The “Race Day” Dress
Fabric: $19 from JoAnn’s Fabric
Pattern: DuBarry 2478B, free from the Sew Weekly Swap/Meet
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: June 2011
Wear again: Yes!
Total Cost: $19
Back in February when I held The First Ever Sew Weekly Swap/Meet (perhaps it’s time to put on another one?), I just HAD TO HAVE this DuBarry pattern brought to the swap by Shannon. I love patterns from the late 1930s/early 1940s because the styles are not only really feminine, but are also totally wearable by today’s standards. I put my claws out at the swap and made sure this pattern went home with me. The things I do for sewing.
I pretty much knew that I wanted to use this pattern the moment this challenge went on our calendar. While I was certain about the pattern, I wasn’t quite sure about the fabric I wanted to use. As I wrote in this post, I’m not a big fan of black & white. That meant I didn’t really have much fabric to choose from in my stash. I headed to JoAnn’s and found a cute print in the quilting cotton section. Additionally, I bought some black & white polka dotted fabric for the bolero.
You probably noticed that the jacket I’m wearing is black. It’s actually my bolero from The “Mondo was Robbed” Dress. I’ll get to that in a bit.
For some reason I got it into my head that I wanted to use the polka dot fabric as contrasts. Yes, I thought I wanted that. When it was finished, however, I didn’t like it one bit. It just looked too busy and too (say it Michael Kors’ voice) “Betty Homecky.”
You’re looking at an almost complete (minus the zipper) dress here:
I had made great time with this dress and hadn’t run into any snafus. But because I wasn’t happy with the contrasts and because I wanted to wear it past the day of the challenge, I decided to redo the collar and midriff. Thankfully, I still had enough of the floral fabric. So I seamed ripped the offending pieces and started basically from the beginning. Despite the extra work, I was happy to have made the change.
I was able to omit the zipper and simply have to do a bit of snake aerobics to get myself out of it. But that’s okay. Anything to skip the zipper step.
Back to the bolero. I decided to make the pattern’s bolero out of the remaining polka dot fabric. I completed the entire thing and then I realized a pretty important fact: I don’t like black and white polka dots! The bolero was tossed aside and the Mondo bolero took its place.
For the photo shoot, we lucked out that Golden Gate Fields was having a special racing day because of the Belmont Stakes. My husband and I have been to the Kentucky Derby but this was the first time going to a race in the Bay Area. We brought Penelope and had a grand old time betting on the races, eating fried chicken and a multitude of desserts and taking photos. I was actually quite surprised by the number of folks dressed up! There were hats everywhere and for that I was quite at home.
Oh, my hat! I almost forgot!
I love this hat so much. I’m wearing it a bit too much off to the side in these pictures (it shifted and I didn’t even realize it), but it still rocks. I believe it’s from the 1930s or 1940s based on its label but I haven’t been able to find any information on its maker, Florence Freeman.
A better view of the hat:
Here’s me in the car, wearing the hat. This is where it should be on my head:
Here’s the dress without the bolero:
My daughter watching the horses, trainers and jockeys preparing for the races:
The first race (and the only one that we won — a whopping $4)
My husband in a pose that screams “Yes, I own horses. Oh, you don’t?” We don’t own horses, by the way.