The “Sookie” Sundress Remake
Fabric: 4 yards Lisette pink and white gingham from JoAnn, $26, and white muslin (for bodice lining), about 2$ (both from stash)
Pattern: Vogue V8725 for the skirt and Colette Pastille for the bodice
Notions: invisible zip
Time to complete: Long, as usual. 11 hours?
First worn: Just for the photos.
Wear again: Yes.
Total cost: about $28 (Though this is my second time around on this dress. Does that reduce the cost?)
This week I set out to save my “Sookie” Sundress (from last year’s TV challenge, after a Sookie Stackhouse style on True Blood), which had been languishing for two reasons. First, it’s winter. Hence the Down Under theme. Second, the fit of the bodice was terrible. I liked the halter style of the original Vogue pattern but wanted a little more coverage this time. Since I made the first dress, I had major surgery which left a large scar that curls around my shoulder blade. Some day I’ll be fine with flaunting my scar– I’ve even thought of getting a tattoo around it– but. . . not yet. I decided to work with the bodice pattern from the Colette Pastille dress, which, while quite prim in the back, has a sweetheart dip similar to the Vogue pattern in the front.
I’ve never attempted much in the way of pattern adjustments other than shortening or grading between sizes, so this week was an adventure. After two muslins, some light bulb moments, and a lot of confusion, I called the Consulting Dressmaker, who happens to live in Brisbane, another Down Under connection. She looked me over via Skype and set me on the right track. Thank you, Stephanie! I made another muslin. By the end, my paper pattern looked really weird, and I was doubtful that it would either fit or resemble Pastille. Magically, it did both! Ok, it was a lot of work and not magic, but clearly I don’t yet comprehend everything I did, especially in the back, where I seemed to be removing random chunks.
Once I got the bodice fit down, I thought it would be pretty simple to attach the new bodice to the old skirt, insert the zipper, and attach the bodice lining, which I cleverly thought could replace the facings. Then I cleverly sewed the lining neckline AND SLEEVE OPENINGS to the dress and tried to turn it right-side out for about ten minutes. Yep, I did that. I also had to sew the lining to the zipper tape twice, because I sewed it too close to the zipper teeth the first time and couldn’t open the zipper. The same thing has happened to me with the Ginger skirt. Have to remember to use the regular zipper foot, not the invisible zipper foot, to get the right spacing. Man, invisible zippers can be humbling. Every time I think, ok, no problem, I’ve done this a hundred times, I completely *&^% it up.
I’m really happy with the fit, and I’m sure this dress will see a lot of action when the weather warms up. The finishing is far from stellar. But that is another issue for another challenge; now is definitely time to move on. To our sewists in the Southern Hemisphere, I love seeing your creations and your topsy-turvy seasons!