When I first started this blog, I was an unemployed costumer attempting to create period gowns and costumes with very limited means. Although now employed, I still try to be as thrifty as possible. I am still "The Broke Costumer"!

In addition to posts about the outfits I make on a budget, this blog includes short research articles on fashion, history, accessories, styles, or whatever interests me at the moment.

I hope you enjoy my journey into the land of inexpensive costuming and short articles.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Palm Springs Mid-Mod

We love to go to Palm Springs once or twice a year, usually for a birthday or special event. This last weekend we attended the Rock N’ Luau on Saturday.  Sunday was our day for antiquing and driving through the beautiful mid century modern neighborhoods.   My favorite neighborhood is called Vista Las Palmas.  When built in 1958-59 by the Alexander brothers, it was the Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.  Here the Rat Pack partied with Marilyn, Elvis and Priscilla spent their honeymoon in the famous "House of Tomorrow", and dozens of other stars owned the desert homes. The floor plans were similar; long, low ranch houses, but the front of the houses had interesting architectural features, some designed by William Krisel and some by Charles Dubois.  Butterfly roofs, concrete block walls (by Krisel) and my favorite, the "Swiss Miss" (by Dubois).  There are around 15 Swiss Miss houses in this neighborhood.

I found the perfect Palm Springs dress fabric.   Made by Michael Miller, its called Mod Pad. I thought it would be fun to wear it while on one of our neighborhood tours.  It looks like this:


 Since I could only afford 3 yards, I searched for a simple sundress type pattern. I found a very easy Simplicity “Lisette” pattern, number 1419.   It used less than 3 yards.  It only took a few evenings to finish, and I really like the style.  I will be making more dresses from this pattern.  I made the view B, but without the collar. I cut it out to my measurements, but it runs large.  I can use a size smaller on the next dress I make from this pattern.

Dress cost:  3 yards fabric for $27
                   1 zipper  $1.50


Jerry has taken dozens of beautiful photos of these homes over the last few years. I would love to show you them all, but here are some of my favorite "Swiss Miss" homes :)



  1. Now that you've identified the "Swiss Miss" architectural detail, I remember seeing similar take-offs of them in Anaheim, and ones with a sharper pitch even in San Diego.
    I see a trend here; making dresses to go with houses. ;)

  2. Love how your dress turned out and what a cute material find as well! Love love love those houses.

  3. Thank you both so much! I love these houses. Someday maybe......

  4. I love this! The picture of you sitting on the curb looks like it came straight from a 1950s photo album.

  5. Thanks Liz! That one is my favorite house and I was trying not to block the view :) Jerry must have taken a dozen photos of just that one house.

  6. hi! where is the house that is in the pic above the "house of tomorrow" pic? the one with the white beams on the left side of the house?

    1. Its in the Las Palmas neighborhood. I don't know the address, we just drive up and down the streets until I find a Swiss Miss!