The “Windy City” Dress
Fabric: Geometric patterned linen from donated fabric stash – free!
Pattern: McCall's 5923 for $1.50 at a Hancock Fabrics sale – yay!
Notions: Zipper $2
Time to complete: 7.5 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Yes, but definitely when it is warmer!
Total Cost: $3.50
When I first heard about this challenge, I immediately began rummaging in my stash for ideas. Halfway through my search, I stumbled on this linen. It has a fantastic geometric pattern on it with hexagons mixing with diamonds. This fabulous design reminded me of the building at 150 N. Michigan Ave. When I first moved to Chicago, I came here without having a job. I only had enough money to buy groceries and pay my first month's rent, so I needed to jump in and start swimming! I finally found employment after a month in this lovely building. I spent a great many hours here and I love the architecture still.
I originally bought this pattern because of the neckline. I love square necklines and I have nothing in my closet that reflects that love. I also have very few dresses that could be considered "work appropriate." Not that they are too revealing, just entirely too colorful for an office environment. I thought this dress could be a lovely addition to my wardrobe if it came out they way I imagined – and it did!
This pattern was fantastic for the design on the fabric and was very easy to follow. It offers varying pieces for different bust sizes (something I always love in a pattern) and offered a very efficient method for putting facings in (something I hate doing with a passion).
The side pieces are cut on the bias and when sewn together with the front, create a fabulous illusion of everything going up! Since this was my first time working with linen, I learned quite a bit about ironing (there is so much of it!). This was also my first time working with princess seams. O. My. Good. Gracious. The seams and I had to battle it out quite a bit, especially when it came time to take things in for a second fitting. They said, "We are supposed to curve like this," but I said, "I need you to curve like this and I have the scissors." And then we got along fine.
Version B of the pattern calls for lace and ribbon to be added to the bust. I have a lovely collection of lace that I want to use for everything and I was so glad to have justenough lace to put some on the bust and hem! I added the bit on the hem to draw the eye away from my pasty legs. I thought having too much white in one area might blind an onlooker.