The “Support of My Friends” Dress
Fabric: Vintage rayon from Vintage Fashion Expo – ~$20
Pattern: McCall 6816 from Etsy – ~$9
Year: c. 1947
Notions: Vintage zipper — ~$.005
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: January 2011
Wear again? Once I find a bra that works.
Total Cost: ~$30
Despite the fact that I'm not a professional model (no, really??), I've tried to channel all that I've learned on America's Top Model. While I'm incapable of smizing, I know how to think funny, happy thoughts. However, that laugh above is 100% natural. To find out what I was laughing at, read to the end of this post.
My weekly creation is actually the second dress I attempted within the theme of blue floral fabric. The first dress suffered from, what I wrote about in the theme introduction, "Mother Harper" syndrome. Or at least, that's how I felt about it. While the fabric was certainly beautiful, I just felt a bit too matronly in it.
I really liked how the top half of the dress looked, but I felt that it was just too long. And because I like to go to one extreme to another, I butchered too much off of the bottom and made a dress that was, well, too short by about an inch.
What drives me crazy about the hem length is not so much the shortness, but the waste of a good gored skirt. I always remember to shorten my skirts the "good way." That is, by reducing the length below the natural waistline. For some reason, I completely blanked and created a dress that I knew was too long almost immediately. But we all live and learn.
Thanks to Krissy for taking the forest photos and encouraging me to post about this dress.
But, hey, there's another dress to talk about!
So what's the way to rebound from a discouraging sewing experience? Oh, I know! How about sewing a untested pattern with prized vintage rayon?
It turns out my prized vintage rayon wasn't as great as I thought. It seems that when I bought it at the Vintage Fashion Expo, I hadn't noticed that there were little rips and holes throughout the 2 3/4 yards. It's been in my stash for about a year and I never bothered checking the condition of the fabric. It was this fact that made me much more at ease when cutting. For the most part, I was able to cut around the holes.
The pattern is yet another 1940s pattern that I bought recently on Etsy. McCall 6816 had a few instructions that I would change on the next go. For one, they instruct to simply hem the bows, rather than self-facing them closed (or whatever you'd call that method). The front and back of my fabric was similar enough for it not to matter, but I just can't get a hem that looks as polished as enclosed bow. Additionally, the dress called for snaps up the side and I went with a dress placket 10" zipper.
I actually tried my usual trick of basting it closed and trying to get it on, but that didn't work out so well. There's just so much contortions I can do to get into a dress.
The next time I make this dress, I'm going to use a heavier weight material. I chose rayon because I felt that this was a very Grecian sort of style that would benefit greatly from a fabric that draped nicely. However, there are two things in my life that don't really appreciate this sort of lightweight freedom. The strapless bra I was wearing doesn't help much, either.
And now the answer to the question "What was I laughing at?"…
I had just looked at the previous photos on the camera and had seen what my husband had called "a Jawa hiding behind the column." That Jawa is our daughter, trying to be discreet. She stayed "hidden" for a while as I snapped the next few shots.