Dirty Chartreuse Chanteuse Dress
Fabric: chartreuse silk dress; black man-made slippery something
Pattern: Simplicity 2724
Notions: necktie remnant; vintage belt kit, 5¢
Time to complete: okay, I’m not gonna pretend… I don’t keep track because I’m shamefully slooooow
First worn: February, 2012
Wear again: Yes, please. The silk feels fragile, especially with the heavier bottom, so not too often.
Total price: 5¢
I may have mentioned over on my blog that I was going to sit out the next couple of challenges. Just to, you know, get some personal stuff done, and continue on with fitting issues (Clover!). Crazy, huh?! Cuz here I am. It is the upcycle challenge, after all :) And this upcycle was an evolving part of my fall/winter sewing palette. After a few false starts, mostly involving yardage once the dress was unpicked & pressed, I finally figured out what it wanted to be. And am marking that challenge done as I move on to spring/summer sewing. Though we haven’t had much of a winter, the temps dropped this weekend, evident in my lack of desire to get gussied up for an outside photo shoot. This was more of a massive cooking weekend, anyway. Also, the dress is quite flimsy for winter. Silly me.
But what a dress it is! Seriously ladies. Why didn’t you tell me? Maybe someone, somewhere tried to, and I listened, but then went on a little hiatus. But really, this dress does wonders for me. Okay, so maybe in viewing the photos, I could stand to take the skirt in a nip or two… But overall, there was very little fitting to be done. Unheard of for me.
Princess seams make me feel like a princess, and the pea colored silk is so soft I could curl up for a nap. I just love chartreuse to no end, though it’s not for everyone. Maybe not even for my coloring. But I don’t care. Possibly because it’s the color of my birthstone, I’ve always been a sucker for it. Knowing this upcycle would play into my palette challenge, I even made my own little color called “dirty chartreuse” on ColourLovers. Chanteuse – it just sounded nice, unlike my actual singing. The Dirty Three print in my kitchen really ties the whole thing together. Like that rug, dude.
The poor dress was given to me several years ago by a colleague, who was loath to donate it to the thrift store. She knew the gaping hole in the arm would send it straight to the bin. That’s when I swoop in! The black whatever-it-is man-made has been in my stash since early college, I reckon. It drapes nicely, and has a subtle sheen to it. But the cling! I might invest in some static guard or dryer sheets, items I generally shy away from. I love old neckties, and the huge collection I had were made into a radiating starburst quilt for my sister about a decade ago. I still have all of the skinny ends, and love to use them as bias binding. This specimen probably wouldn’t go with much else, but is a great compliment to the muted greens of the silk.
I did something novel with the belt (a vintage kit picked up for a nickel two summers past). Have you heard of Stitch-Witchery? Of course you have. Me, I scoff at anything that makes my sewing life easy. Here’s where I shyly admit that I finally caved, bought some to try out, along with Fray Check. It is so far from the hand sewing techniques I love to employ, but boy oh boy! I was able to keep the slippery silk tacked in place on the belting, then went along with some hand stitching to make it pretty. It’s our dirty little secret, k?
Now I can move on to spring. Safe bet – a variation of this pattern will be moving on with me. There is quite a bit of silk left over, though not in big chunks. I’m sure it will make it’s way into my wardrobe at some point in the future.