Aloha Hawaii… so very Betty Draper with McCalls 4428

A "flower strewn nosegay sweater" featured in Vogue Knitting Book, Fall and Winter 1953

Goodbye Hawaii… the night before we left I felt my heart fall. We had such a wonderful time on Oahu with Little Prince and his grandmother, I felt the sorrow that comes with the end of a period of time that you know- know- you shall always look fondly back at. No matter what comes in the future, what changes life brings, I feel an incredible sense of gratitude to have enjoyed such precious time with people I love.

After four hours of sleep (and still on Hawaii time) I woke early to get a start on the unpacking. By 10am I had fed Little Prince, cooked a bacon and egg breakfast for my husband, bought groceries and baked a cake. Oh, and I took out our mailbox. With our car. Our BRICK mailbox. Perhaps driving on so little sleep wasn’t such a great idea. The mailbox has shifted and cannot be moved by man alone (it apparently takes a car and only a car to move it). The car will need to be repaired but still functions. When it happened I turned the engine off and just sat there a moment. This was not what I had planned for my morning. And then, I laughed. it seems laughing is what people do as an alternative to bawling their eyes out or praying. I think I was in shock and quite shaken. Clearly driving on the opposite side of the road during our holiday, I was no longer used to the steering wheel being on the “right” side and my sense of spatial awareness had decreased… somewhat.

Well, anyway, it is wonderful to be home. After being in a hotel room, being in a house feels luxurious. I enjoy being able to cook again. Little Prince seems to recognise his home and appears quite happy, but I have noticed is a bit more unsettled than usual. It must be very confusing to a baby. They don’t understand what a “holiday” or “vacation” is. But I think he is getting a sense of “home”.

In the time we were away he astounded me with three words: mumma, daddy and grandma. Its not as though we heard him practising, he just came out with the words. (He had said “mum” before we left). My heart still melts when he says “Mumma”. It is a selfish delight and I cannot help but throw my arms about him and wish he would be as he is always, so very sweet and cuddly with an infectious smile… but he will continue to grow. And there will be new moments to delight in.

Mother and child, an advertisement image from a 1950s Vogue Knitting Book magazine

On our last day in Hawaii I was drawn to the window display of Banana Republic who have launched a “Mad Men” collection. A very obliging sales assistant showed off a few of the dresses which are modelled after characters in the show. Ie. there are a series of Betty Draper dress, Joan dresses etc.

Over the next week, I will feature a number of patterns in the spirit of Betty Draper’s character, likely to include a few knitting patterns which I think really capture the style of the era. McCalls 4428 is a fabulous first pattern to this end, its Betty Draper right down to the illustration of the model. I LOVE this dress. I LOVE LOVE the collar and the neckline and hope to make this one for next Summer, (undecided about whether to do a contrast collar).

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