Dressing for Holidays

What’s the new wisdom?  Something like: If you don’t have a photo, it never happened.

That, my dears, is why I like to dress with care for holidays and other special occasions.  “Dressing” defined as an attractive, flattering outfit, simple jewelry and makeup which highlights natural beauty without venturing into “Mimi” territory.  In short, I try to look the very best version of my exterior self.

Do I dress up for my relatives?  No, they live 10,000 miles away.  Besides, living people already know how I look and while I know my sartorial choices entertain some of Husband’s extended family, I don’t dress for them.

I dress for the photos.  Hundreds of people I’ll never know (or won’t until I’m an old woman)  might peep at our photos.  A snapshot retains an image of a split millimeter of time, a strict record of the way light bounces off your body on that particular day.   Maybe I had a great day, but for a few minutes I knit my brows in concentration.  Snap, snap.   Maybe I woke up with a stress pimple.  Snap, snap. Maybe I spent the day running around basting turkey and rolling pie dough, so the photos show unkempt hair and sweaty skin.

Sure, I overstate my case for dressing up on holidays, but you get my drift.  “Get that *&%$ing camera out of my face” is not an acceptable request.  I’m not fond of holiday paparazzi, so my way of dealing is to look nice.

So tell me: which dress ought I make for (Husband’s) family Christmas?  I have a red and white cotton ticking reminiscent of candy canes.

My first thought turned to Advance 2599, of recent Zemelda fame:

But wait- last Sunday’s digging turned up this old girl:

Hollywood Patterns No. 641.  The striped version drew me to the pattern to begin with.

For 2599, I could make the pocket stripes run at right angles to the dress, solving the pocket problem.  I think the kickpleat in the back would show the stripes well.

But then 641… She’s so- weird, I can’t help but love her.

Help me decide?  I already know both patterns fit and I like them.  I’m leaning ever so slightly towards 2599.


  1. 641. The placket, the yoke, the lapels, the cuffs.. all those things will be very cool with your striped fabric. I've yet to make a vintage pattern but I'm interested. I've seen horrible images of pattern pieces all overlapped and you have to trace each piece from a mass of crazy lines. Is this true? Do you trace your pieces first to paper?

  2. Sounds like you saw some burda patterns. They come in a magazine with many overlapping lines, it isn't nearly as hard as it looks to trace them out.. Both of these patterns are unmarked paper, I lay my polytrace over the top and make a copy. I never, ever, ever use the original tissue. It's the archivist in me.

  3. 641! 641! Although the Advance could be great too. Have you thought of cutting those pockets on the bias and positioning them in opposite directions? But, maybe that would look like 'X' marking the spot on your chest. Hmmm… dilemma.

  4. Looks like I am going to be the dissenter in the bunch! I would go for 2599 simply because of the absence of seams in the skirt and I do love a chesterfield placket!

  5. I had no idea 641 would be so universally favored. I dug up some vaguely red-christmas-ball-like buttons, it sounds so much tackier than it looks. Hmmm…

  6. 641 is already set up for stripes, but 2599 has fewer seams. Red and white stripes are already a strong design element. 641 appears to want you to vary the direction, which can be very cute, or in some instances, a lot for the viewer to behold. The pockets are very appealing on 2599 and with the bodice and skirt are constructed so most of the striping will run straight down the figure. Weighing all of these variables in my imagination would require me to have a cup of coffee and stare up at the ceiling. I'm interested in seeing which pattern you pick. :)

  7. Pingback: Finished Objects: Holiday Striper and Dolly Dress « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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