Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Polka Dots Forever!

Back in March, I bought a yard of red & white dot intending to whip up a quick pencil skirt for an upcoming party. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention and the fabric was not as wide as I had thought. There wasn’t enough to make any of my skirt patterns, no matter how I laid them out unless I made a mini, which was not going to happen. So I decided to make a short midriff top to wear with my high-waist vintage-style jeans. I used the bodice from this pattern:

When the bodice was nearly completed, I realized that 1) I’d accidentally thrown away the neck facing along with my scraps and was out of dot fabric. 2) I might just be too old to pull off a midriff top, no matter how high the waist on my jeans.

Rather than simply buy more red & white dot to use as facing, I tried folding over the fabric at the neck and basting it down. This resulted in a bumpy, uneven, ugly collar. AND I’d accidentally used a tiny stitch so seam-ripping it out was going to SUCK. I cried. And then put the unfinished item in a box and forgot about it.

In May, we moved into a new place where I actually had sewing room! I was so jazzed about having a designated place to work but I really wanted to finish all my outstanding projects before I started anything new. I decided to go ahead and try to make the red dot top into a dress. I chose this pattern (view B):

I bought two and a half yards of white twill at Discount Fabrics. I came home and laid out the skirt pattern and realized that I had about twice as much fabric as I needed. Darn those 60” bolts and my unwillingness to do simple math!

After assembling the skirt and attaching it to the bodice, I discovered that the 1960’s slightly puffy A-line skirt was a very, very, BAD look for me. Gathers give me trouble anyway and because there were only gathers in the front, the belly puffed out like a maternity dress. I only discovered this AFTER I put the darned zipper in! So I cried a little, seam-ripped a lot and started again with the remaining white twill and this skirt pattern:

Success! The new skirt looked SO much better. Unfortunately the dress itself was not so good. The length of the sleeve made my boobs look lumpy, the collar was still bumpy and evil, and I appeared to have some kind of hunchback due to the placement of the zipper.

More alterations! I took up the shoulders, which mostly fixed the hunchback. I shortened the sleeves by just hacking them off at the desired length. The collar and sleeve ends were fixed and finished with double fold bias tape. I added a cute little bias tape bow at the neck. Hooray! A dress I would actually consider wearing in public!! And it only took six months from start to finish!

Here it is on my as yet un-named dress form. Unless I can get MD to take pictures of me, you'll be seeing a lot of her here.

It came out okay. Definitely wearable. Maybe I'll get a white pillbox had and white wrist-length gloves to go with it. Here's a shot of the bow detail. I didn't finish the ends. Hope it doesn't ravel!

1 comment:

  1. I love your dress. I am considering getting you a tripod as a belated birthday gift. And I have fraycheck if you want to use it on the ends of your bow.