Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Refashion: the almost perfect dress

I bought this skirt from Goodwill for 50 cents a couple years ago for a halloween costume, and held on to it because it's super soft.  I figured it would make a nice sewing fabric, once I knew what I wanted to make with it.  In to the stash it disappeared.  

Earlier this month I found myself in the odd situation of not having any sewing projects on the table.  I'd finished everything that I had fabric for, and was about to put my sewing machine away for the week when I came across Heather's blog, Closet Case Files.  I don't know what it was about her blog that I loved so much, but I was so inspired that I just had to start a new project.  I drafted out this pattern and cut the pieces out within the hour, and whipped the rest of the dress up in the next day.  

I'd been meaning to make a shirtdress with simple pleats in the place of darts ever since I saw one of my sixty year old professors wearing one in class.  Inspiration comes from the strangest places.  

As I was sewing this dress I was convinced that it was the Most Perfect Thing that I have ever made.  The insides are all french seamed and beautiful.  The sleeves fit and don't restrict my movement.  Great, right?  Well, once I put the dress on I realized that the bodice was a couple inches shorter than I had intended it to be.  The result of this is that the dress is also a few inches shorter than I intended, and that the waistband is right under my chest.  This might not be that big of a deal, except it's a very tight waistband.  Remember how the sleeves don't restrict my movements?  The same doesn't apply to the waistband.  Yeah, I can't pick my arms up higher than shoulder level.  No big deal, right? 

At a vintage bazaar earlier this summer, a woman selling 1940-style dresses told me that waistbands on shirt-dresses used to have snaps at the waists instead of buttons, so that belts could lie flat over them more easily.  I thought it sounded like a great idea; my waistband has two snaps instead of a button.  The result of this is that if I stretch too violently the snaps pop open.  Oops.  

Next problem: the binding on the neckline was not supposed to stand straight up.  I think it's kind of cute that it does, but that was not intentional. 

Regardless of the fact that the fit is a little off on this dress, I still love it.  I just can't wear it on days where I have to move around a lot, is all.  


4 comments:

  1. I think you did a realy great job on this. I don't think I would have been able to pull it off.

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  2. So cute! I'm so impressed, and if you ever feel like you need to practice making clothes for people beside yourself, well, just let me know ;)

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    Replies
    1. Haha thanks Scout! I've gotten this offer from a lot of people. If you were to find yourself near my sewing machine with enough fabric for a project, sure, I'll sew for you! But it takes time, and also it's difficult to do from across the country!

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  3. Fantastic work! I love the neckline best :)

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