The Poppies My Pretty Dress

The idea that there are people out there who have never seen The Wizard of Oz is a very strange idea for me. Since 1939 it’s been such a fundamental movie to public consciousness here in the United States, and also to popular culture, that the fact that people exist in the world who haven’t seen this movie seems like a sad odd fact. Obviously it isn’t, if you have no context for Kansas or the politics of the age, which many people think Baum was actually writing about, then why on earth would you be interested in this strange film, but still. Come on. It’s the first color film. It’s a great story. Who wouldn’t want to see this movie? Still. Out there, somewhere, I understand, it doesn’t make any sense. Still, I hope that anyone reading this will look it up, because I love The Wizard of Oz, and it’s just one of the best stories to tell your children that there ever could be. It’s about courage and adaptation and finding qualities within yourself you never knew you possessed and also, home, and what that means, and why it’s worth returning to. And why worlds beyond your own are worth discovering and exploring and finding and enjoying. And why everyone is worth something in their own way. And why what lives within us all is the most powerful of things, and should be valued and respected. And besides, the costumes are great, even if you don’t like the rest of it.


This Hanukkah, my amazing roommate Emily bought me a yard and a half of Liberty of London fabric. This was an astounding gift and I couldn’t have been more thrilled and happy to get it. I thought for a long time about what to do with such a special buttery length of amazing fabric, the lawn that puts green grass to shame. I thought long and hard about this wonderful piece of cloth, and then I finally made something I knew I could be proud of, a dress that I knew would appeal to my sense of whimsy and my everyday life. Such things are not easy to find, as you well might imagine. So here is this one:

LFA 3.jpgI used my bodice block which I developed with my friend Liz last year, and folded the skirt fabric into place in a new way, which I”m actually pretty happy about.

LFA 4.jpg

I initially thought I would gather or pleat this the way I normally would, but when I was making this skirt I started playing around with it and this is what I came up with. I think it’s rather cute, as it turned out!

LFA 7.jpgOtherwise the construction was very straightforward. I made this dress to take home to Philadelphia, and it turned out to be a lucky thing that I did, because my parents took Mr. Struggle and I out to dinner for my birthday, which was utterly lovely.

LFA 1.jpgAnd I had a dress all ready for the occasion! Which is a rare thing.

LFA 5.jpgI did not quite match up the print in the back. Ah, well, no one is perfect. I still think Dorothy could have gotten drugged in this dress, if she’d wanted to.

LFA 6.jpgWhat else can I say about this, it’s a figure hugging dress with a full skirt. So, my favorite thing there is.

LFA 2.jpgThis dress stood up to an evening of Italian food and a meal full of family bickering and several cocktails. So, basically, it’s up to the task of being a part of my life. And I’m glad to have it. It has yet to cause any soporific effects, but I don’t mind that. I’ll get to that field of poppies when they come.


Filed under Clothing, Sewing

5 responses to “The Poppies My Pretty Dress

  1. It’s a lovely dress. And I think the colours really suit you, very pretty! Now all you need is some silver shoes to click 😉

  2. bimbleandpimble

    What a special fabric and a lovely gift! And kudos to making a bodice block- that is amazing!

  3. So jealous of your bodice block–this dress fits you perfectly. And Liberty poppies? Perfection.

  4. Terry Guerin


  5. Beautiful fabric is beautiful!
    You got that dress out of a yard and a half of fabric? Wow. And it’s so beautiful too. And practical. A figure-hugging full-skirted dress, it doesn’t get much better than that.

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