brilliant explanation of pre-1970’s sizing. The “10” is actually a reference to the age girl that would, based on averages, been that size. Since I started reading ADAD and decided that I must become adept at sewing I have had to accept that I wear something like a size 44 in vintage pattern terms and a size 22 in modern pattern terms. The numbers still seem ugly to me (and I grimace at saying them “out loud”), but I’m looking forward to a closet full of clothes that fit me beautifully… and since I’ll be sewing them, they won’t have any tell tale tags to let others know about my large numbered sizing.

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  10. That’s a CHILD size 10. Those measurements correspond to a current child size 10. (I dont think there’s been to much creep in the children’s sizing. That should fit a 10 year old – and look lovely on her!)It would love this in swiss dot. But where can you find swiss dot these days? It’s an endangered species! (although I do love the suggestion sewing this in plaid taffeta.)

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  11. You can actually get such clothing from the Wooden Soldier. It’s gorgeous stuff, and my daughter drools every time the catalog arrives.Just a satisfied customer.

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  12. When I was 10, I asked my mother to make me a dress very similar to this one. It had ruffles for sleeves, and a pointed waist (though no midriff band) and was blue satin. I loved it to death.

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  13. This is Robinson’s daughter-I like the dress, I’d want to change the collor a little bit, but with some tights and my high tops it would be pretty cool. (yeah, I’m 14, but I’m not really your typical teenager)

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  14. That pattern just triggered a huge flashback. My mother made me a dress and bonnet to wear to grade school one day – the event was ‘Frontier Days’ or something – think cowboy boots, wagon wheels, and Little House on the Prairie type dresses. I was in 5th grade I think.My mother made me this absolutely unlike-me dress with poofy sleeves and a deep skirt and sash out of what looked like dark pink huge-print cotton chintz wallpaper print.I’m not describing it kindly – it was quite a dress. It was beautiful. I had no idea she was making it. I won one of ten ‘best outfit’ prizes. The first time I’d won anything. My picture was in the paper. This dress is so close to what my dress was, just the neckline was higher – I only wore the dress once – nobody seemed to notice I never had the chance to wear it again (I was growing fast….) I wish I still had my dress.

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  15. Johanna,Click on the picture, then go get your momma and tell her you need that pattern. It’s about $16 US for the pattern and the international shipping.I bet she would be thrilled to get the pattern for you.

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  16. Are we sure this is meant to be a child’s size 10? The person in the picture has a bust… Where are the knee socks and pigtails little girls in the 50’s had? Think Fun With Dick and Jane. This is Mother or at least Big Sister. The measurements are for someone with definite curves. A ten year old is usually built like a snake–bust, waist, and hips all about the same. I’ve looked at a lot of vintage women’s dresses online, and sure enough, the average bust is about a 32. Makes me feel like an utter cow.

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  17. I would have worn this at age 14. I was about 32 bust and 24 inch waist all through high school and wore a size 12. I wish I could still find shoes like that that fit.

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  18. oh That’s gorgeous!I’m 14 and I would definately wear this, too! I like the white and blue version best, it look so nice and light!Not so sure i could sew it myself…YET, that is. 🙂

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  19. Oooh. Sorry Erin, but not unless you’re fixin’ for a cotillion. That dress just screams sitting on the porch flirting with the Tarleton twins after Mammy stood on your back to get your waist down to 16 inches. Honestly, in green with one more tier and a big picture hat and you’d be ready to do some fiddle-de-deeing. And the back one looks like “mealy mouthed” Melanie to me. Vintage is great and I generally love ADAD, but some things ought to stay gone with the wind!

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  20. I want this dress Ms. Frizzle style made with an appropriate print: Bugs, monkeys, snakes, musical instruments, birds, stars and planets, rocket ships, cars, trains, recreational vehicles, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, maps, sock monkeys toys.Yes, one of those should do it.CMC

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  21. This is a beautiful pattern for someone that has a waist the same size as their wrist? thigh? Ain’t no way that little teeny waist is a mere 5 inches less than the bust.(hello barbie doll?)I just love pattens illustrations, but they are such an illusion. I agree, this is not for a 10 year old but maybe a 14, 15 year old anorexic with a big poofy petticoat. We can all dream….

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  22. It’s definitely an adult (or Misses’) size. I’m looking at a 50’s pattern right now where a 34” bust is a size 14. Makes it much more probable that Marilyn Monroe actually *was* a size 12… Oh, and I love it, but it would need a very unromantic fabric to work for an adult. I need some sugar in my bowl!/Monika

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  23. Jonquil, I still have a batch of Gunne Sax patterns! What’s more, I still love them. Yep, I have found that, by and large, the styles that appealed to me 20 or 30 years ago still appeal to me. I had a similar storebought dress back in the early 1970’s; it was a black and white print, with a black midriff band, and a collarless elasticized neckline, but otherwise very similar. I wore it on a tour of the Dark Shadows set for my birthday! (And FWIW, I guarantee you I’m not, and never was, “submissive.”) Johanna, this dress is made like all others … one stitch at a time. You can do it. Don’t be afraid to do a lot of reading first, or to make samples of the bodice, to help boost your confidence.Banquogirl, I don’t quite understand. Yes, I see a lot of the features that appear in dresses of the 1850’s and 1860’s, you’re right about that, but why shouldn’t the girl or woman who likes and looks good in that style wear it?Nancy, it wouldn’t take an anorectic to wear that dress, just a specific body type. I’m not as narrow through the middle as I used to be, but I still have a 12″ waist difference between my bust and hips, and heaven knows, I’m not anorexic! The nice thing about the shape of those pieces, though, is that there’s a lot of distraction and illusion created. It’s a style that would make a lot of women look quite small-waisted, even if they weren’t.Aggiebot5, NO. KIDDING. I keep telling myself that these are the patterns that survived, because the others were all used! It’s probably a fib, but it’s a tiny comfort. I see an awful lot of really cute “Bust 32” outfits I’d love, if only there was about … 10 more inches in the bust.

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  24. la belladonna,If a woman who feels great in that style of dress wants to wear it, more power to her. I did not mean to leave the impression that I thought otherwise, but I can see in re-reading my post how I did. There is just something about this particular dress that disturbs me. It’s not even that I don’t like “new look” dresses in general. I loved that birds hatching out of eggs one from a few days ago, for instance. Maybe I’m just having trouble seeing past the cover illustrations, maybe it’s the bow and the flounces, but this dress (to me and it sounds like to me alone) seems to conjure up everything bad about the 1860’s and the 1950’s – trying hard to infantilize women and literally swathe them in gauze – versus what was good about the 1950’s – clothes that are actually meant to flatter a normal grown woman’s body.

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  25. Well… that skirt is awfully long. If a little girl tried to, say, climb a tree, or a book-case or even just some ordinary playground equipment, she’d be forever catching her foot on the hem. And going head first down… pauses to shudder.Right.Because I have a little girl, and she will climb. Which is why she lives in clothes from the Boy’s Section of Carters. It would be terribly sweet for Sunday Best, though… Maybe in a dotted swiss (white on navy) with white sash and collar and a that tiny bow in scarlet…

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  26. I have this pattern from my mothers collection, and made a couple of dresses from it when I was in high school back in the 70s. Lengthened a little it made an awesome, sweet formal length dress – quite appropriate for a young teen. If only we could see modesty and sweetness again, instead of our teens trying to look sexy and vampy. I have it in a size 14, bust 31 1/2, waist 26, which is between the current Junior sizes 7 9 for bust and between an 11-13 for the waist. I guess all that fat and cow hormones has given us modern ladies quite the extra chest baggage!

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  27. I just stumbled across this wonderful site while researching a vintage tarleton taffeta dress I just found and I am just thrilled. I will be back often to look at more eye candy!

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