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Printable Copy  I  Making The State Dress  I

History Of The Missouri State Dress

In 1979 June Baugh made the original state dress. She and her husband Bob were members of a committee appointed by the State Federation to develop a state dress. Other members of the committee were Chuck and Doris Thurman and Jim and Doris Hornbeck. She presented the dress at a state meeting where it was approved as the Missouri State Dress. Authentic Pattern #276 was used to make a white dress with eight hand cut bluebirds around the bottom of the skirt connected with white trim stitched to the fabric with blue zig zag stitching. She made a blue bib with white state map and bluebird centered on the back. At that time light blue petticoat and pettipants were worn. White shoes were worn. The trim was also used around the neck and sleeves of the dress bodice. The men's vest was blue with a white state map and bluebird centered on the back. White trousers, white shirt with blue tie. Soon different versions appeared on the scene with many shades of blue in the dress; different trims such as lace etc., in all shades of blue.

In 1980 June Zoellner received permission from the state to have the bluebirds for the dress and vest screen printed. The state funded that project.

In 1984 Shirley Woods assembled the kit we all recognize (with 11 bluebirds, royal blue braid and instructions). Wilda Stieferman and Judy Epperson handled the kits from 1986 until November of 1989.

Debby Bailey accepted responsibility for the kits in November of 1989. In October of 1990 the State Board approved an alternative to the bib for the ladies dress. Debby Bailey designed a square back collar and a round back collar large enough to hold the state map with the bluebird in the center. The ladies were again asked to adhere as closely as possible to the guidelines set forth by the State Federation when they make their official state dress. It will make the Missouri delegation at the National Convention be even more impressive. The official state dress is usually worn Friday night at the State Dance and for the Parade of States at the National Convention. Debby continues to handle the kits at this time.

This history was compiled with the help of Chuck and Hazel Saunders, Dean and Betty Osbourne, John and Lois Bess, Dean and Shirley Baxter, Bill and Shirley Woods, Don and Judy Epperson and Debby Bailey.

Vivian Wiggins

Illustration #1

Bulebirds Highlight State Dress

With the National Convention, June 24, 25, 26, 27, 1992, we decided to review the official state dress for those who don't yet have one, or for new dancers.

For the Men: Blue vest (with the state in white and centered bluebird on back; see illustration No. 1); blue or white pants, white shirt, blue tie, white towel with bluebird, white or blue shoes.

For the Ladies: White dress (Authentic Pattern #276 or similar of your choice) with blue trim around the neck and sleeves, 8 bluebirds evenly spaced around the skirt and connected with blue trim (see illustration No. 2); blue bib, vest, bolero, or collar with white state map and centered bluebird on back (like men's vest - see illustration No. 3); white or blue shoes; blue petticoat and pettipants.

Material: Optional.

Color of blue - any shade of blue in bluebirds, with preference to royal.

Kits of silk screen bluebirds containing eleven birds, and instruction sheets are available from:

Debbie Bailey - P.O. Box 14 - Laclede, Missouri 64651-0014 - 816.963.2262

$4.50 per set (includes postage) $4.50 - 12 yds. Braid

Illustration #2

Illustration #3

(This article appeared in the June 1992 issue of "The Show Me Doin's")

Updated 4/4/17