The Wendy Bird Dress | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Two types of sweat shirt knit fabric, thrifted, approx $3
Pattern: Sew U Home Stretch, Built by Wendy, with self drafted bits
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: to work, May 2011
Wear again? Yes, but without a beehive!
Total Cost: ~$3
Yay for the mums on Mother's Day! This week has been really fun for me, because a) My Mum is gorgeous and b) I love her a lot! Right now Mum & Dad are on a caravanning holiday, heading up to Queensland for my brother's wedding, so luckily before they left, Mum emailed some photos through. Since she's not a big 'photos on the internet' kinda gal, let me please introduce Wendy (with quite possibly her online debut):
Mum grew up all over Australia, as the family moved around a lot, but in her later teens they settled in Sydney, our biggest city. It was the late 1960s, and from stories and seeing photos of my mum dresses up like this, I always thought there were heaps of parties and dances and fun 'city' things! Remembering that I grew up in the country, where not a LOT happened!
Something very serendipidous happened upon choosing my pattern this week that I've ONLY just worked out, by thinking of the title of this post today. Mum's name is Wendy and I chose a Built by Wendy pattern to base my dress on. Amazing!
Mum's photos show her wearing lots of flattering shapes and silhuettes for a petite figure, the shaped or darted bust, the flared skirt, the waistbands to show off a skinny waist. I settled on the purple colour, and wanted to do some colour blocking since I've been watching Project Runway and they always talk about it. I also didn't have enough darker purple knit to do the whole dress, and I'm committed to using my stash. I've only visited the fabric store once this year (For my Grace Jones lookalike dress) and it confused me! Endless restrictions make a tougher challenge, but I'm determined!
The changes to the Built by Wendy patterns (using something like the blue dress on the book's cover, as a base) was to cut the front bodice piece shorter, making a scoopey shape (like Mum in the black and white photo) for the waistband (& raising the front skirt piece a tad), and adding a cowl neck like the first photo. Initially, I did want to add sleeves (as it's getting cold in Melbourne!) but I didn't have enough dark material and I didn't think the lighter purple would be right.
I also flared the skirt a little bit, but I'm not so sure if this was a good idea with this fabric? What do you think? You can probably see that both Mum and I share a love of short skirts, so I'm kinda thinking I could possibly cut it back a couple of inches, and it might feel a bit better.
The dress is cute, but feels a little limiting as to what I can pair it with and for stretch fabric it does crease an awful lot! The Built by Wendy patterns and instructions, however, are so great, and I'm SO happy with the changes I've made. Seriously using stretch knit makes it SO easy and quick!
Here's a 'Hipstermatic' photo Husbie took on the iphone to look like 1968! I'll put the rest of these vintage looking ones on my blog this week!