First off, apologies: for the cheesy alliteration, for the over one-week break from posting anything sewing-related, and for tacking the incomparable Alphonse Mucha's name to this very modern dress whose only nod to Art Nouveau is the lily motif.
|The wind whipping my hair around into vaguely Art Nouveau-esque curling tendrils?|
Okay, now that the disclaimers are all done with, let's talk about this dress! I've sort of fallen off the wagon when it comes to Sew Weekly challenges, not being particularly enthused about mixing patterns, the 1940s, or Vegas. I did want to do something for the Jubilee or TV (have you seen Devra's awesome homage to Inara of Firefly?), but moving got in the way. I might go back and revisit those someday, but in the meantime, have my take on last week's holiday-themed challenge! I'm pretty sure that maxi dresses are the epitome of being on vacation, and the simple lines of this type of dress were perfect for such a large-scale floral print. I found this gloriously magenta-colored knit at the FIDM scholarship store while out with Oonaballoona (where apparently, I got away with the fabric equivalent of highway murder), and it's the first of that day's haul to be sewn up.
|Wait, is that the bridge in the background?|
|Why, yes, it's actually clear enough to see the bridge!|
I fell in love with the fabric's large white Art Nouveau-esque lilies and the stability and thickness of the knit (none of that thin, butterfly-fluttery slippery thin tissue that passes as jersey, unlike my coral-striped dress!). Upon closer inspection, I discovered that this fabric is actually white knit that's been printed with magenta all over. Whatever paint/dye they used for the magenta is slightly crunchy-feeling, and when you stretch it too much you can see the white underneath where the dye didn't reach. Ah well, what can you say when it's $2/yd?
|Back view, with only a tiny bit of wrinkling around my swayback.|
I wanted a one-shoulder maxi dress just to keep it from being totally boring (two straps would've essentially made this just a very long tank top!), and I was lucky enough to happen upon Dixie DIY's free one-shoulder maxi pattern. I kept her pattern's lines for the top, but instead of a waist seam I just extended the lines down and out to make an A-line-ish skirt. I also omitted a lining and instead just folded the top over to encase my elastic. Because my fabric is fairly stable, the cut of the dress is so tight, and I have a tiny apple dumpling shop, that little line of elastic is enough to hold the dress up...I was worried that I would have to put in a spaghetti strap, but it held up just fine on our half-mile (uphill) walk to the reservoir for pictures.
|You can see all of the Outer Sunset down to the ocean!|
Speaking of the reservoir, can you believe how gorgeous it's been in the city lately? Normally, this backdrop would just be dark gray, and I would've been freezing to death, but instead I was perfectly fine without my cardigan and you can see the Marin headlands, the bridge, and the sun reflecting off the ocean. When my city tries, it certainly cleans up nicely, doesn't it?
|You can see here that the flare starts much lower than my torso.|
Fabric: 2 yards of magenta-paint-on-white-knit fabric, unknown fiber content.
Notions: a strip of 0.25" elastic for the top
Techniques used: I used this same neckline finishing tutorial to finish the one armscye; it looks lovely.
Hours: I had to do some minor fitting to the torso area to get it to hug my body properly, but otherwise this was a ridiculously easy garment, clocking in at about three hours, including cutting. I also didn't bother hemming or finishing the seams inside, if you must know.
Will you make this again? Probably not, since I don't need anymore one-shoulder dresses.
Total cost: $4.50, including the elastic.
Final thoughts: My husband thought I looked hot, and a random lady walking her dog stopped me to say that my dress was beautiful, and the stretchy fabric means it's super comfortable, so I'm pretty sure this dress gets top marks. I was a little worried about how clingy it is, but I think as long as I suck in my tummy a bit and keep hiking up SF's notorious hills, I think I'll be okay. I was also concerned about my swayback and pooling fabric in the back, but I'm not sure how to adjust a waist-seamless pattern to fix that. I ended up just tugging it down a bit more so as to avoid this look, and that seems to have worked. If I were to make this style of dress again, I think I would make the flare of the skirt start at the torso instead of the hips, since the mermaid dress look, while appropriate for my wedding dress, feels like a bit much for what is supposed to be a casual dress.
|Casual enough to squat down at look at the assortment of plants at the reservoir.|
I feel a little sheepish about sewing up so many brainless garments lately, but I tell myself that it's because I'm gearing up to sew another 1912 project garment -- this time a whole dress! -- again, without directions. I need to ration my brain power...yes, that's it.