The “99 Luftballoons” Dress | Debi Fry
Fabric: 2.5 metres of 100% cotton fabric, £13
Pattern: Simplicity 2180
Year: c. 2011
Notions: zipper £1.50, elastic £1, fabric paint: £4
Time to complete: Dress: 13 hours; painting: 7 hours (total: 20 hours)
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Resounding YES!
Total Cost: ~£20
99 Luftballoons…one of my absolute favourite songs and the inspiration for this week's challenge! I actually used a modern pattern…gasp! I've been in love with Simplicity 2180 and was really in love with it when it went on sale (giggle) at one of the very rare UK pattern sales!
Simplicity 2180 was fairly easy to put together, though it did take some time. I ended up not putting in the pockets but I followed all the other directions to a T! The directions were fairly clear except for the waistband facing–I found it a really bizarre way to put the dress together and it didn't become immediately clear until about 9 steps later. At that point I had the 'aha' moment and figured out the reason they were having me do things a certain way. Sometimes I wish they put little notes in the directions like the following…"I know this won't make sense…but trust me later when you attach the skirt to the bodice, having this bit the way it is will make it look all nice and pretty inside…." That's all I really need. Otherwise, my inclination to skip steps increases!!
The nuts and bolts of the dress is that it is one bodice front piece with two darts and two bodice back pieces with an attached bow tie. Their method of constructing the bow tie is fabulous and worked really well. The bodice is attached to the skirt via a waist yoke (with aforementioned tricky waist yoke). Normally there would be pockets in the side seams but I was too impatient to put those in (seriously–there were 35 steps to constructing the dress and nearly 10 of them were for the pockets!!).
I used their top recommended fabric "laundered cotton". I was quite happy to find this really nice quality fabric at my local store. I figured this type of fabric would be easier to apply fabric paint to as well!!
Here's what the dress looked like before the 'balloons':
David was really the creative genius behind the 'balloons'. He drafted out a sketch of the dress based on my vision and created a template balloon:
I love everything about this dress! The bodice fits on the edge of the shoulders (see the pattern above) and it's a bit odd to get used to. I keep pulling them in..giggle! But overall, a great pattern and I love that David and I were able to work on another project together! YAY!