Monday, February 8, 2016

Flashback With Three Armholes: Mom Made One Mondays

Three Armholes makes a comeback

Butterick 4699 Most photos from Vintage Sewing Wikia, with one obvious exception

Yes, it has one pattern piece. Two shoulder seams. And forty miles of foldover braid.
You will only make this mistake once a decade.

Once or twice as a kid, in terry cloth as a vacation wearable towel.

With a fake spare flap front once because like to own the complete edition.

Yes, it really is a wrap dress

But most importantly

6.5 yards of trim balanced out by a fabric saving border print!

And just in case you thought this mania was over, may I present this spring's latest release?

As with all Laura Mae posts, a great post and conversation in the comments about this design

This is a 'Mom made one' for me. Note the bow on the shoulder, which is a beautiful feature in this dress. 

My mother's coat kept grabbing the bow knot and undoing the dress (pulling coat off left shoulder) at the snaps that closed it. This is partially a design flaw, not aided by the lack of heft of snaps available to the home sewer. A set of hooks had roughly the same results.

My mother dropped a lot of money on nice fabric for this, at a point where we were pretty short on it. Frankly I remember this dress in the context of the beautiful satin-backed crepe I was gifted with for my Barbie doll sewing. I would wager my mother made this for an event she and my dad were going to attend (and they didn't do that much).

It looked really good on Barbie.

I miss you Mom.


  1. I wasn't expecting that sad ending. I now miss my gran who also made me clothes. How enriched we are to have known this love.

    1. My mother has been gone for more years than I knew her (21 vs 36), so it's more wistful than sad. I should point out: my mother hasn't entirely left me. It's a more one sided conversation, but a conversation still. Her words to me come out of my mouth to my kids (not all of them kind). Rich and strange indeed.

      My mother sewed because it saved money and because she was a really flat, teeny person (never over 100lb even while pregnant). Think wood tongue depressor flat. I got my early altering practice on her clothes ("can you take this in?") ("can you pad the seat?").

      I also learned that if you alter something, do it right, because it may just spend another thirty or forty years in the mix. But that's another story for another day.

  2. I just saw the latest version of the pattern today and did covet it. We'll see if it shows up in my stash...Good to know it needs strong fasteners...How about velcro, then you'd at least hear it as it comes undone.

    p.s. I wanted to check out all your Miyake makes, but when I clicked on the Miyake label, it doesn't really function all that well. Like it takes you to 1 or 2 posts then goes a little crazy.

    1. I've been cruising your makes: I am going to spend more time channelling your 'eye' when I'm thinking stuff out.

      As for the Miyakes, you're not missing much. I've got a lot more sewn up than photographed, I try to figure out how to get that resolved and then it all spirals out of control. Like Blogspot. Or me without chocolate. I will get there. Right after I finish that damn quilt.

  3. I love this post. It is funny, but also bitter-sweet. I had a three armhole Donna Karan jacket once that was Wood tongue depressor flat - that is super writing. A truly great blog.

  4. The first Butterick and the newest Simplicity -- they are the same! They just flipped the position of the rounded edge wrap from front to back and put a bow on it. Oh, and eliminated the miles of trim, because who has time for THAT these days? Ha, thanks for this tour of The Three Armholes. And thanks for linking!


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