The “Not So Sunny” Dress
Fabric: 1.6 yards royal blue cotton sateen, $6; 1.3 yards grey Bemberg lining, $8, each from JoAnn
Pattern: New Look 6699, $3.99
Notions: 14″ invisible zipper, $1, 4 faux-pearl shank buttons, from stash
Time to complete: ~10 hours
First worn: Sunday, to the lake
Wear again? Maybe
Total cost: ~$19
For this week, I planned to make a cute, nautical-inspired sundress. I had everything picked out: the fabric, the trims, the background. By the end though, nothing was as I had planned: not the fabric, not the trims, not even the backgr…ok, the background stayed the same.
Here’s what happened:
Originally, I had selected the “Sundress of My Life” for the “Made That Look” challenge. Once the “Down Under” theme was announced though, I thought it best to postpone it a week so as not to fall into last year’s sundress-making habit so early in the year.
What I loved about the ModCloth dress was it’s sunny yellow color and it’s potential for subtle nautical details. It reminded me of something I’d wear back home to lunch by the beach.
So, immediately, I set to find cute white anchor buttons and the perfect yellow fabric. I got it in my head that the fabric should be sateen because yellow cotton can so easily look cheap. (At least what’s available around here.) I rather easily found the buttons; but, as my complexion didn’t get the ‘summer look’ memo, and remained glaringly white, the perfect yellow was not to be found. There went the fabric.
On impulse, I decided on a somewhat more flattering royal blue cotton sateen. I had forgotten that the sateen was to improve the look of the yellow – a shine a blue sundress wouldn’t need.
Next, those white buttons I had to have looked odd against the new color. So, I bought my first dye and made them a warm grey, matching the Bemberg lining. I thought this was a nice improvement and stitched them to the loop on the bodice.
This dress went together with few problems. It wasn’t until it was nearly complete that my confidence in the dress dropped off.
I tried it on after installing the zipper (late, I know) – it was huge! I had to take an inch off the back and off each of the hips. I did so, hand-hemmed the dress and tried it back on. Between the bright color, the sheen of the fabric, and the overall shape, what I had looked a bit too…something…for a sundress. And, now the buttons looked underwhelming. There went the trims. To cover the small scars the grey buttons left on the loop, I stitched on four faux-pearl buttons that I happened to have in my stash. Finally, the dress looked complete and off to the lake we went.
Now, how do I feel about said dress? The jury’s still out on that one… I wish I’d used pleats on the bodice, as my gathers need a lot of work, and I feel the division of the midriff makes my torso look short and my hips look wide. Nevertheless, it’s actually fairly comfortable and a pretty blue color so, it’s not unlikely this one will see the daylight again.