This pattern is ©1967, (the Summer of Love).
It was one of the first dresses Ms. SpoolTeacher made for herself during her high school years and it was an immensely popular style at the time.
They all called it a tent dress.
Anybody who was in the know made one or if they had to purchase it, had some similar version.
Ms. SpoolTeacher was in the nerd category; so it wasn’t that she was in the know, but she kept track of the ones who were. It is still one of her favorites to this day and drums up that era in her life as much as Patchouli does.
She hasn’t made this pattern again since then, but it’s simplicity speaks to her every time she runs across it. She has the pattern somewhere and had it out recently to think about making again, with adjustments, since her copy is probably even smaller than this one (available on Etsy here) and she is a little bit bigger than that. Ha! A wee.
The great thing about this style is that it is especially useful to Hippie girls. Both kinds of hippies girls and she is both. She’s a pear, not a peach or an apple, (shape/body type), and is a flower power girl at heart.
You know, antidisestablishmentarianism? She has little idea of the true meaning of that word, just that it was thrown around a lot at the time, as was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Ms. SpoolTeacher came of age just after the radical hippie movement was coming to a close. She always felt that she missed out on something wonderful, but she didn’t because she was there. She was just a little behind the main thrust and a wee bit too conservative to engage wholeheartedly, (at least at the time).
What she liked about “Hippies” was that they seemed to evoke freedom from established negativity. They seemed to want to be happy, live in peace, honor the environment. They seemed to espouse (mal-)adapting to the ills of society not by accepting them but rather by way of opening all paths toward the expression of the creativity needed to become that which a person is at their core. Mary Poppins seemed to affirm that kind of thinking, at least the “spoon-full-of-sugar” theory of making medicine go down a little easier.
Hippies seemed to come off on the side of happy, happy, joy, joy rather than bitterness, i.e., “catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Finding ways to cooperate was better than going to war over discord. Money was not the object, though they soon found that the world was already a little too far gone down that path to turn it around suddenly. She believes that most true Hippies of the time never gave up the power of flowers, at least in their personal adaptations to life and liberty as they had come to believe in during the time that The Haight existed.
For her, being a Hippie simply means living simply, and that pretty much sums it up.
That said though, it can be very difficult to live simply. It can be very hard work. That is okay. It is being miserable that is intolerable. Doing work that doesn’t fit your talents or is being done simply for security and not because of a passion can go so far as to ruin ones health. It almost did her.
It is not necessarily easy to fit ones passion to ones work. It is a great blessing when one is able.
The “tent dress” pattern image at the beginning of this post is like the one Ms. SpoolTeacher went looking for earlier this afternoon. She couldn’t put her fingers on it today as it has been put the way of all things she is intending to do someday, soon; you know, in some “safe” place that she
will won’t remember when it comes time to want to use it.
She was looking through her vast collection of patterns searching for something that might work for beginning sewers to consider making for a project in a class she has been invited to instruct.
Doing what you love doesn’t feel like work. It is joy and a great reason for getting up in the morning. Lucky are those who are able to do this. She’s considering herself lucky today. Blessed. She’ll let you know how it goes. What could be better than having a chance to ignite a passion in someone else that has existed a whole lifetime for her?
Of course the dress pattern might not work so well for boys if there will be any in the class. She’s got lots of options, but as with all things, give them three choices at the most. Keep it simple. Too many decisions only makes it frustrating. She will have to be the one responsible for narrowing it down to the three. That won’t be easy but it will be a joy.
Don’t give up your Flower Power, at least not without a fight. Is that an oxymoron?