The Playclothes Dress!

Ah, friends, I cannot tell you how excited I have been to sew this dress. 

The Playclothes Dress (BHL Flora bodice & pleated Christine Haynes' Emery skirt)
From the moment my band were booked to play the Tanzcafe Arlberg Festival in Lech, Austria, I got giddy. I was going to be singing on an Austrian Alp! As a lifelong obsessee of The Sound of Music, which has remained my favourite film of all time since the age of 4, naturally my next thought was: I need to sew a playclothes dress!! 

I started the fabric hunt pretty early. I really wanted vintage, green, floral curtains (of course), but they were horrendously difficult to find. The few other green floral prints in the running were either too small scale or too dark. I decided I could branch out to yellow. I really like yellow but I have no yellow clothes! What?! 

The fabric is polycotton from Weaver Dee and was ridiculously cheap. I wish it were a higher quality fabric 'cause I really love the print! But since it's a stiff and sheer polycotton I underlined and lined the bodice with white cotton lawn, and lined the skirt in an old duvet cover (Maria would approve I am sure). 

And just look at the lovely dress. Yes yes yes! I just love it. Sadly I didn't get it finished in time to take it with me to wear in the evenings when we were in Austria (boo!) but I did sing a bit of Lonely Goatherd at the top of a stunning mountain with my hair in braids over my head. So that's alright.

We had such a blast in Austria. The gig went so so well, we were incredibly well looked after and got to have a couple of holiday days while we were there, and truly it was wonderful. It was also actually quite emotional! I had more than a few moments where I looked around and thought: "I can't believe this is my job!" The very best part is I get to do it with some of my very best friends in the world. 

The scenery was like nothing I have ever seen before. I've never been on a snow holiday before, and when we went to the top of one of the mountains, I was truly awe-struck. As far as the eye could see in all directions was mountains. I couldn't see another person. And it was absolutely silent. I've never heard silence like that. It was stunning, really stunning. Mountains are good for perspective I think.

Obviously this is one of the highs of being a self-employed performer - sometimes the stars align and you get a really cool job, everything is wonderful, you're creatively fulfilled and working with amazing people, and it does feel incredible. But of course there are many lows, too (many, many lows!). But I do think it is just as important to recognise both, and even though I didn't get to wear my playclothes dress while I was in Austria, it will always remind me of such an incredibly special trip and gig, and mostly of my mates in the band. They're the best. 

(Gushing over). 

I wore this dress on Sunday for the first time, and really, really tried to get some pictures of it "in action" in the park, but I was on my own and this was the best I could do:

Bye for now! x


  1. Lovely dress! Is it the Flora bodice? I've had the pattern for agessss and I'm finally attempting an FBA and sorting the fit out for me (fingers crossed)! Austria sounds fab - how lucky you are to get to travel and perform in cool places :) x

    1. Hey! Yes, it is the Flora bodice. Good luck with your fit work! I thought I'd sussed the fit on Flora with my last version, and I pretty much have but I just want to add a bit more coverage to the front armhole. Then it'll be perfect I reckon!

      Thank you! It was wonderful and I do feel very lucky! Although as I say it's definitely not always quite so cool or glamorous ;) xxx

  2. Such a sunny happy dress, I like how you did the side pleated skirt ;o)

  3. Such a great post Ree - I can totally relate! We've just been on tour with our band to Japan and apart from all the excitement that entails, the best thing is sharing it with your band mates. The kind of bond you have with your fellow musicians is really unique and quite special. We are very lucky indeed! Love your dress too and it looks like you had a fabulous trip.

    1. Thanks, Coo! You're so right, it really is a special bond. We are very fortunate indeed xx