Here it is – the first of October – and were we live the weather should be (and normally does) feel like fall. Sure, we have an occasional cool day with a clear and earthy smell in the air as a promise that the next season is still to come…sometime. Instead of fall, we are still melting in what we call an “Indian Summer” – a hot spell coming after the autumn equinox (also known as a “badger summer” in Sweden, “old woman’s summer” in Slavic countries, or “second summer” in Britain’s old English just to name a few). My country’s term for this weather is a phase that may best be described as pejorative. It has been in use here since circa 1790s and its origins are quite hazy and unclear, though. In his extremely thorough research, though, Albert Matthews, a Bostonian who spent 12 years in the late 19th century gathering together dozens of the earliest uses of the phrase, never discovered a convincing explanation for what the expression meant. It is a lovely time of the year that doesn’t come annually, and it was traditionally used to fully finish one’s winter preparations.
Nevertheless, I love warm temperatures, so although completely out-of-season, I’m not complaining…only happy that my sundresses and sandals are seeing some good use! Not content with that and contrary to it’s tradition, I find this weather as a reason to keep sewing the sundresses I have been wanting to make for a long time. I want to soak up every minute of sundress weather while I still can before I have to wait 8 or so months for it to come back!!
Thus, I will be having a small on-going series over the next few months of my sundress makes from this late summer spell of warmth we are experiencing. It is because I love my new sundresses and want to brighten up the season of chilly weather we will be having soon with what I am posting, but also because I realize that all my readers are not in my same zone and might be transitioning into spring and early summer coming up, so a warm weather garment might be good for ideas.
Now, what is a sundress? To summarize it (as it does have a loose meaning) it is a sleeveless, informal dress in made of lighter weight fabrics to be worn in warm weather. Post 1960s to modern times, a sundress is a bit different than what the past decades, especially the 1920s and 1930s, understood as a sundress. I will explore some of this by showing the variety of sundresses I have made – from which is one 1920s inspired, to one from each of the next four decades after that.