My dress is done. It looks like I expressing my inner Haus-Frau. Except for the shorter hemline, this is definitely a 1950s “house dress”.

Marian Martin 9230 a sm

The quilting cotton I used is a little on the heavy side, weight-wise, but for this style it works. I just really wish I had a pair of red espadrilles and some bakelite or fakelite bracelet bangles although I am wearing a 50s thermoset necklace, bracelet and earrings. I opted not to make the belt because I really don’t like to wear them.Marian Martin 9230 b sm

I went with a shorter, contemporary hemline because I’m short and mid-calf or lower hems make me look frumpy and dowdy. I’m already middle aged, I don’t want to look more matronly.MarianMartin 9230

I did move the side zipper to the center back and put in a 22″ hand picked lapped zipper.  I like being able to step into my dresses rather than struggling them down over my head. I haven’t done a hand picked zipper in ages. I’d forgotten how much I really like the look. The print is so busy it’s hard to see my hand stitches on the lapped side.


I found these cute rose buttons at Walmart of all places. I sewed the buttons on without making button holes. I taught a swing dance lesson this evening and I didn’t want any wardrobe malfunctions!
I wanted to stay period in my sewing techniques so I finished my seam allowances by pinking them, just like my grandmother used to do when she sewed. We’ll see if they hold up in the wash.

Here I am swing dancing in the dress. I’m lookin’ kinda thrashed because these photos were taken 3 hours later (from the posed photos above), after teaching 2 classes and kicking up my heels in the open dance after the lessons in 95 degree heat. This dress moved with me very nicely when dancing. You can see a youtube clip here of me and my dance partner (Brian Reeves) reviewing the evening’s Nightclub 2-Step lesson.