No end-of-year wrap up posts or new year “resewlutions” around here, folks! Tragic, I know. I’m sure you all are wondering which of my 7 posts from 2015 showed my true style and evidenced my evolution as a handmade fashion maker. I’ll spare you the soul-searching (sewl-searching?) and just get on with the show!
How long has it been? I can barely remember October at this point, but I do recall a lot of what I made in November thanks to #bpsewvember. Ah, the joys of microblogging! Maybe I’ll actually get around to macroblogging those makes sometime. Anyway, work caught up with me by December and then tbh winter just makes me sleepy all the time.
Short daylight hours aside, I had big hopes for my winter break. I even cut out a couple projects to prep. Much fabric and notions were purchased. Three weeks of sewing bliss! I thought to myself. Nope. The only thing I sewed was this dress. And, for no good reason, I started it the night before I needed to wear it.
This. Dress. Where to start? Duh, the fabric. This shiny metallic rainbow eyelash chiffon was purchased from none other than Fabric Mart, in a $1.99 costume fabrics sale. Alas, it is all gone now, but Fabric.com recently stocked the same thing! Be warned, though: you will have rainbow confetti errywhere for the next few weeks after cutting into this stuff. Up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I lean towards good. Also, never iron it! The lashes will get bent in all different directions and you will cry and I will say I told you so.
As I said, I started sewing the day before my deadline, which was my cousin’s wedding. I normally wouldn’t have been able to do this, but the couple decided to hold their henna night (no relation) two days before the wedding instead of the night before. Thus, I had all of Christmas day with nothing to do but sew a dress!
With the time crunch, I decided to make something very easy. Namely, Very Easy Vogue 9104. I cut a size 14, but had to make a few adjustments along the way.
The fabric is flashy, but I didn’t want to actually flash anyone, so I cut a lining (in a black poly satin) using the front and back pattern pieces. Because of this, I didn’t use the armhole facing pieces that come with the pattern. I simply sewed the front and back together at the side seams, and then joined the lining and the main fabric around the arm seams. I then sewed up the tiny shoulder seams and attached the collar. You can see that there is gathering around the neckline (front and back). Instead of gathering the lining, I made pleats kind of randomly and on the fly. I’m not proud of my finishes, but I got it done.
I should also mention that when I first sewed up the side seams I was appalled at how low the armscye was! I ended up taking out about 2 1/4″ out of each side seam, for a total of about 9″. Looking at it now, I don’t think I really needed to take out that much, as I’d have liked it to be a little bit looser at the bust. But let’s be real, no one notices small fit issues when they’re already blinded by the fabric.
I added the tulle at the last minute, but I think it’s the perfect addition. I’ve been seeing sheer panels on lots of garments and really like the look. Bonus: you don’t have to hem tulle! I shortened the panel by about 2 inches before cutting it out of an underskirt in an old dress hanging in my closet. Does that count as upcycling?
I didn’t have an appropriate belt, so I took a gold necklace chain and hooked that around my waist. This dress basically cost $5.
I feel like this dress got mixed reviews from friends and family, which I think is the hallmark of an interesting garment. Sometimes when I make something, or even when I’m just in the planning stages, I step back and ask myself: If this were hanging in a store, would I buy it? This time, though, I feel like the question doesn’t even apply. I don’t think I’d ever see this in a store, and I like that. Any other outside-the-box fabric lovers out there?