The “Eat Local” Dress
Fabric: Fruit print Cotton from 1972 – $0.25 for 10 yards, thrifted
Patterns: Simplicity 3864, free from pattern swap!
Year: c. 1962
Notions: Invisible zipper, red piping – $.05
Time to complete: 3 1/2 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Yes! But I'm going to shorten it a bit first.
Total Cost: ~$0.30
With the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Mission, the Castro, Chinatown and Lombard Street (to name a few), San Francisco is not suffering in the landmarks department. However, with all of these sights, my inspiration comes from the treasure which I probably love the most about the City — it's Farmers markets and our ability to easily eat locally, organically and well.
During the week, there are at least a dozen markets taking place throughout the city. The biggest, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, has been our Saturday tradition for years. While it used to be our exclusive market, we now mix it up with our local (and walkable) market in our own neighborhood. My husband, the chef in our family, buys the bulk of his produce at the markets. I, on the other hand, eat at the farmers markets. In addition to selling produce and ingredients to take home, the markets offer prepared food from local vendors and restaurants. Nothing extraordinarily different from other markets across the country and globe — however, living in California has its perks. The diversity of produce makes our markets pretty amazing throughout the entire year.
Now, onto my dress.
In keeping with my Spring Palette, the fabric is full of bold, bright and edible-worthy primary colors. In case you can't tell from the first photograph, the red and yellow elements are cherries and strawberries. And, quite perfectly, they're surrounded by a table-cloth worthy blue gingham. The fabric was thrifted and for about a quarter, I got ten yards! And, even better the selvedge was copyrighted with a date: 1972! I absolutely love being able to pinpoint my fabric to a year.
I received the pattern at The Sew Weekly Swap/Meet from last weekend. I don't remember who brought this pattern to the swap, but thank you! As I said in The Facts section, I'm going to shorten the dress a couple inches. I didn't factor in that I wouldn't be wearing a petticoat and, as a result, is much longer than it should be. Once I get the hem length down I can see many versions of this dress in my future.
The dress was easy to construct. I didn't start it until around 8:00am (the morning of the market) and finished it at about 11:30. I could have saved 30-45 minutes if I didn't pipe the collar, sleeves and waistline. I'm glad I added that detail since I think it makes the dress pop.