Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Two-Day, Two-Yard Turquoise Dress

Let's be perfectly honest--I am not usually a quick sewer. This is something I want to get better about--starting, working steadily, and finishing a project in a normal amount of time.

Done, and done, friends--I think I broke a record with this dress.

Remember the turqouise dyeing experiment? It left me with just enough cotton voile to eke out a dress. And I mean just enough--it was an exercise in spatial reasoning as I sat on the floor with an assortment of pattern pieces, the fabric, my drafting/cutting board, and a determination to get this worked out. I had barely over two yards total.

It's a bit of a Franken-dress: I used the skirt from one pattern, the bodice (sort of) from another, and then reworked that bodice into a sleeveless style.

To make things more challenging, I had a rule. Because this was an experiment dress on so many levels--experiment fabric, experiment draping, experiments out the wazoo--I wasn't going to let myself use any resources but those I had at hand.

So instead of a zip, it's got a snap closure.

It's not lined--I'll wear it with a slip. (Or, I thought as well, over a tee and leggings for modern wear.)

And no separate facing material either--I literally pulled scraps from the bin to piece (yes, piece) facing for the neckline.

Given all that, it turned out quite nicely, I think! It was fun to have the challenge of "make do or do without"--if this had only been a more exact 30s or 40s style, I could have called it my Depression dress or rationing dress!

I also had fun fitting the dress to the form--though I've used my form for a while now, this is the first time I did most of the fitting to the form itself instead of following a pattern. I felt very accomplished. Especially when it actually fit me, when all was said and done--and fit better than just following a pattern, which is the point, really, of having the dress form to begin with, isn't it?

Now I just have to wait for a summery day to wear this! Too bad it's frigid, windy, snowing, and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon!

What challenges or goals do you have or want to give yourself in your creative endeavors? How do you plan to--or have you--met them?


MrsC said...

Hi there, last night I made Butterick 5209. I grabbed fabric and pattern just as shop was closing at 5pm, washed and dried fabric, cut out, got in a fitting,and was all made bar the hem by 10.30pm. That has satisfied my need for a challenge for a long time to come hehehe.

Heather R said...

I think it came out quite nice for all of the challenges it posed. I am another one that is really bad at starting projects and working on them a little over a very long period of time...

Rowenna said...

MrsC--Awesome! I made 5209 recently and was pleased at how it came together. But I definitely didn't move as quickly as you did!

Heather--thanks! I'm trying to break the habit :)

MrsC said...

Yes and I meant to also say, thank you so much because when faced with an on the spot call as to what to put this character in, I thought of 5209 because you posted about it. You saved my butt! :)
Posting about it soon, just waiting for pics... LOVE yours btw, that silk charmeuse makes me want to sing! AND requires a far more cautious approach to construction than heavy cotton :)

Anonymous said...

Can you share the patterns you used for this dress?