Ultimate Rockabilly Dress

For this year’s Jungle January Anne specifically mentioned showing off things made between now and last January. Seems like a good chance to blog this rockabilly dress I made last spring.

The fabric is some kind of woven cotton. I bought it from an Etsy seller from the UK, so I don’t know exactly what kind of cotton it is. It feels like something between quilting cotton and poplin. Maybe it’s just high quality quilting cotton. I remember being stressed about getting my pieces to fit, but I ended up with just enough fabric in the end. These full circle skirts are total fabric-hogs, but the swish of the skirt is so, so satisfying.

I’ve got a fluffy chiffon petticoat on for these pictures. This is the first chiffon one I’ve bought, and it’s very comfortable.

Let’s talk about the pattern. I do have a couple of patterns that are similar to this dress, but have always put off making them knowing that I would need to do an FBA and that it would probably be fussy to do it on unusually shaped pieces. At some point, I acquired this pattern, Simplicity 5432 from 1972.

I only used the bodice portion of this pattern. There wasn’t a waistline seam on the pattern, so I drew one in. It worked perfectly.

I also tossed in some side-seam pockets because, pockets in a dress are the best.

Overall, I really love this dress for special occasions that aren’t too formal. It’s a great date-night dress. There’s only one main drawback to this dress, and while I’m wearing it, I can’t see it.

Yup. I’m a curvy girl, and the halter top means this dress needs a strapless bra. The best strapless bras I’ve tried so far are long-line ones; they’re the only kind that don’t slide down uncomfortably, defeating the entire purpose of putting it on in the first place. Squishy flesh follows the path of least resistance, and a long-line strapless bra absolutely creates some resistance. This dress puts that phenomenon on display more than some. I maybe should have given this dress some more structure with boning to reduce the need for other underpinnings, but the best boning is spiral steel, and spiral steel boning rusts if you try to wash it. It seems like a waste to make an otherwise washable cotton dress no longer washable. Still, the overall effect of this dress, in my opinion, is a good one. I feel pretty flirty wearing it, chubby upper back and arms or not.

Here’s my reaction when my 7 year-old son, who was taking my pictures, worriedly pointed out that I looked “kind of chubby from the back”.

I laugh in the face of your conventionally flattering fashion rules

Apparently he thought I hadn’t noticed. Whatever kiddo. Thanks for taking my pictures. If I do my job right, you’ll grow up knowing it doesn’t matter if a girl is a little chubby; she can still rock a pretty dress.







One response to “Ultimate Rockabilly Dress”

  1. Patricia Gardner Avatar
    Patricia Gardner

    You look wonderful! I love that dress and it looks great on you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *