The Party Dress

When I was a kid, girls couldn’t wear pants to school. When it was cold, we had to wear pants under our skirts or dresses, and take them off when we got to school. I was in 7th grade when we were finally allowed to wear pants, and even then, we couldn’t wear jeans (that had to wait until high school).

In the early 60’s, I suppose we usually wore pants around the house, but even then sometimes it was dresses. As you can see, wearing a dress was not a deterrent to playing “Cowboys and Indians” with the boy next door. That’s David, my first boyfriend. We were both two in this photo. Notice that we are holding hands.

Cheryl And David 1960

Sadly, we were torn apart at the tender age of 5 when I moved away. Sigh. But I digress. Except for playing around the house, we wore dresses a lot. Especially for parties or holidays, and all the girls had party dresses. I remember my favorite party dress very well – it was white with red rosebuds. I loved that dress, and wore it at every opportunity. I have quite a few photographs of myself in it at various times. It was a tragedy when I finally outgrew it. Here I am wearing it at my 6th birthday party. I’m the one on the left.

6th Birthday Party

So I’m sure you can imagine my delight when I first saw this Party Dress pattern for Barbie. There was no question about it being my next Barbie doll dress.

Spring Party Dress

Pattern: Summer Party Dress, from “Knits for Barbie Doll”, by Nicky Epstein
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Muskat, in off-white and green
Pink flowers embroidered with yarn sent by Cookie.
Needles: 3mm
Ravelry: Project page

Modifications: None, other than yarn. I probably should have used 2.75mm needles, as it’s slightly loose.

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13 Responses to The Party Dress

  1. Cookie says:


  2. margene says:

    All the way through my school years there was a strict dress code. I never wore pants of any sort to school. For play we had peddle pushers and shorts as well as dresses. I even remember one piece jumper suits. Grrl, that makes me feel old.
    However! Barbie is quite beautiful in her party dress! You made it so festive and summery!

  3. Laritza says:

    Oh love it all!

  4. Chris says:

    Awwwww is right! 🙂

  5. Kitten says:

    My god I thought you had a picture of my niece for a minute there.

  6. Gramma Phyl says:

    Your favorite party dress looks very similar to my 8th grade graduation dress. (No cap and gown until high school.) And as far as pants go, they were verboten except for grammar school, and then only to keep us warm while we walked to school. As soon as we were at school off they had to come. In fact, the college I attended didn’t allow pants in class until my second quarter freshman year, and then they had to be dress trousers- NO jeans. In fact about the only time you could wear jeans was in horseback riding P.E. class! Boy have times changed and sometimes not for the better, in my way of thinking.

  7. jill says:

    Barbie looks smashing in her dress, but those photos of you are beyond cute! Like you, I was not allowed to wear pants to school. Every once in a while we’d have a pants day (we were progressive in Los Angeles!), but not often. I had skinny legs, thus the nickname “chicken legs.” Good times

  8. Rachel says:

    I am with Cookie on this one: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww,,,, 🙂

  9. silvia says:

    You should try to recreate that dress now! It would be pretty easy – round neck, empire waist with a slight A-line. White cotton with batiste overlay. I know you’ve got a sewing machine…

  10. Heather says:

    What a difference a few years makes! I got to wear jeans or whatever.

    Love the Barbie dress. Cute cute cute!

  11. Carrie#K says:

    Party! Party! Love the your dresses and Barbie’s knockoff. We weren’t allowed to wear pants until high school either – thankfully knee socks were still in vogue for our set. 😉

  12. Liz says:

    I love this post. Great pictures. And fabulous headdress!

  13. marianne says:

    just oh.holy.moly. How adorable were you! and David, and your grrrlfriends! love seeing all those sweet smiles.
    I remember getting to wear pants in elementary school until grade 6 when my teacher announced no more pants for the girls, we needed to get used to wearing dresses/skirts all the time.. so what did I do? I wore pants that next day.
    Had to wear dresses/skirts through jr.high, and the first year in high school, then we got to wear pants, then soon after Jeans!!! that was a great day.
    I keep telling myself to wear dresses/skirts more often, the simple, casual sort but then it doesn’t happen.. :^)
    Beautiful dress you knit for Barbie! and I’m looking forward to their Summer parties!

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