Thank you again to all of you who voted and stated your opinions regarding the stripe placement on this dress! As you can see, in the end I went with vertical stripes. Reasoning being, I realized that working with twin sheets, I was restricted in pattern piece layout options; chevrons weren't going to work. As for choosing vertical over horizontal stripes, I felt that the flowers looked better going vertically; I do still want to try my hand at another Horrockses-esque dress with horizontal stripes, though. I've already put Shayna on the lookout for more floral-striped bedsheets!
I'm pretty happy with the final dress; with my hair up and my red wedges, I felt very Sara Crewe in her rose dancing dress (from Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess, even though I know my flowers aren't roses and the dress is more 1950's than Victorian England). I'm still considering this a very wearable muslin, though, since the bodice could still use some more fitting. I wasn't sure what the sizing was going to be like, so I cut a size 12, which was, in hindsight, definitely wrong. I eventually took in the side seams to be more of a size 10, but from the gaping under my arms and the excessive waist ease, I could have gone down to an 8. The bust is definitely too large; it wasn't so obvious when I just had the bodice on, but with the weight of the skirts pulling it down, there's a lot of extra fabric under the bust. When I got home, I actually fiddled some with the darts and ended up trying to take in some more fabric by widening and shaping the darts a little. It looks a little better, but I think the fact that these patterns are generally meant for B-cups was somehow really emphasized in this pattern. Generally I'm okay without doing an SBA, but I definitely need to here. It's hard to say, though, whether this pattern genuinely runs large or I'm just used to wearing bodices with no ease.
|You can see that the bodice is looser on me than my normal dress bodices.|
Because of the excess ease in the bodice, though, I was definitely able to do justice to the ten-course wedding banquet! I do love going to Chinese wedding banquets; even at an average restaurant the food is still better than most catered or hotel wedding dinners. In case you haven't had the pleasure of attending such an affair, here's what we had Saturday night (vegetarians, look away!):
|Some people take pretty pictures of their food all artfully arranged; I am not those people. Here is what it looks like, mid-meal-mess.|
- Cold meats platter: Roast duck, soy sauce chicken, BBQ pork, seaweed salad, and my absolute favorite, jellyfish
- Winter melon soup, cooked in an actual melon (so that you can scrape down the sides like some kind of bizarro bread-bowl
- Shrimp balls (the teacher of sophomore boys part of me wants to say "shrimp spheres") with broccoli, kind of like lion's head meatballs except with shrimp
- Steamed red snapper: there is nothing quite as tasty as a fresh fish (as in alive thirty minutes ago) steamed whole, with tasty tasty soy sauce, ginger, and scallion sauce
- Fried lobster with garlic and hot peppers: need I say more? The coating is like crack.
- Mustard greens with shiitake mushrooms and abalone: my husband refuses to kiss me after I have mustard greens because their flavor is so incredibly assertive, but it's one of my favorite vegetables.
- Bird's nest with filet mignon and asparagus: my parents never used to let me have the actual nest part (deep-fried things are too 熱氣), so it's always a treat to be able to eat as much as I want of those crunchy fried noodles as an adult.
- Peking duck: roast duck is one of those things I really only eat at wedding banquets, as that half-centimeter thick layer of fat under the skin doesn't bear to much thinking about.
- Seafood fried rice: honestly, not my favorite part of the meal, as it pales in comparison to everything that's come before. Still, it makes for excellent leftovers the next day.
- Mango pudding: I know it's ultra-easy to make at home, but somehow I never do. It makes it all the more special at banquets.
Anyway, the object of this blog is to chronicle my me-made garments, not other-people-made-food, so back to the dress. The skirt looked a little deflated when I first made it up, so 1) shortened it considerably, 2) added horsehair braid to the hem for the first time, and 3) wore the saddest crinoline ever under it. It's the saddest crinoline because it was so cobbled together last-minute (from some hideous polyester curtain lining, leftover elastic bits, and I-brought-it-home-from-somebody's-wedding-because-otherwise-they-would-have-thrown-it-away-tulle). It's so hideous that I'm too embarrassed to show a picture here, and you know I'm not too embarrassed to show pictures of my cat and I jumping on the bed in our pajamas, so that should give you an idea of how hideous it is. Whatever, it did its job and held out my skirts. I felt lovely and floaty (and self-concious about the bodice size, but knew that that was only an issue for me) the whole day, and it was really too bad that I had to leave the rocking dance floor to drive back to TCOCC and give Walnut a reprieve from himself.
|You can see how the horsehair really helps the skirt hem to stand out.|
|My most invisible lapped side zip yet!|
Fabric: two thrifted twin fitted sheets, 100% cotton (surprising!)
Notions: seam binding, 14" zipper, 3 yards of 1/2" polyester horsehair braid
Techniques: Matching stripes to make chevrons, lapped side zipper (still not a fan of how difficult it is to take off such dresses), horsehair braid
Hours: 7? I kind of lost track, as I was pushing it to be finished in time for the wedding. Plus post-wedding dart-futzing.
Will you make this again? I do, in fact, want to make this pattern again! I really like the chevron effect in the bodice, and the all-in-one bodice+facing is very, very clever. I was hesitant about buying this pattern (even if it was on sale) because it seemed so basic, but I think it's worth it just for the bodice pattern pieces.
Total cost: $10 ($3/sheet, $2 for the zipper, $2 for the horsehair braid)
Final thoughts: I like this dress quite a bit, and it's definitely turned me onto chevrons. I originally planned to wear something else to this wedding, and only started on this dress because the pink stripes fit the Sew Weekly Tickled Pink challenge, but I'm glad I finished it in time for the wedding. At first, I felt a little silly wearing this giant, poofy-skirted retro floral dress when I saw all the other tiny Asian girls wearing their sleek cocktail dresses, but I felt better when, at the end of the night, a girl I didn't know came up specifically to ask me about my dress (sad, but sometimes I feel like it's not a "real" compliment unless it's from a stranger who doesn't know I made it myself).
I can't wait to try more chevron-ed dresses (especially with a chevron-ed skirt, too!), but it will need to wait until I've finished my next VPLL 1912 project pattern: this blouse that comes with no instructions! Call me crazy, but I've never made a buttoned, cuffed, collared blouse before, and I'm going to dive right in with a vintage one with no directions. Wish me luck!
|The spiral staircase at the church was begging for an awkward prom picture with my husband.|