Hot! Gift of the Wind dress

Fabric: cotton/linen-like fabric from my mom’s stash, from a windfall of yardage and notions to recently come my way

Pattern: Simplicity 2444, free from Simplicity when they asked if I’d like to participate in a blog social. This is my extra credit :)

Year: fabric – early-mid 80s?; pattern – 2010, based off a 1964 pattern

Notions: thread, invisible zip, stay tape, lace hem tape, all stash

Time to complete: as usual, no clue

First worn: Mummy’s birthday dinner

Wear again: most def, gaping neckline and all

Total price: who pays for anything these days?

Golly, I’ve missed y’all! I’ve also missed a few deadlines & thus challenges. And now that I’m current on Mad Men, I don’t have to hide behind the fear of spoilers while scrolling through your collective awesomeness.

Gift of the Wind #1

by nd-nʎ

This dress truly is a windfall of a garment, and I didn’t even know the title of my inspiration public art piece until this morning. I stumbled upon Gift of the Wind one blustery November afternoon, just a couple days into unpacking boxes back here on the east coast. I loved it immediately, maybe because the wind really had the red kinetic sculpture moving against a bright blue sky, and everything was still fresh. Now I know it’s technically in Cambridge, but it stands in an area where you can walk a block and move from Cambridge to Somerville and back several times. Apparently my fondness for the sculpture isn’t widespread, as it’s been nominated as a contender for worst public art in New England. Hrmph. I’ll take it over the green monster any day.

When I was recently asked to sew up a dress for Simplicity’s blog hop, I immediately chose pattern 1913, thinking it would be the most flattering. But 2444 was my second pick, despite skepticism about wearing a full skirt. I’ve read a million times that full skirts work great for someone with my figure, but I just tend to feel frilly and frumpy in them, store bought or sewn. I thought I’d give it a go anyway, using this crazy bit of 80s awesome-sauce I found at my mom’s. It was already part of my spring/summer sewing plan, so why not? Once I caught drift of the city challenge, all was sealed. The sculpture is from 1983, and I’m guessing the fabric is, too.

I really love this print, and it looks like the poppies or whatever they are have been blown about by a gust of wind. Can you believe my mom has this in a yellow colorway, too? Nutter. I know it’s totally crazy. Some day I’ll start wearing things that are more staid. Or not. I’ve even come around to the full skirt a bit. It’s good for twirling, and has pockets for doggie treats! I lined the entire dress with white batiste, also from mom’s stash, using the bodice pieces and a trusty A-line skirt pattern. No need to include all those pleats on the lining. Of course, I ended up making my life more difficult by hand picking the zip THEN attaching the lining to the neck, THEN remembering that I’d have no means of stitching the armscyes & turning, because the sides were already stitched and serged. Pockets perfectly in place. Meh, nothing a little hand stitching can’t fix. So, the armscyes are hand stitched together. No way was I unpicking serger thread, when my typically finicky machine did a superb job. I think it likes tough love.

In my quest for the perfect fit, I made the same alterations I had just gone through on the bodice of 1913 to this pattern, and it worked a dream. (Slash/spread CB for round shoulders, add neck darts, pinch out 1/2″ horizontally to raise armhole.) Until I tried it on, lining in place, zip hand picked. The front of the bodice pulls a bit from shoulder to bust apex, creating some drag lines and a bit of gaping at the neck. I think it’s time someone pulled Little Lavi aside and had a talk. You know the one. FBA time. I’ve been out of the training bra almost since I went in one, but I’ve honestly never considered myself particularly well-endowed. Not itty bitty, no. Just average. But from all I’ve read, this looks like the issue. My chest isn’t concave, though there is some concavity happening due to forward shoulders, so the gaping isn’t due to that. But yeah. It’s high time I ‘fess up and go down a size, then figure out the FBA, no?





Lavender has sewing in her blood. Raised by a working seamstress, she was always surrounded by the craft, but defiant when it came to learning the proper way to do anything. After years of hacking up t-shirts, jeans, vintage finds and selling tie satchels (gasp!) in a local shop, she packed up her machine. A few years ago, she dusted it off, determined to learn the right way 'round a machine & pattern.


Comments are closed.

  1. This print is fantastic!! I love it! Every dress I’ve seen made from this pattern looks amazing! The envelope pictures always turn me off though, because I think the green one is just ill-fitted to the model. Great job on yours!

  2. Great photos, great dress! Nice job!

  3. This is such a pretty dress! I love it!

  4. Yay, this is fun! What a cute print, I remember those from the 80’s – you make it look cool. Neat boots too! I love that pattern – nice to see it with out the ties.

  5. Nice dress! I’m a “c” cup and finding that I need to go down a size and do a FBA to get the neck to fit right without gaping. Then I also do an adjustment for round shoulders, broad back and grading to the hips *sheesh* I almost redraw the pattern.

    • Thanks, Susan! I’m a C, too… maybe I’ve just been in denial, ha! I feel like I’ve been semi-mastering fit one area at a time. Hips, back/shoulders, now bust (instead of simply altering the side seams like I once did). I so need to make a sloper to move the alteration process along!

  6. Wow, the zipper looks perfect, worth hand picking for sure. Love the photos and the whimsical fabric pattern. Great job!

    • Thanks, Krista! As much as I’m working on fit, I love little touches like hand-picked zips, even if it was a lot of effort for a mediocre-fitting bust.

  7. Lovely pattern and fabric. Your mother has good taste. I enjoyed your interesting and fun write-up as well. Great windy twirly photos.

  8. Fabulous dress! I love the print! I have made this dress a couple times, only after I saw someone’s creation on a blog. I have to agree that the pattern cover is not too flattering! It suits you beautifully—great job!

  9. That dress is beautiful!! I love that print and I love all of the history behind the fabric. I think that piece is nice, too. But I usually like things that others don’t. Art is relative anyway.

    • Thanks, Nettie!! You’re so right about art being subjective. Who knows, if I had initially come across this sculpture on a different day, in a different mood, weather, etc, I may have just dismissed it. As it stands, I simply love to watch it move.

  10. I am another who had passed by this pattern and am taking another look, this dress is sweet, not too sweet, just enough. Love the local color.

    • The envelope photos are kinda meh, but the angled bust darts are definitely cool! Thanks for the comment about it being not too saccharine, which is the reason I veer away from full skirts in general :)

  11. Adore the print on this. Very nice frock indeed.

    • Thanks, Najah! It’s so dated, but I can’t help but love it :) Reminds me of the fabric panels in my aging pediatrician’s office when I was really young.

  12. No frill, no frump. I’m envious of your mother’s stash and your full bust issues! Seriously, this dress is a keeper.

  13. Lavender, I really like this dress! I have this pattern and have been hemming and hawing about using it (something in the design drawings is just… off to me). This dress kinda tipped the scales in favor of the pattern! Well done, lady!

    • Oh, that’s awesome! I can’t wait to see what you make :) The envelope photos are so meh (can’t even conjure up the tech drawings). Knock it out of the park!!