Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 1955 Dress and the Fabulous 1950's

As I promised my fantastic fashionable friends and lovers of history, here is a little darling from the collection of items at The Brain Watkins House, or as we fondly like to call it - The Brain (sounds so intelligent doesn't it?). The Australian Home Journal was a women's magazine that advertised patterns, and as a drawcard for its readers gave away free patterns with every issue. The free patterns were featured on the cover, and I wanted all the dresses on the cover of the November 1st 1955 issue.

Aren't they fabulous, it just makes me want to put my kid gloves on, drink a martini and stand beside my washing machine looking incredibly happy. The yellow floral number grabbed my attention first, and I decided to make it. I had some fabric and of course buttons from the 50's, so I put it together in a couple of days. It was a wonderfully simple pattern and the directions were simple and easy to follow.

So here I am wearing my new dress, and I have to tell you, its kinda weird, but I feel transformed in my new dress, its almost like wearing drag or dressing up in the clothing of some anarchist subculture, and its kinda wicked cos its so deliberately not "in fashion", and yet it captures the femininity and friviolity of the 50's. Franni says I look like I'm wearing old lady clothes, but you know what, that's ok, cos I am. This dress design is older that me.

Here is one of the buttons I used, they are made of a hard white plastic, that feels almost like glass, they are whiter than they look in this photo, the sun was going down when I took it, and the buttons were bathed in yellow light.

So I am addicted and I feel a rush of dresses from the 1950's coming on, so if you read this and you have a stash of 1950's fabric tucked away, please let me know. Until next time, love and cocktails, Jo Jo.


  1. You know what I think would make this dress look really cool is if you wore a white jacket over it made of transparent white material with like a big white collar that spills way out over your shoulders. The jacket could go all the way down to like half way down the skirt.

    It's a really flattering shape but it just seems too hard and formal and... I dunno can't find a word but if you softened it up with a jacket like that that it could become more feminine and gentle.

    Those shoes would go perfect too they look great :)

  2. I showed my Mum this blog last night, and she said my recreation of the 1950's dress is all wrong, its the fabric that has spoilt it, she said it should be a floral. Well little does she know I have the perfect fabric now so just wait until I try again.