Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dress #20

For my 20th homemade dress I decided I should do something special.  I thought a unique dress was in order, not more of the same pattern (2174) which I make over and over and over.  Don't get me wrong.  This dress is just about perfect for me--so much so that it has essentially become my uniform...which makes it hard to invest time and energy into something else.  What if it didn't work out?!  What if I didn't like it as much?!  I eventually realized that I was probably just pigeonholing myself, both stylistically and in my sewing skill-set.  So, I decided that Dress #20 had to be something different.
My trusty, ol' Simplicity 2147.  I've made more than a dozen of these.
I waited until Simplicity patterns were on sale for $.99 at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I bought two new patterns with the 20th dress in mind--not at all sure when I'd get around to actually making said 20th dress.  One pattern (1800) is so similar to My Dress that, while I am sure I will love it, I ultimately decided it just wouldn't do for Dress #20.
The other pattern was this one.
Instead of just coasting with what I know (er, that would be the 2174) I realized I should see it as an opportunity to branch out and learn a new skill or two and maybe challenge myself.

I'd been eyeing the Simplicity 1950's vintage remake pattern for some time online, but always brushed it off as not-the-sort-of-dress-I'd-make.  It has no pockets and has darts for heaven's sake.  My only previous attempt at darts went terribly.  So terribly the dress remained less than half-made and squirreled away in the sewing room closet for the last couple of years.  I don't think I've ever made a dress without pockets before, except that Little House Halloween costume, which I don't even count as one of my dresses, since it hasn't migrated into everyday wear.  The 1459's full skirt is lined, which intrigued and intimidated me.  The few skirts/dresses which I own that are lined are quite nice.  The drape and flow is lovely, even with leggings underneath.  But, it wasn't something I'd ever tried before.  There were button holes and a fabric belt to make, too!  Lots of new or almost-new territory for me.
And so I plunged in.  Conveniently my mom was in town and helped coach me through making darts.  She had some tricks (like Tailor Tacks) for me that really, really helped even things out.  The darts aren't perfect, but they're close enough.
I finished it this past weekend at a sewing retreat I attended with my moms (my mom and Matt's mom) and some friends.  It turned out very well.  I adore the full skirt, especially.  Oh, how it twirls!!  I cannot wait to go dancing.
I had to adjust the sleeves for my "heavy" arms.  This is the term used in my pattern alteration book.  I just winged in on the matching fabric belt and probably should have used a stiffer interfacing as the belt gets folded and wrinkled from my sitting down.  Lining the skirt was a snap and I think I shall have to line my skirts from now on.  I ended up sewing the button placard closed.  I quite dislike gapping between button holes and this dress really could stand three buttons, rather than the suggested two, I think.  Live and learn.    The buttons matched the dress swell.  They even look kinda vintage.  The huge, wide collar is a lot of fun, if you ask me.
This is the first time I've had to go shopping for dress making supplies in order to complete a project.  I think, possibly the first time ever.  I get everything gifted to me or pick it up randomly at garage sales without a specific project in mind.  I actually had to set out for matching buttons and lining fabric this time though.  Even still, it was a dress that cost about $10.
Honestly,  I don't know that I'll make the pattern again.  However, I am going to take things the pattern taught me and run with it.  Things like, lining skirts and making bodices with darts.  I might make a mash-up dress with a 2174 bodice on a twirly 1459 skirt--with pockets!  The world is my oyster.

10 comments:

  1. Good for you learning all those new techniques! I love your new dress, especially the skirt and the beautiful fabric choice.
    -Jaime

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    1. Thanks, Jamie! It went together really well--even with all the new skills. My mom gets all the credit for fabric selection.

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  2. Just beautiful, that dress really suits you. If you are missing pockets, I am pretty sure you can add invisible pockets at the side seem. I made a 1950's style wrap dress for my daughter on her wedding day, it was a Colette pattern. It wrapped at the back, had a sweet heart neckline and invisible side pockets. Kudos to you about number twenty x

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    1. I agree. The next one will have to have side pockets! I almost added them this go-round, but decided to follow the pattern for the first one. I really should have though. And thanks, as always, for your encouragement!!

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  3. I think it is lovely and I do think it looks very vintage. In fact, I think with your freckles you look like you are from another era. And what a fantastic resume: you have made yourself 20 dresses. I think I need to sew some more and you have inspired me.
    Jennifer

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    1. Oh, thanks, Jennifer, for your kind words. I do wish you some happy sewing of your own!! The more I do it, the better I get, and the more I want to do it! What a lovely cycle. And I'm now on dress 23 already. Eeeeek....I really must stop. ;)

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  4. ...it's awesome...and so pretty on you...I love the wide collar...

    ~Have a lovely day!

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    1. Thanks so much--and a lovely day to you as well!! The collar is fun, isn't it? I was worried I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I sure like it a lot.

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  5. It's charming! I love those wide collars, too. Good job.

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    1. Thanks! I was worried the collar would be too wide. That is wouldn't look like me. But, it does and I sorta love it, actually. Though I do have to be more careful putting on a cardigan as it gets bunched up otherwise.

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