Vintage Simplicity 8276: House Coat, Art Smock, Lab Coat, Beach Cover Up

I don’t really consider myself a modest woman per se. I think there is an appropriate mode of dress for most situations and the bulk of humanity ignores said accepted rules (i.e. football jerseys in church and pajama pants to the grocery store). One thing that is generally acceptable, but I’m too self conscious to do is walk around a beach or pool in my swimsuit. I. Just. Can’t. Not even in my skinny-but-thought-I-was-fat-20s. I always tossed on shorts or a tee shirt when I wasn’t in the water. There was a time in middle school where I would only get IN the pool wearing a tee shirt over my swimsuit. Heh. I actually didn’t even start wearing a two piece until near the end of college. Hmmm, maybe I am actually a prude.

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And, this is why I love that I can sew.  Even when they are super simple garments. Still feeling inspired by my trip to Detroit and the Motown Museum in May, I turned to my small vintage pattern stash when invited to the Eastern Shore to visit the boyfriend’s parents. No freaking way was I trotting around in my swimsuit in front of them. Especially because all we do is eat. Pizza, french fries, latkes, bread, ice cream, Italian ice…. you name it. I eat it when we visit. This 1969 beach robe from Simplicity was just what I wanted.

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I immediately knew I wanted to use a vintage bed sheet for my fabric. This plaid just stood out to me at the second thrift shop I visited. Oh, and check the sewing pattern at the top (which I didn’t take with me). There’s a yellow and pink plaid right there, BOOM.

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The colors are just the right era in bright yellow, orange and pale green. And, a beach robe hides a multitude of sins…

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The beach coverup was generally constructed when Trena came up last weekend for our annual Tour Dem Parks 25 mile bicycle ride through the City (gratuitous photo below). Yes, that is now my third bicycle. Yikes.

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She said it looked like a lab coat. I thought it looked like an art class smock. My boyfriend thought it was a new jacket for work…. None of these what a beach coverup should like like, right?

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Trena convinced me to lop of eight inches!! She also suggested I add tabs to the sleeves (I didn’t). And not to wear it buttoned (true dat).

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And here I am. With the teeniest Afro puffs known to mankind, heh. I’m obviously, not at the beach. But, in the backyard of the house we stayed. The view… amazing.

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You have to love vintage for putting darts into a casual garment. Darts my friends! There are also raglan sleeves and deep patch pockets that I placed on the bias.  In addition to shortening the hem by eight inches, I also lopped about four off the sleeves.

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The coverup reminds me of the house dresses my mom and aunt still love. I may have to whip one up just to wear around the house.

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But, for the beach, this is kind of ideal for me. I felt like I had some sun protection, felt confident prancing about and stood out along the boardwalk. I need to make another one in a solid material as I have two swimmers I made last year that are crazy prints. For real, totally happy with this simple cover up.

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  1. I think it looks cute- especially with your modifications. Glad to see you back!

  2. That’s really cute. It so easy to make something like that and it looks like you’re wearing a bathrobe. You picked the perfect fabric.

  3. You look Fabulous. And, if I were a beach person ( which I am not – my eyeballs glaze over when exposed to sand), I’d have several cover-ups – I remember a much-loved one from when I was a kid (and was being dragged to the beach every summer for two weeks) which was plain cotton on the outside and nice plushy terry on the inside. When we emerged, blue, from the water in Rhode Island, that was a very nice snuggly thing to dry off and warm up in, I can tell you. My mom also made my sister long dress sorts of things because she used to get something that was coyly referred to as ‘sun poisoning’ (I just used to turn lobster red – supposedly different). So, my advice is to create a wardrobe of cover-ups – so much more elegant and better fitting that throwing on an XL teeshirt, I can tell you.

  4. Oh, this looks great on you, and the colors are so summery and cheerful. I don’t consider myself a prude either, but I probably am. I cannot parade around in a swimsuit either! This is a great method to look good yet covered without seeming to be overly modest. I like to keep some secrets! Hope you had a great time, You have been missed.

  5. Ha! I feel ya on being a “prude”…I was just thinking the other day how silly it was to put little girls (like under 12) in a bikini where they spent more time re-adjusting than being able to have fun. See? Probably prudish.

    Anyway, love the colors of this on you!! I couldn’t imagine that on my bed though, LOL! Sounds like a great trip, and glad you’re back and blogging!

  6. Really cute! I love the color and print! I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but the new Closet Case Files bombshell swimsuit pattern is crazy cute, but has a little more coverage than your average swimsuit.

  7. A cover up lab coat art smock business jacket! Love it. (It’s a floor wax! A dessert topping!)

  8. Cute! And, you know, your boyfriend might be right – it could also look cute as a casual-Friday semi-suit, over say a yellow or orange sheath (depending of course on where you work!).

  9. What a lovely place to get away. It’s perfect for a cover up and the colors look wonderful on you.

  10. The dude in the foreground of the penultimate photo looks like he’s from the 1940’s. I looked at it twice to make sure that it was taken recently.

  11. Bring back beach cover-ups I say! They knew how to dress back then!
    I made a long line linen shirt for my last holiday where I needed a layer over my swimmers, but I love the vintage style. of your cover-up.

  12. Love the fabric choice for the cover up. That yellow pops and the style is great.

  13. I love your beach cover. I like having something over my bathing suit. It’s not just modisty, but it’s better sun protection. Win-win.

  14. I totally love these photos. You need to put them in a special book to look at when you are feeling down. I admit, I was skeptical of the beach housecoat, but you totally pulled it off. Adorable!

  15. My favorite blog! And wow that cover-up is just as cute as can be on you!! Hope the blind hemmer turns out to be a boon for eliminating hand stitching!

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