The “Fly & Chill” Dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: Laser cut daisy 0.5 yards from fabric.com US$3.85, Off white Cotton/linen blend 1 yard from ikea US$2.65 and scraps from previous projects.
Patterns: Simplicity 8278
Year: c. 1969
Notions: Huge snap buttons US$0.50
Time to complete: 4 and a half hours
First worn: 7 March 2011
Wear again? Maybe
Total Cost: ~US$7
I kept going through photos of local icons such as the Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion, Raffles Hotel and Chinatown but didn't feel very inspired. But, when going home from the airport one weekend, I felt absolutely inspired by the 3-dimensional floral sunshade facade of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport! This is my chance to make good use of an 'impulse buy' laser cut floral fabric I got a few months back on fabric.com! So, now I feel slightly less guilty:P
The building is designed to create a resort style “time-out” for the exhausted stopover traveller with a quick shot of the steamy tropics, a taste of Singapore. The hotel's delicate filigree floral exterior softens the surroundings, the airport infrastructure, planes, trains, cars, aluminium, steel and tinted glass and welcomes visitors to Singapore. In fact, for anyone coming into Singapore through Changi Airport terminals 1, 2 and 3, this could very well be the first interesting structure you see. According to its designers, the florals on the facade are orchids, our national flower.
After going through my pattern stash, I chose Simplicity 8278, a mod dress pattern from 1969 as it had some resort feel and the curve of the neckline reminded me of the curve uncovered area of the structure which led to the hotel pool (photo above).
I also love that this modern yet tropical hotel has obtained the green-mark for its eco friendliness including maximizing the use of natural lighting and using recycled timber in its architecture. And that in turn inspired me to use fabrics from my scrap basket for this project. Some leftover black cotton sateen from my glossy jumpsuit was used for the back of the dress and one of the sleeve while the beige cotton fabric from my time travel frock was used for the facings (which ran the entire neckline and front opening), and at times, does a peek-a-boo from the sides. I used different colored threads (black top, beige bottom or off white top, beige bottom) for topstitching the two front panels to blend in well with the fabrics on the front panels and the facings.
The sewing pattern is pretty straight forward and can be finished quite quickly but there were two points I deviated from. The instructions said to sew the interfacing onto the wrong side of the front before attaching the facings. I decided to go with how I would normally add interfacing, by ironing it onto the wrong side of the facings before stitching onto the front section of the dress. I used a heavy weight interfacing to ensure that it could support the heavier laser cut fabric to 'stand' at the neckline and it worked well. My second deviation was to topstitch the entire neckline and the front opening to the facings rather than tagging it only to the shoulder seams.
My intention was to sew version A (yellow dress with belt) but realized after I'd finished the dress that I didn't like the way the laser cut fabric looked under a belt so i dropped the idea. It is a roomy comfortable dress but I am so not used to seeing myself 'waist-less' so I'm not unsure when I would be wearing this again.
As the laser cut section is lined with the off white cotton and the white cotton on the opposite panel is lined with remnant poly lining, I wasn't sure if this dress would be local weather friendly but that turned out fine. I stood in the sun for the photos just outside the building that inspired the dress and didn't perspire much. The headband was causing more perspiration:)
While I was inspired by this structure, I realized that it wasn't gonna be easy getting myself and the white floral facade which starts only on the second floor of the hotel into one photo. I really appreciate having a supportive family cos after dinner last weekend, hubby brought me to the airport where we checked out the place and found this spot adjacent to the subway. Phew!