Me Made: A Bedsheet House Dress

Fairly recently I discovered that house dresses in the vintage years were nothing like the house dresses of today. I think most of us associate these with something like a mumu or a shapeless robe for bumming around in. What does this have to do with simple vintage glamour?

Well, of course vintage gals – or, rather, designers at the time – knew exactly what they were doing. Women were encouraged to be put-together from the moment they woke up. From a feminist standpoint, this seems rather stifling, but I also like to look at the other side of the coin – the idea was that it made a woman and her family feel more upbeat and optimistic, which was even more important during wartime in the 1940s. I know personally that I have a healthier attitude in general when I feel good about how I look and dress.

A housewife spent much of her time, as you’d imagine, in her house. The vintage solution to looking prim and proper while cooking and cleaning? The house dress. House dresses were a bit looser but maintained the same lines as their daywear counterparts. I believe the house dress began in the 1920s and continued from there. Common elements include wrap fronts, less detail, large external pockets, and hardier, brightly colored materials. You can read more about the house dress in various forms on Gertie’s blog, on Festive Attyre, and on Vintage Dancer (1920s, 1930s).

I saw the below pattern cover from Simplicity and fell in love with the short-sleeved option. Of course I was too impatient to find the pattern, buy it, and wait for it to arrive, so I cobbled together my own pattern. I altered a vintage blouse pattern from my collection for the bodice and freehanded all the rest.

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The verdict? I ADORE it. I feel so much more put-together when I throw this on for a day of laundry and cooking and cleaning. I also work from home many days and refuse to spend my days in sweatpants or leggings, so this is perfect. I wear it out occasionally, but generally I keep it to my house just like the vintage gals of yesteryear. The wrap style is especially pleasant to wear!

Me Made: A Bedsheet House Dress

I decided to bake up some cookies in true vintage spirit. Gluten free chocolate chip! They were yummy and easy to whip up with very few ingredients. My recipe came from Imma Eat That – no affiliation, I just found the recipe online and thought I’d share in case some of y’all are gluten-free too! (Featuring a glimpse of my true vintage 1930s apron.)

Me Made: A Bedsheet House Dress

In the era’s make do and mend spirit, I made my dress out of some bed sheets that we no longer had a use for at my house. The skirt is even pieced behind the crossover, so I feel very true to the spirit of the 1940s!

Also, take a look at my new-to-me shoes. They’re 1940s Red Cross slingbacks and I’m absolutely in love with them.

Do you have a glamorous home outfit?

Do you think the concept of fashionable at-home wear is a feminist concern or a brilliant invention to help the homemake feel lovely?

What’s your favorite cookie recipe?!

Until next time,
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

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19 thoughts on “Me Made: A Bedsheet House Dress

  1. This dress looks so wonderful! I have a very comfy day dress which a love wearing at home. I feel so much more glamorous then even if I’m just doing the homemake.

    xx
    Sandra

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  2. I adore your housedress! I occasionally do it up at home and always feel more productive….need to do it more often! Love the inspiration….and I love baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (recipe from top of Quaker Oats container).

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  3. Oh my!! This is just lovely and adorable! Love the baking and cookie shots. You’re just too cute!! I love these chocolate chip cookies by Picky Palate – they have an Oreo stuffed inside!!! Ahh!!!

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  4. I love this so much, I am actually regretting (again!) never allowing my mother teaching me how to sew! especially because a majority of my time is spent at home in “comfy clothes” that are so unpresentable, I literally leave “cover-up clothes” by the door for when anyone knocks ;- This, my new online friend, would be the bee’s knees!!!

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    • It’s really never too late to learn to sew! This wrap dress, except for the decoration, is actually incredibly simple to make since there are no zippers/buttons to worry about. Your “cover-up clothes” crack me up! We need to bring back the vintage house dress!

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  5. I have so much love for this dress! I discovered the joy of housedresses a few years ago, and subsequently have made-up about 5 or 6 of them now. If I am at home, a housedress is what I wear from the moment I wake to the moment I go to bed. The pockets are so handy too, I find they are great for days when I am setting my hair – I can use the pockets to store my pincurl clips and hair comb in! Love this version, you clever thing drafting the pattern! It looks wonderful on you! 🙂 xx

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