The “Skip the Bathrobe” Dress
Fabric: Polyester/Wool blend from an estate sale: $5
Pattern: Simplicity 4693
Year: c. 1960
Time to complete: About 4 hours
First worn: November 2010
Wear again? Certainly.
As a born and raised Californian, I'm one of those pathetic folks who can barely handle the temperature dipping below 50 degrees. It's not like San Francisco is the warmest place in the country — it's just consistently sort of, well, bleh. While it may not have Summers like everywhere else, its winters are often manageable with a nice heavy sweater. You know, bleh.
A long preamble to say that this week's creation was definitely influenced by the cold spell we're having. Instead of making a special dress for Thanksgiving, I made something for our anniversary weekend away up in Occidental, CA. Because it's even colder there at night, I wanted a dress with (1) longish sleeves (2) thickish fabric (3) a plaid.
Enter Simplicity 4693 (available in a 34 bust at Etsy). This is the second time I've used this pattern, though I have yet to document my first attempt. The first dress suffers from being a little too long and a little too tight in the bodice. Perhaps some alterations will eventually allow it to make it into The Sew Weekly annals — we'll see.
For this dress, I used an estate sale polyester blend. While the fabric wasn't too heavy to make the gathering of the skirt impossible, a lighter weight fabric would have solved the fullness issue at my hips. In other words, there's a lot of extra junk in that trunk that really ain't there.
Construction was almost completely straight-forward. The aforementioned gathering? There's a lot of it in the back. So much so that I began questioning whether I did something wrong. Alas, it is just the style. One modification to the dress: I stitched the facing at the neckline so that it looked like it was a trim. Other than that, a very easy pattern to follow.
While it's not the most slimming dress, I do rather like how it turned out. It was quite warm and (almost) compensated for me not packing a coat. It turned out that it was kind of insanely cold by the time we walked to dinner from our hotel and I actually considered wearing the hotel-provided bathrobe that was hanging in our room. Thankfully, my husband talked me out of that fashion faux pas.