Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sew Excited!

I know, it's terrible. But it's really just too easy to replace "so" with "sew." Well, after my frustrating start to the week, I think God knew that I needed a pick me up. I can honestly say that I have never loved a dress as much as I love this latest creation. I'm almost done with it; there's just the hem to finish (letting the dress hang overnight to let the bias stretch is so hard when you're on a roll!), but I'm almost afraid that it will somehow go horribly wrong at the last if God got angry that I love this dress so much. No, but really, I'm afraid that as I trim it I'll accidentally cut a hole in the skirt portion. Not that I've ever done that before...*shifty eyes*

Anyway, here are the reasons why I love this dress:

1) This is, hands-down, the best sheet I've ever thrifted! It was a queen-size, so there was plenty of fabric, no holes or questionable stains, and it had these lovely muted colors on it. But! My secret design love is all things Art Nouveau (every time I go to Barnes and Noble I lustfully eye the Alphonse Mucha coffee table book), and these flowers are perfectly reminiscent of that era. They remind me of our honeymoon trip to Paris and the beautiful M├ętro entrances.
Anything that reminds you of your honeymoon is a good thing.
 2) It's an actual full circle skirt! All the "circle" skirts I've done so far have been half-circles or 3/4 circles because I didn't have enough fabric; this one is a full circle, and good heavens, it is delightfully swishy! Also, I'm pleased with how the flowers and stripes ended up, despite what they say about not using striped fabric for circle skirts.
Circularity being demonstrated with the help of The Hunger Games boxed set and a lobster that my husband won in one of those claw games.

3) I used two new techniques: a center back lapped zipper, per Gertie's tutorial, and a grosgrain waist stay, per Tasia the Sewaholic's tutorial. Even though they didn't turn out perfectly, and they're not actually too challenging, I still feel so accomplished.

They only had black swimsuit hooks left at F&S Fabrics.

Check two techniques off of my Check the Technique list! I toyed with the idea of using horsehair braid on the hem as well, but decided against it since this dress is going to be worn with...

4) ...A petticoat! I found the perfect no-work way to get the fluffiness of a petticoat -- more on that tomorrow.
So nice and froofy!

5) Inspired by Colette Patterns' Peony Dress, I decided to make a cummerbund-esque belt for this dress. It's amazing how that extra detail at the waist really accentuates the middle in this dress. To make the cummerbund, I cut off the hem of a dress that a friend had given me to refashion, since it was stained and iron-melted. Well, it turns out the gray of the dress almost perfectly matched the gray of the errr, other dress, and I had a peach ribbon in my gift-wrapping discard I sewed up a rectangle, gathered it at the ends, and attached the ribbon so I can tie a bow in the back.

Unfortunately, in my excitement, I got carried away with Tim Gunn syndrome, aka "Time's up, designers! Just make it work!" Consequently, the back of where the ribbon attaches is a hot mess; this is exactly the kind of stuff that my mom used to sigh at back when I sewed at home.
Sorry, Mom...ummm, the polyester was slippery.
6) This is all self-drafted! It really wasn't planned that way, and after the Ondine's Curse Dress debacle I should've known better, but sketching a bodice, awkwardly pinning while wearing it, and checking for fit by holding it together with binder clips seems to have paid off. The skirt is, of course, just a quick math problem, but still! I'm going to temporarily step out of my Chinese-ness and say congratulations to myself.

It's too gray out now to take pictures, but I'm planning to wear the whole ensemble to a wedding this weekend, where I will badger my husband to take pictures of my amazing creation. That is, assuming I don't somehow manage to accidentally set fire to the dress while doing up the hem.


  1. This is so pretty. :) Good job! Very inspiring!

  2. excited to see you and the dress this weekend!


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