Green, green, and more green

When Pantone announced the color of the year for 2013 last week, I was immediately smitten.  Actually, I’ve been smitten with Emerald Green (Pantone 17-5641 TCX) for as long as I can remember – and finally, finally, it’s going to be center stage again after at least 30 years in hiding (as deliciously detailed by Christina Binkley on the Personal Journal front page of The Wall Street Journal on December 6.)

My initial euphoria turned to smug (yes, I admit it!) satisfaction.  Why is this?  Just this Fall I had seen emerald green silk matka on the website of Waechter’s Fine Fabrics.    Well, I sent for a swatch and upon its arrival I speedily ordered three+ yards. I knew I would have to make a Spring suit out of this fabric.

This is the swatch I ordered from Waechter's Fine Fabrics

This is the swatch I ordered from Waechter’s Fine Fabrics.

Of course, this was before Pantone made its announcement. And although I still would have purchased it even if this shade of green were the “uncolor” of the coming year, I’m looking forward to being stylish, to boot!

But wait, that’s not all!

Much earlier in the year, I had purchased this yardage of Moygashel linen from an Etsy shop.  What attracted me to it was that emerald green is featured so dominantly in it.  I’ve shown this fabric before on this blog, but I could not resist showing another peek at it.  I still keep thinking it would make a gorgeous Spring coat… or pants.

The emerald green in this design really makes it pop!

The emerald green in this design really makes it pop!

Finally, this color – this Emerald Green – has given me the perfect opportunity to tell (and complete) a story about a dress I made for myself in 1980 – and share some wonderful, wonderful family news, too.  Here’s the pattern:

Yes - it is for a maternity dress...  from 31 years ago.

Yes – it is for a maternity dress… from 32 years ago.

And yes, I made it in Emerald Green:

With a few hang lines after 32 years!

With a few hang lines after 32 years!


A detail of the yoke. I chose two pearl buttons from my button box of 32 years ago to add a little interest.

This was a piece of Pendleton wool I picked up on sale in the Fall of 1980 when I was scrambling to make some dresses for my first pregnancy (our daughter was born in April 1981).  I loved the color and thought it would be quite beautiful over the holidays. In fact, two years later, when I was pregnant again (with our son), I wore it for our Christmas photo:


Our growing family, in 1982.

Whatever possessed me to save this dress, I’ll never know.  I actually saved all the maternity clothes I made for myself.  I dug them out of the cedar closet this Fall to show to our daughter (the little girl in the photo)– who (taa daa!), with her husband, is excitingly expecting their first child (our first grandchild!).  Whatever thoughts I had about the suitability of these dresses for “today’s” pregnant style made both of us laugh!  My daughter will not be wearing vintage maternity dresses, even if one of them is an au courant color.  But oh dear, the wheels started to turn in my head.     Hm-m-m-m, why not take this green “tent” and make a skirt for MYSELF out of it??  Wouldn’t that be a story to tell?

So now, I’m realigning my winter projects.  Come January I’ll be seeing and sewing GREEN.

By the way, Pendleton fabric yardage used to come with labels to sew into finished garments.  I never sewed the label into this dress, but here it is:

A pristine label, still attached to its card.

A pristine label, still attached to its card…

... with care instructions on the back.

… with care instructions on the back.

This time around I plan to use it!


Filed under 1980's dress patterns, Uncategorized, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s, woolens

14 responses to “Green, green, and more green

  1. Cissie

    So excited for you over the news about your first grandbaby. Let me just warn you — it is the most thrilling event ever. I swore never to be one of those fawning, boring grandmothers. Words I have had to eat. As much as I adore all of my children, nothing can compare with watching them become mothers, and then holding and loving the child of your child.

    I made some (forgettable) maternity clothes in the 70’s! Today’s pregnant mothers are much more stylish and less ashamed to show off their precious bumps!

    Love the green! It is a color that is slowly creeping into my wardrobe!

    • You have stated so, so eloquently what I hear from all my friends who are already grandparents. Thank you! And, I doubt any of your creations could be forgettable…

  2. Congratulations on your first grandchild! I’ve saved several of my maternity clothes too – sentimental reasons perhaps, but I know they will never be worn by my daughters.You must make a skirt with this fine fabric!

    • Yes, I think it was sentimentality that made me keep these clothes. I’m glad I did, however, and will be doubly glad if I can fashion a skirt out of that green dress!

  3. Green is my favorite color and I have been searching for bright green fabrics for years in the fabric stores – I hope it will become easier to find now! (I get so tired of all the greyish sage greens.) Your swatch is a beautiful shade!

    Congratulations on the news of your first grandchild! I’m sure you will have some fun sewing for the lucky baby. =)

  4. You will be in luck in 2013 – I think bright, beautiful green will be everywhere! Perhaps you were born under a green star (is there such a thing?)!

  5. Deb

    I loved that you kept your maternity dress… and that it may have a new life. Loved seeing the vintage 1982 photo of your family, too!

  6. That emerald green wool is going to make a lovely skirt.

    Interestingly, I bought my first Pendleton wool at Waechter’s, back in the late 70s when it was still Waechter’s Silk Shop, and was located in a little cave of a shop in downtown Asheville. I wish I’d saved my little label, but I sewed mine into the jacket I made.

    And congratulations on the impending arrival of the grandchild!

  7. I think about all the fabric labels that I once sewed into garments – and then out they went with the clothes when I cleaned out my closets from time to time!
    I’d love to make a trip Waechter’s sometime….

  8. Carol

    Congratulations on the happy news of the new grandbaby!

    If you do decide to make a skirt from the green jumper, maybe a baby clothes carrying valise could be constructed from the bodice. Featherwale corduroy from Waechter’s Fine Fabrics could be used to strengthen the (shoulder) straps and cover the bottom and up the sides a little ways. It could be lined and add a zipper and maybe some wool embroidery. There was an article in Threads magazine a while back about recycling garments into purses or carry bags.

    This reminds me of a story from “Country Living” in the “80’s called “The Yellow Dress”. It started out being made for a dance. It had heart-shaped buttons. It was handed down until it became too worn. The buttons were cut off and saved, maybe some pieces were saved for a quilt. It became an apron, then dish towels, then dust cloths, and finally made into a rag mop. But the heart shped buttons were always remembered as being on the yellow dress.

  9. I’m a little slow here, but I’m glad you saved your maternity clothes, too! They were so fun to look at – most days I wish the tent style dress were still in fashion! And that photo with you, Daddy and me is cute. It’s neat that Fuzzy (for those of you reading, that’s the code word for Nathaniel, my brother) was in the photo too – just that I’m hiding him!

    • I’ve always loved that Christmas picture. I made that red dress you are wearing specifically to coordinate with my green jumper – for that photo. And, yes, it’s really neat that Fuzzy is “in” it, too!

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