The “Barely Green” Dress
Fabric: Patterned dotted swiss from Fabric.com ~$7.50, Green fabric free from swap
Patterns: Simplicity 3864, free from pattern swap! Vogue 8979 for bolero
Year: c. 1962, c.1957
Notions: Invisible zipper $3.50, vintage button
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Definitely the dress, not sure about the bolero
Total Cost: ~$13.00
As I wrote on Friday, I was just not feeling this challenge; I’ve just had bad luck with green dresses in the past. Despite my paleness, a Southern Italian and Cuban heritage gives me an olive tone — one that wearing the wrong green turns sallow. Because of all of this I’ve avoided making many things with green.
My inspiration for this dress came from the Sears Catalog and a photograph that I posted on Friday. I loved how the dress had enough green to be a “green dress” but not too much to make me a sallow mess. For my version, I wanted it to be less 1950s and a tad more modern (modern in this case is early 1960s). For the dress, I used the exact same pattern (Simplicity 3864) as my Eat Local dress from last week. The main difference is that I took about seven inches off the hem when I was cutting the pattern pieces.
While the dress fabric doesn’t have a particularly interesting origin story (I bought it for $1.95/yd at Fabric.com), the bolero was made from some fabric I acquired (as leftover) at last month’s Swap/Meet. We took a photo of me with the fabric since it was so obviously meant to be a dress at one point. That’s all the fabric I had to work with and, luckily, had just the right (barely) amount. I’m always surprised how much fabric some really basic patterns require. The bolero is lined with the same fabric from the dress. I have to say that I was quite happy to have been able to make something with such a challenging scrap. It reminds me to hold on to fabric pieces that may seem to be lost causes. Thanks to whoever brought this piece in to swap!
Here’s a close-up of the fabric used for the dress to prove that there is green in there!
I do have to say that even though I think the bolero turned out nicely, I do prefer the dress without it. The dress pattern is really quite a dream to work with, even if I do have to include the zipper when constructing it.
Taking the photos for this week’s creation turned out to be of a challenge. It was raining and neither my husband nor I (but mostly my husband) wanted to get caught in it. We were up visiting my in-laws in Petaluma and, as a last resort, went to the Petaluma Welcome Center for some coverage from the rain. Here’s a shot snapped in the moment when I saw the most perfect backdrop for St. Patrick’s Day: