Monday, May 2, 2011

An Ode to the Swirl Wrap Dress

I'd like to take a little break from sewing and talk about a beloved favorite of mine, the Swirl wrap dress.  About a year ago, I came across a dress at the American Council for the Blind thrift shop.  The colorful print immediately caught my eye and I grabbed it and added it to my pile.  I didn't feel like trying it on (I was actually on Vase Mission for my wedding) so I threw it in the trunk of my car and forgot about it.  Eventually, I dug it out, washed it, and tried it on, an it was love at first sight.  I paid $2.75 for it, and it gets a lot of wear.  I wore it to a birthday party last weekend, to see the Decemberists a couple weeks ago, and for walking around in NYC on my honeymoon, among others.

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It had a label:         Photobucket

Intrigued, I did some research.  Turns out, the company was founded in 1944 and originally marketed the dresses as wrap-around aprons, but then evolved to be sort of a "housewife on the go" kind of thing.  The kind of dress you could just throw on and go straight from the kitchen out to running errands.  I love this advertisement from the early 1950's.

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I started keeping an eye out for them in vintage and thrift stores.  This spring, I acquired another one at my favorite resale shop for $18.

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I regularly look for them on eBay and Etsy, and whoa, they are expensive!   This cheery floral one from Daisy Fairbanks Vintage will set you back $75.

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This adorable red and gingham Swirl from FlirtVintage is going for $158!

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I feel so lucky to have found mine for $2.75 and $18, respectively.  I'd really like to start collecting them, but I have a feeling it'd be a hobby that would set me back a lot of money!  So I got to thinking about sewing (of course) and I started looking for similar patterns.

This Simplicity from the 70's is basically perfect! The sleeves are exactly like the Swirl and I love the keyhole.

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This 1950's Advance looks a little fancier, but still has the basic idea.

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This 80's McCall's also has the right idea, and as a bonus, there are plenty of sizes available on Etsy for a good price.  Love the sexy low back!

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I think one of these patterns is going to make it's way into my collection.  Hopefully a few more real Swirl dresses, too.

1 comment:

  1. This one is really cute!
    http://www.etsy.com/transaction/47798428
    Im making it at the moment. Its going really well too.

    I have a very old Swirl dress that set me back about $30. But its from the 40's and loved almost entirely to death. Need to pick it apart and use it for a pattern!

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