Saturday, July 27, 2013

weddin' goin' dress

As a dressmaker (is that an up-to-date word for someone who doesn't do this professionally?), I am a firm believer that sewing a new dress is required any time I attend someone's wedding. No question. Mostly because a wedding is usually a reunion of sorts where I see all my friends and/or family at once, so I have to be ready to appease all the "Did you make that?" inquiries. And because it's one of the few formal occasions I get to attend all year, so I enjoy the excuse of working with shinier, silkier fabrics. And of course there's just that modern mentality that most women have regarding special occasions, which is that they don't want to be "seen" wearing something they have worn before.

My boyfriend's cousin got married in Baltimore last weekend (congrats Jordan!) so I had to make a new dress to wear. It was an obligation to myself. What you see here is actually my third attempt. As I mentioned in my previous post, I almost finished a Colette Chantilly dress and realized in the home stretch that it added 8 million pounds to my frame (tooooo many gathers at the chest and waist). Then I tried to recreate the silhouette I used for my pleated sundress for Project Sewn. Who knows what happened but the chest was too tight and my fabric too heavy. SO I cut into dress #3 and hoped it'd be wearable at the very least. 

This is a frankenpattern. It was a relatively informal garden wedding so I didn't want to get too fancy. I knew I wanted a wrap bodice but a non-wrap skirt, so I used the bodice front and back of Butterick See & Sew 5546 (my other version seen here) and the circley skirt of McCalls 6599 (version seen here). I used the sash from the Butterick pattern but instead of sewing it to the dress and weaving it through one of the sides, it's just a free belt that is tied in a bow and held up with thread loops. I used Suzanne's video tutorial for making the thread loops (found at the end of her post here). Speaking of Suzanne, where's she been lately anyways?! Not like I'm one to talk about bloggy silence.

I drafted some tulip sleeves using this tutorial. They look cute and hang flat on the dress as is, but the bottom layer tends to scrunch up on my arms while I'm wearing it. Not sure if I should have laid the sleeve parts differently, or just made them larger. Womp.

The fabric is a soft silky polyester something from JoAnn. That was a rare awesome shopping trip, because I stumbled across like four different cute geometric prints in apparel fabrics that I actually liked. I'm glad I wasn't wearing nice fabric (or nice shoes -- but I don't own nice shoes) the night of the wedding, because it started pouring rain in the middle of the outdoor dance party and we all got happily soaked and muddied up to the sweet tunes of J. Timberlake.

The thing I forgot about the stupid McCall's skirt was that it's supposed to sit on your lower waist, not your natural waist. So, thinking it was going to be knee-length otherwise, I immediately chopped off two generous inches from the hem before attaching the skirt to the waist of my bodice. ...Which meant that it hiked the skirt up an additional two or more inches. Ooof. If I could do this dress over, I'd definitely make it a bit longer, especially for a grandma-friendly festivity, but I decided to brave it because I had no other options. I did wear a camisole at the wedding, however. This low neckline is for the internet's eyes only. ;) ;) Here we be IRL, hot and frizzy and me without jewelry because I forgot to pack it:

Corey's wearing the floral shirt I made him. I lazily didn't make his collar buttons functional, thinking he wouldn't ever need them, so when he went to put on his tie he couldn't undo the buttons. Ha, sorry. But dudes aren't supposed to wear a short sleeved shirt and a tie anyways, right? Would you call him a Dwight Schrute or a fashion daredevil?

Do you tend to make a new dress to wear to every new wedding? I'm sure if there were enough weddings in one summer, I wouldn't. Well, who knows. I DO love making dresses...

Monday, July 8, 2013

ging'um up

Hey! I finally mustered up the energy to do this whole primp-iron-pose-edit-ramble-blog thing again. It seems I still can't tuck my shirt in like a proper lady, though.

Can I admit my deepest darkest secret to you, Internet friends I've never met? I've kinda... spent the past few weeks sucked into a self-inflicted... Dawson's Creek marathon session. Yes, Dawson's Creek, that teen soapy drippy TV rom-com (without the -com; those kiddos had cruel wit but were not funny) from the late 90s. I never watched DC when I should have as a thirteen year old, but I stumbled across it on Netflix recently and I lost self-control. What can I say? The writers are manipulative with my emotions, and all those 24-year-olds playing high schoolers are exceedingly attractive. Anyway, I finished it, thank God, so I can move back to my more reasonable addiction of making clothes, which we will all agree is a more appropriate hobby for a responsible and mature adult woman like myself. (Team Pacey!)

Moving on. Guess what I made with a sewing machine and my own two feeble hands? A Grainline Archer shirt and a Moss mini skirt. I mean, why ever stop, right? This is my fourth Archer but it's my favorite. As with my plain white one (here), I tapered in the side seams and brought in the shoulder seams for a sleeker silhouette. I've been dreaming about this exact shirt ever since I pinned this exact pin. I love gingham but I don't own anything else gingham, I don't think. It definitely conjures up images of plastic tablecloths and Dorothy costumes, but it's just such a classic pattern that will never (and should never) die. You really can't go wrong with gingham. 'Cuz literally, there's no wrong side or right side. It's ALL right. This fabric is 100% cotton from the "homespun" section of JoAnn's. Whose home you spinnin' in, girl?

Can't say much more about this shirt pattern. I can make it up in a hot minute (aka 4 hours?) and that's a great feeling, especially since I just spent a full week making a Colette Chantilly dress that is finished except for the hem but looks dreadful on me. The Archer pattern consoles me when other projects go wrong. It consoled me back when I tried the Colette Anise jacket pattern and ALSO had poor results. Do I sense a theme here...?

This red Moss mini skirt is my third but is actually too tight in the bum to wear in public comfortably (I'll spare you the photos), so it's clear I haven't mastered the fit of this pattern yet. As with my others, I lengthened it by four inches and left off the pockets. My black spotty one seemed too loose in the waist, so I guess I got overconfident with the serger this go-around. And all that Dawson-watching has led to a few more lbs. on the scale. Wah, wah. This fabric is red stretch cotton twill from Wrinkle town USA. Ever been there? 

So. When it comes to gingham, friends, are you more a fan or big checks or little checks? I'll say with confidence that I could and would definitely wear a bigger check than this check. And when it comes to fictional TV love triangles, who's your favorite unrealistic and overly self-aware teen couple? Be honest. I shalt not judge.