the perfect attire for a hot dry summer

It’s so hot.  So so so so so so hot.  When we step out into the sun, we are assaulted by gusty winds that feel like a giant hairdryer.  Everything is parched.  Apparently it’s the beginning of a hot dry summer – the like of which we’ve not seen for four years.  Ugh!

So … we went in search of air conditioning.  Cheap airconditioning ( do you know how much we paid for two adults and one child to go see the Hobbit at the regular cinema the other day – $56! – that’s not cheap airconditioning).  The kind where there’s plenty of comfy spots to sit and knit whilst the children play.

Yes, we went back to Ikea.  Our favourite hot day haunt.  And I wore my new drop waisted dress that I stitched up this morning in the sewing shed, in my underwear, with the fan blowing full tilt on me.

I used a white linen blouse I bought from the opshop ($4) and plucked off the washing line this morning – crisply fried in the hot sun – for the bodice.  All it needed were the side waist splits undoing and sewing back up as part of the side seams.  I then chopped off the narrow hem – couldn’t be fagged unpicking it – too hot!

Then I added two rows of gathering thread to the most glorious piece of fabric that my mother has been carting around for 30 years.  I have nagged her incessantly for it, for the last 10.  She was never going to use it herself.  Nor is it anything like what she usually wears whereas it had Lily stamped all over it.  Finally, she gave in (I think perhaps, she was just sick of listening to me whine and sick of trying to find storage space for her fabric) and I GOT IT!  Ha!

I sewed it on to the bottom edge of the white bodice.  Then cut a sash – two full widths of 8 1/2 inches wide from a gorgeous piece of Japanese lawn – folded it in half, mitred the ends, sewed it up, left a small gap, turned it out the right way and gave it a good press.  Then I carefully pinned it onto the bodice where it meets the gathered skirt and top stitched it down – top and bottom – leaving a few inches at each end so that I could tie it.

It’s so soft and floaty and comfy.  Perfect for a dreadfully hot day.  And pleases my 1980s sensibilities no end.  I’ve come to understand that the fashion that truly stays with you forever is the one you fell heavily in love with as a demented teenager.   I adored – and still do! – the dresses of that era and my Mum and Aunty Anne made me so many pretty ones.  As for the sash – why the ’80s were the era of the Liberty sash – we wore them with everything!  I even wore a fabulous red floral one with navy linen shorts, a white polo shirt and navy leather deckshoes – terribly smart.  I probably even added a strand of pearls  and my great grandfather’s silver fob chain :-)  Ooooh and have you seen the other revival back in the stores –  coloured leather deck shoes!  They are identical to the ones I wore in 1986.  I was so tickled to see them again, I almost forewent the grocery shopping and bought myself a pair ;-)

Yes, if it’s going to be a hot dry summer, there is nothing more appropriate to wear than a soft, loose, cotton or linen drop waisted dress.  Now, where’s that lilac coloured blouse I’ve not worn for years … and I promise not to buy any deck shoes.

5 thoughts on “the perfect attire for a hot dry summer

  1. gail says:

    I love this look Lily and the border on the skirt is terrific. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the lilac blouse. Try and keep cool. It’s been hot up here too. Spent a lot of time in front of the fan today. Oh and by the way I’m a pearl girl. I wear pearl earrings every day even when I’m doing my housework and always wear pearls when I’m out. Even with T shirts and jeans. I like to look feminine and i think pearls are so flattering to ones complexion. I think pearls would suit you well Lily.
    Blessings Gail

  2. Amy says:

    Wonderful dress, Lily! Perfect for the heat, though we’re in the midst of winter in Virginia, USA. And, congratulations on negotiating that gorgeous fabric from your mom. Will you tell me about your red sandals? They are scrumptious!

  3. Somehow I cut the bodice too short, so it’s now kind of an empire-waisted dress. I’m not a fan of empire waists, so I’ll mostly wear this dress with a thicker belt that creates the illusion of a lower waistline. This dress is comfy as all get-out, btw.

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