Saturday, October 24, 2009

Project #265 - Hourglass Jumper

I love reissued retro patterns. There is something about mid-20th century clothes that is so hard to find these days. Maybe it's the solidness and shape of the clothes. It's hard to replicate that using today's construction technique and fabric-buying short cuts. There are a lot of darts and a lot of yardage in this dress and I just can't image anyone taking the time.

Still, it's a little like wearing armor. Wearing this kind of dress makes me want stand up and take charge of something. No one can push me around in a massive, tailored dress like this.

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posted by Alison 10/24/2009 05:04:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Project #235 - 55 Years Gown

Dim light and photography don't really mix, but it's what you have to do if you want a picture at a wedding reception with mood lighting. I sewed most of this dress right before leaving for Indiana a few days ago, but I was tacking down facings and stitching the hem up until an hour before the wedding ceremony.

The pattern is Vogue #2960, originally published in 1954, hence the name of my dress. Two people I love were born in that year, so it's a good one.

This is the first time I've ever done bound button-holes. I think I'll need to do a few hundred more before I get the hang of it; they are not for the faint of heart. I think they where a good choice for what would be a formal dress (much neater than machined button holes), but I'm dumbfounded as to why any pattern with such a difficult set of details would be classified by Vogue as "easy". I really makes me scared to try any vintage reprints labeled as 'average'.

Still, I loved wearing this dress and I think the color suits me. I made it out of three yards of silk shangtung that I purchased with this pattern specifically in mind. I don't think I've ever gotten so many compliments on a dress before. Maybe the good wedding vibes prompted everyone to be free with positive comments, but it's nice to get nice feedback on a dress that has to fit in amongst hundreds of really nice store-bought ones.

It feels a little weird to tell people that I make most of my own clothes. It's a little like fishing for compliments when I say that I made something, so I've been keeping my mouth shut most of the time in public. Still, the rumor got out, so I'm not sure if people were saying 'What a pretty dress!' or 'What a pretty dress, you know, for something handmade.'

Whatever. I like it and I'm going to wear it again.

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posted by Alison 9/20/2009 02:00:00 PM : (2) comments : splink

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Project #222 - Bias-Cut Silk Dress

I've never worked with silk charmeuse before. It's a beautiful, lustrous fabric, but with a reputation for being difficult to work with. It's slippery, quick to tear, and shows needle and pin marks. Plus, fabrics cut on the bias (that is, fabrics cut at a 45 degree angle) have a little stretch in them and are therefore more prone to warping and stretching.

Silk charmeuse really is all drape and no body, but it's perfect for a slinky cocktail dress that's supposed to hug your curves. This was how sexy clothes were built before the creation of mass-produced knit fabrics. Marilyn Monroe almost certainly never wore a jersey dress. Instead, she wore clingy fabrics cut on the bias to hug her curves, with a dart here and there to show off her waist.

Still, I think I managed to pull it off. I used some navy batiste for the lining to add some stability. Batiste is usually used to make lightweight shirts, but it has a good hand so that it's easy to sew with and yet has enough drape not to spoil the lines of the dress.

I really liked the pattern, Vogue 2898. The foot petal to my sewing machine is broken from overuse, so I sewed this entirely using the push-buttons on the machine display. This method of sewing is growing on me because I have a little easier time controlling the speed. I've learned the trick to sewing charmeuse neatly is to set the needle pace really, really, slow. Still, it was simple enough that I only needed a few hours to sew the dress together and finished in time for my wedding anniversary dinner. Time for sushi!

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posted by Alison 9/03/2009 06:12:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Friday, July 17, 2009

Project #182 - Metafilter Dress

I need to learn to be more careful about vintage patterns where the cover art represents an artist's interpretation rather actual finished product. For example, the above pattern looks pretty cute. It has a big, flowing skirt and nips in a bit at the waist. Lovely.

Well, the real thing is a tad poofier than the drawing above, like, 80's prom dress levels of poof. I should have taken heed when the seller labeled it as a 'square dance' dress.

The top part does not conform to the front cover. Instead of a nice, trim waistline, the upper section gives one the appearance of a pigeon chest. I fashioned a sash to give me some curves in the right places, but the rest of the chest and shoulders are so poofy that I had to shelve the dress from its intended purpose. I was planning on wearing it to the Metafilter 10th anniversary party, but it is not the right dress for meeting strangers in a casual bar setting. However, if there is a 80's or 90's party in the near future I'm set.

* * *

I've been neglecting my fabric countdown, but I've been making lots of progress.

Yardage Countdown to buying more fabric:

1 yard - Yellow T-shirt
2 yards - Hiking Skirt
1.5 yards - Office Shirt
3.5 yards - Parasol Dress
2.5 yards - Interplanetary Space Travel Dress
.75 yards - Vintage 1950s Top
4 yards - 1950s Vintage Dress with Tie Back Neck
1.5 yards - Half Circle Skirt
1.25 yards - Cutsey Knit Dress
1 yard - T-Shirt Muslin
2.5 yards - Fourth of July Dress
5 yards - Metafilter Dress

Total: 26.5 yards
Remaining: 3.5 yards

Rats!! I promised myself that I wouldn't buy any more fabric until I finished off thirty yards and I'm just three and a half lousy yards from being able to buy all the silk that I can fit into my budget. I thought it would take less than six weeks to blow through the full 30 yards, but it's going to take at least twice that. ちくしょう!

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posted by Alison 7/17/2009 01:20:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Project #172 - Fourth of July Dress

I cut this dress out in February thinking that I would have plenty of time to get it done before the Fourth of July. Well, I starting sewing the buttons on at midnight, the midnight that technically started July the 5th. This was after a full sweaty day of frantic sewing, oh, and having fuzz from the serger fly around and stick to my skin so that I was kind of blue tinged by the end of the day. There is a reason why winter and spring are my preferred sewing seasons.

The pattern I used was M4769, view C, shortened a bit because it's hawwwwt outside. My only complaint about the pattern was the difficulty of placing the collar facing. Wait, make that 'complaints', plural, because the pockets are also too shallow to be useful. It's a shame to have a dress that cares to have pockets but not be able to use them without worrying that everything is going to fall out when you sit down. However, I will forever love shirt dresses and I will put up with serious amounts of frustration because they are great.

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posted by Alison 7/05/2009 10:15:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Project #166 - Cutsey Knit Dress

Okay, this is crazy...but a friend, a very convincing friend, talked me into attending Anthrocon this year. Yes, it's that Anthrocon, the annual furry convention. I had no idea that there was an annual convention, in my fair city of Pittsburgh no less, of people who like dressing up as and acting like animals. At first, I had absolutely no desire to go, but my friend convinced me over several months with stories about canine commandos and technicolor panther pimps. I am easy to wear down if you can tell a good story.

So, now I'm resigned to going. And of course, as with any special event I had to make a new dress, one that will serve as my camouflage. The fabric itself is covered with tiny frolicking animals.

It was my intention to make this dress using a new pattern, but the test run didn't turn out too well. So, out of impatience I used a familiar adaptation of two patterns, S3835 from the neck to the armpits, and M5144 from there to the bottom hem. I also add darts in back to make the shape a little more fitted. I've now made this exact knit dress a total of four times, and this is the second one this year. Still, the pattern is really versatile and it's as comfy as wearing a pair of pajamas.

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posted by Alison 6/27/2009 04:31:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Monday, May 25, 2009

Project #137 - 1950s Vintage Dress with Tie Back Neck

I made my second dress based on a vintage pattern, Simplicity 4341. I'm not sure I'm in love with the styling, but this is why I try out new, complicated-looking patterns in cheap fabric. The cotton dotted fabric used here was $2 a yard on sale. That, along with thread, a side zipper and some interfacing adds up to less than $10 in total.

It's kind of shocking how delicate the pattern pieces are in these 50+ year old copies. I tore multiple ones and had to tape the delicately back together. The instructions, too, are looking worse for the wear.

I really wish that instructions on how to tie the back tie into a bow were included. The interfacing doesn't seem to help; instead of adding structure, its extra thickness makes it nearly impossible to form a neat knot that will stay tied. This is why first drafts are important, I wouldn't want to waste important fabric on something that is less than fabulous. It's nice to have a chance to learn from myb mistakes.

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posted by Alison 5/25/2009 08:34:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Project #120 - Interplanetary Space Travel Dress

I never miss out on an opportunity to make a theme dress. The new Star Trek movie is coming out in a few days and despite the fact that I have seen exactly one Star Trek movie in a theater (Though I will admit that I do enjoy some Khaaaaan! when it comes on TV.), I'm going to be there at opening day with my husband and some friends. Well, if you're going to go to a Star Trek movie it might as well be on opening day, because that's when the cosplay geek pageant is in full effect.

I had some really dorky space fabric that I was planning on using for bag linings, but this seemed like a good opportunity to make a nerd dress. Of course, I made the mistake of showing it to my husband, who told all of his friends about it and now everyone is expecting me to show up today in a wacky dress.

In reality, I didn't have quite enough time to get it done and get enough sleep, but I have too much pride when it comes to expectations, so I sewed this dress over the course of one stupid, stressful day. I even had to go to dinner at the home of another couple, which took a few hours that I could have spent sewing. I did get to eat the delicious pile of avocado and sushi tuna pictured above (Thanks, Melissa!), so it was worth it in the end, but I still ran straight to my machine as soon as I got home. I cranked away until about 2:00 in the morning, and I managed to finish with only a few shortcuts.

It looks a little more New-Age than Star Trek, like I should be wearing a crystal or something, but at least it's finished. I guess I'll have something on hand for my next trip to the Science Center.

Yardage Countdown to buying more fabric:

1 yard - Yellow T-shirt
2 yards - Hiking Skirt
1.5 yards - Office Shirt
3.5 yards - Parasol Dress
2.5 yards - Interplanetary Space Travel Dress

Total: 10.5 yards
Remaining: 19.5 yards

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posted by Alison 5/07/2009 05:15:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Project #119 - Parasol Dress

I have four weddings and two high school reunions to attend this year, all out of state, which means that most of our disposable income will be going to pay for plane tickets, gifts, food, and...umm I think there is at least one mandatory bachelor party in there, so yes, some of our money will probably be going to strippers. Sigh. Good bye vacation days and money.

So, this means that I need to spend as little money as possible on clothes, and therefore I need to work with what I've got. Luckily, I've already got a substantial stockpile of silks and prints that are wedding-appropriate and pass the strict no black (Unsupportive!), no white (Upstaging the bride!), no red (Hussy!) wedding dress code. Though I do believe that these rules are outdated and I don't fault anyone else for wearing any of these colors, there is some deep neurosis in me that keeps my brain beeping "MUST. FOLLOW. OLD. TIMEY. WEDDING. RULES!" Though I will tell the bride 'congratulations' because the logic behind not saying it ('Congratulations' is supposed to imply man-trapping.) is just absurd.

The pattern for today's dress is a vintage reprint from 1960, B6582. I've made view B before, but at a size too small as you can probably tell from the picture. This try, of view C, turned out much better, probably because I've learned a lot about fitting in the last year. The fabric is a little loud, but probably appropriate for the (likely wacky) wedding celebration I'll be attending this Saturday.

Yardage Countdown to buying more fabric:

1 yard - Yellow T-shirt
2 yards - Hiking Skirt
1.5 yards - Office Shirt
3.5 yards - Parasol Dress
Total: 8 yards
Remaining: 22 yards

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posted by Alison 5/05/2009 11:10:00 PM : (1) comments : splink

Monday, April 20, 2009

Project #104 - T-Shirt Dress

I managed to get through sewing all of this dress except for one seam before I started dinner last night. I'm still getting over a nasty head cold so by the time I finished burning the chicken I just wanted to put down my spoon, lay down on the kitchen floor and go to sleep. So, I went to bed without eating dinner and without finishing my dress.

If I had to choose between one or the other it would have been a tough call. I like food, but I also like new dresses, they take the sting out of Mondays.

Knit dresses are one of my favorite ways to scratch an itch for a new dress. They're fast and the good ones are as comfortable as a pair of pajamas. However, good patterns for knit dresses are sometimes few and far between. My solution is usually to take a pattern for a t-shirt, lower the hem and widen from the hips downward. Today's dress was a longer version of last Tuesday's green t-shirt, B5335.

The lengthening process is pretty straightforward. Simply measure the distance between your waist and your desired length and add that amount to the pattern pieces, front and back, with your ruler starting at the waist.

I've converted a few other patterns from shirts to dresses. These two are my favorites:

V2925: This pattern is only two pieces, which is fantastic.

S3835: I added darts to the back of the dress to give it some shape. I made it for my birthday last year.

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posted by Alison 4/20/2009 11:21:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Monday, April 06, 2009

Project #90 - Yellow and Black Dress

It was so windy today that I got knocked down twice by particularly nasty gusts while trying to weed the garden. I'll take any sign that tells me to stop weeding and do something else. It's a chore that never fails to leave me cranky and grumpy.

I've made yet another dress this year that will have to wait in the closet a few days for more pleasant weather. I heard that there was a good chance of sleet and snow tomorrow. Winter flips one final bird at the city before departing for a few months every April. When I first moved here I would usually fall for the first few warm days of spring and plant my doomed seedlings too early and put away my winter clothes. This, of course, would explain my complete inability to grow cucumbers or melons year after year, because when I say 'when I first moved here' that included everything up until a few months ago. Still, I'm not going to fall for it this year and I won't have a late frost yank the football out from under me.

Still, I'm prepared for the hot days ahead. Cotton and billowy skirts are a definite win for people who live in homes without air conditioning.

I lost the second page of directions to this pattern, so I ended up guessing. I think it's a sign of my improved skills as a seamstress that for once I didn't end up with three sleeves, or an upside down skirt for once. Small victories are nice.

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posted by Alison 4/06/2009 12:19:00 AM : (4) comments : splink

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Project #78 - Red Dotted Shirt Dress

I've been working on this dress off and on for the entire week, but I made the biggest push to finish it off today. I put in my last stitches just 15 minutes before running out the door to take dinner to some friends with a new baby. I threw a machine washable cardigan over it just in case of baby puke, but the little guy just sat in my lap and slept while his parents ate.

I used NL6587. I usually don't trust New Look patterns, so I made this one out of the cheapest usable fabric I had. What can I say? New Look patterns are dirt cheap so I have a lot in my stash.

The fit was perfect on the first try, but I might make some adjustments to the collar for future versions. I also like the gathered skirt, which would leave room to let out the seams without completely dismantling the dress. Clark and I are considering having children soon, so lately I've been looking at every pattern and asking "Can I get fat in this?" It would suck to lose most of my handmade wardrobe should I gain a size or two after pregnancy.

I love shirt dresses. They work even with the weirdest, quirkiest fabric. I want to make one of every color so I can wear them everyday this summer.

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posted by Alison 3/22/2009 10:48:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Monday, March 16, 2009

Finishing Up Loose Ends

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, so instead of starting a new project I decided to finish an old one, Project #4. I'd left the dress unhemmed since I put it down in January and with a zipper only half-installed. I've been making more and more full skirted retro-style dresses. I love the dimensions, but the hems take hours to sew and I just keep putting it off until I really need to make a good impression.

I did kind of a cruddy job with the invisible zipper, but I might just need to bite the bullet and actually buy a invisible zipper foot instead of hand-stitching (poorly). Still, I love this dress and I'm going to have a good time wearing it out.

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posted by Alison 3/16/2009 11:29:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Project #65 - Hillbilly Dress

Not all dresses were meant to be. The scary thing about sewing the wrong dress is that you can't put it back on the rack and grab another in a different color or in a size up or down. I chose this pattern because I don't own any wrap dresses and because it didn't need a zipper for a closure. I have a limited supply of zippers that I brought over from Japan, so I love any pattern that lets me continue hoarding them.

I'm wearing a shrug in the picture because the cut of the shoulders makes me look like a linebacker. I think this dress would work better for a lady with a bigger rack and more meat on her bones. Luckily, the pattern goes up to size 22 (44 inch bust, 37 inch waist) so it covers a better range than most mall stores. Plus, there's a little tummy hiding voodoo due to the empire waist.

The dress gets its name from the fabric. It's a handkerchief style pattern, with a little edge from skulls, guns and cards...if it is possible for cotton fabric to have an edge.

I'm about a week and a half into my Lenten no "meat with feet" fast. I'm starting to fantasize about steaks and big fat hamburgers. I consoled myself with a dressed up pizza.

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posted by Alison 3/08/2009 11:24:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Project #51 - Winter Wool Dress

Today I attended a chili cook-off organized by some friends. It's been too cold to wear most of my dresses, so I made a fiery red wool dress that would do a better job at holding up to the winter chill. Plus, I could hope that the color would match any chili that I spilled on it. The hemline is a little shorter than usual, but it's a party dress, right?

The pattern is 5260, but I exchanged the neckline facings for a narrow hem, and changed the V-neck for a scoop-neck. The fabric is a wool knit from Fabric Mart. The wool is high quality so the dress itself is not itchy, even if you go without a slip.

Clark's chili took second place out of 9 chilies, so congratulations to him!

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posted by Alison 2/21/2009 10:27:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project #25 - Architecture Dress

I think this is one of my favorite dresses that I've every made. The fit has a little to do with it, I love an A-line skirt, but it's mostly because of the fabric. I love unusual prints, especially if they feature text or diagrams. This one is covered with an architectural plan for a house, and the fact that it is riddled with typos makes it twice as charming.

I picked up the fabric from Momenya-Makino in Shimokitazawa, a neighborhood in western Tokyo. The store itself was really small, but crammed from floor to ceiling with bolts of fabric. The staff was really helpful and helped me grab a bolt of fabric from the bottom of a teetering stack. I actually own this fabric pattern in three different colors, but the black design is definitely more wearable than its hot pink or bright orange counterparts.

The pattern for this dress is 5094 from McCalls. Two meters of fabric wasn't quite enough to do the full length dress, but it was appropriate for the view F, which has a contrast border. I like the fit a lot, but it's fitted so perfectly that it would be uncomfortable if I were to gain more than a few pounds.

I've been trying to plan my handmade wardrobe so that I would still be able to wear most of it after having kids, but this dress might be one piece limited to my pre-baby life. Midriff bands are not kind to changing bodies.

I need to slow down on the dress-making. I've already made 25 and the closets in this house are small. This is the fifth dress I've made just this month, and it's another one that will have to wait until spring for full utilization.

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posted by Alison 1/25/2009 02:05:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Project #17 - Ruler Fabric Sundress

This is the third dress that I've made this year that will have to wait until Spring to leave the house. Stupid winter.

I pulled this blue ruler fabric out of my stash after reading about some similar fabric on Dress A Day. I knew exactly how I was going to sew this dress as soon as I matched my fabric to a pattern. The last thing I wanted my ruler fabric to do was to broadcast how wide I am or how big my boobs are in the imperial system. So, I positioned my pattern pieces to keep the pattern running vertical, or at an angle, really anything but horizontal. I even broke the front bodice into two pieces and sewed it chevron style pointing to my face, because that's where people should be looking anyway.

This pattern is another New Look, NL6676, and not surprisingly it look a load of fitting adjustments. I never understood New Look's crazy ease calculations. Why would anyone want a bust line with four extra inches of fabric? One inch would have been plenty to keep the fit comfortable and not leave the wearer swimming in fabric.

Plus, while the bust was too big, the fanny was the right size, so I know it's not a direct up or down sizing issue. Using the same size for another pattern company would have left me with a garment that fit my whole body. These seem to be sized for people with major implants. Arg. I should know better.

The worst part is that I know I'm going to make this pattern again. I meant my ruler dress to be a wearable muslin so that I could proof the pattern for some of my precious Japanese fabric. I guess it's good that I'll at least have a better idea of the pitfalls the second time around. Sadly, I haven't found a better sundress pattern as far as using the tiny amount of fabric (less than 1.5 yards) that this one does.

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posted by Alison 1/17/2009 10:45:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Project #10 - Knit Leafy Dress

I had every intention of going to work today, but I almost lost control of my car due to the freezing rain while running an errand. So, I went straight home, wrote a few PHP scripts, and put off the bulk of my workday until tomorrow. I spent the rest of my afternoon watching a documentary and sewing a dress for when it finally gets warm.

I cut out this pattern almost five months ago. I love a good knit dress, but I was a little put off by one with so many pattern pieces. My favorite knit patterns usually have only two and can be sewn together in less than an hour. This one had five and the directions looked especially sadistic.

I'm not too happy with the way the dress sewed together. The collar is much thicker than what is in the pattern picture and the sleeves stick out oddly. I'm also not satisfied with the underbust seam. The interfacing required by the pattern causes the line to look awkward.

I'm starting the think that it's not me, but the pattern company. I've never made a New Look pattern without having the pieces line up weirdly, or the item will turn out two sizes too big. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future the next time I'm tempted by an attractive pattern cover.

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posted by Alison 1/10/2009 06:42:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Project #4 - Retro Cocktail Dress

I only had one weekend day left until my cocktail party, so today would have to be the day if I wanted try to replace yesterday's dress. I chose to make Butterick 4792 mostly because it had only 3 pattern pieces and I figured that I could put it together quickly. I should have looked at everything more carefully because it turned out that I would need two of the pieces out four times each.

I shortened the skirt by about 5 inches to get the whole thing to fit onto 3 yards of emerald green dupioni silk. I shorten and lengthen a lot of skirts, so I have a handy little compass-y contraption made of two colored pencils in my sewing box at all times. I just adjust the rubber band to lengthen or shorten how far from the hem I can trace.

I'm not quite done with this one; I need to shorten the underskirt and hem the whole thing. I did spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to unwind the tavern puzzle top every time I sewed a new seam, but I managed to get it to this state after about 6 hours of sewing.

I'm wearing a bra in the picture, one with straps. I used a elastic hair loop to bring my straps in front together so that they wouldn't ruin the neckline of the dress. It's still comfortable and a lot cheaper than the $19.95 the folks on TV are charging for a Strap Perfect, though this solution doesn't come with free boob tape.

I'm also wearing my big pink crinoline for my project picture. It's been getting lots of use lately with my recent run on 50's era reprint patterns, but it's got a bit too much length and volume for this dress. I would likely have to make another by this coming weekend, which might be a deal breaker with all of the overtime I'll be doing this week. I kind of want to save this one for springtime when it will finally be warm enough for me to wear it outside without a jacket.

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posted by Alison 1/04/2009 08:26:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Project #3 - Silk Cocktail Dress

I have a special occasion in one week, a party that will require a formal cocktail length dress. Which (yay!) means that I need to make another dress. I've made only one other dress out of silk before, but I like the squeaky sound that my sewing needle makes when it sews silk dupioni.

I'd been waiting for Vogue patterns to go one sale forever because they are freakin' expensive even with the usual discount. $15? Hell no. I'd even flip through the online catalog at work and get all antsy because I wanted my pattern now. When they went on sale on the 1st of January I marched down to the fabric store on a mission for Vogue 8494...aaand they only had one copy in the cabinet, not in my size, of course. I pouted for a little bit and then I remembered that some evil customers will squirrel away the best ones in another drawer until the sale starts. I flipped through a few of the cabinets and I magically found just what I was looking for, and in my size, too. Yoink!

I put this dress together in about four hours, mostly while watching Jaws. After I sewed the outside dress together I took it into the kitchen to show my husband and in the dim light I realized that my iridescent, purple-gray fabric took on the exact color and shininess as a trash bag. Which sucks because: 1) This is actually really nice fabric in the daylight. 2) It will be nighttime and dim (but not dim enough) at the party. And 3) it would have been way cooler if I had decided to use actual trash bags for the dress 'cause everyone would have been like "Trash bags?! No way!" and I would have been like "Yes way!!!1" Plus, trash bags, unlike this fabric, cost about 10 cents a yard. Rats.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm in love with the silhouette. The dress in the pattern picture has a skirt that's a little more full. I'm going to iron the hell out of this dress to see if I can get the bottom half looking a little less like a paper-mâché tube. I still have six days to replace this with something better, but I'm probably over-thinking this cocktail party outfit. If I have two Salty Dogs as soon as I arrive, I will probably stop caring so much.

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posted by Alison 1/03/2009 11:56:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's a Steal and It Was on TV!

Okay, I will admit that I am a huge fan of Arrested Development. I own all of the DVDs, refer to each episode by its title, and force friends to watch whenever I get the chance. So, I have been following the official prop and wardrobe auctions since the beginning on ebay.

So, why am I posting about this? Well, this week there is a wedding dress for sale, one worn on screen by Charlize Theron as she played the part of Rita in the third season. And while Charlize might have worn it over her clothes, it's still a cute dress by the designer brand Melody Of CA and a steal at $103 (as of this posting). Plus, it comes with a fuzzy pink crown. How could anyone resist?

There isn't any size information available, so be prepared to invest in a good seamstress.

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posted by Alison 9/24/2007 07:37:00 AM : (0) comments : splink

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Getaway Dress for My Getaway

My 'getaway' dress was once supposed to be my wedding dress. On a trip to Thailand two years ago, one year before my engagement, I had the top secretly made at a tailor's shop while attending a Machine Translation conference alone. I had been with my (now) fiance for about five years. At the time, I'd imagined a much more casual wedding, possibly with a bowling alley reception. So, I went to the shop, gave them a sketch and it was in my hands three days later.

My wedding has changed to a much more formal affair and my simple bowling-ready dress has been replaced by a beaded number with a train. However, it would be a shame to let such a pretty silk top go to waste. Now, it will be what I change into when my wedding dress gets to be too cumbersome at the reception.

I purchased matching silk after my aborted New York Father's Day trip and made a knee length circle skirt to complete the outfit. Just to add some character, I drew a picture of a vine a few days later and silk screened it around the hem.



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posted by Alison 7/03/2007 12:01:00 AM : (0) comments : splink

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