The “I Did It” Dress
Fabric: Black lace and stretch velveteen, $35 from Jo-Ann’s
Pattern: Butterick 5209, $1.99
Time to complete: 7 hours
First worn: To be worn on New Year’s Eve
Wear again? yes
Total Cost: ~$37
There are so many things about this week’s dress that are representative of my past twelve months of sewing. First, it was the third attempt at a dress for the week’s challenge. The first dress only got so far as a very well-constructed bodice. Based on a 1940s pattern, it we made from a floral taffeta which, paired with the pattern, looked too mother-of-the-bride for my tastes. I decided to take that same pattern and buy some black velveteen/black lace and make it look a bit more “youthful.” Well, as youthfull a sixty-five year-old pattern can look. The velveteen, lace and flesh-colored spandex didn’t want to cooperate with me so I gave up, completely defeated. That’s when I decided to move onto a different pattern and try to make use of what fabric I had left.
I’d love to say that after my initial struggles, Butterick 5209 was a breeze to complete. It may be an easy pattern when working with a bit crisper fabric. But, working with the stretchy velveteen just proved to be quite a pain. After a very messy bodice was near completion, I tossed it down and walked away. I wasn’t happy with it at all and was terribly disappointed that I had wasted $35 on the fabric.
But walking away from a difficult project wouldn’t be the spirit of The Sew Weekly! So I decided to try to make the mess work and just finish the thing. Since I planned to wear it on New Year’s, I figured it will be dark enough (and people will be inebriated enough) for its flaws to be hidden. I finished it at 2am on the 24th and was able to go to bed pleased with persevering.
That said, after a night’s sleep the flaws didn’t even seem that bad anymore.
So here’s a dress that was almost headed for the trash — a dress that I can say turned out quite nice. Yes, it’s a bit of a train wreck on the inside (who isn’t?), but on the outside, it’s quite celebratory and fun.
And yes, there’s quite a lot to celebrate: with this dress, my fifty-two weeks of The Sew Weekly 2011 are complete! I’ll be writing up a wrap-up post later this week, but I just have to say it’s feels pretty good to close the book on this year.