The “Beauty for Ashes” Dress
Pattern: McCall’s 8443 view A
Fabric: 2 yds med. weight white cotton $8 1yd floral poly $2
Notions: white thread $2.50 1 22in invisible zipper $2
Time to Complete: about 6hrs
Wear Again?: Yes-but where?
Total price: $14.50
I have been thinking a lot about what I will say about this dress and its inspiration. I picked the city of Jerusalem. Gosh. I don’t even know what to say. I’ll start from the beginning.
I was looking at pictures from the Commes des Garcons Spring 2012 line. This dress really caught my eye.
It’s like someone broke into the workroom and tagged the dress. I wanted to make my own version only I couldn’t think of what I would paint on the dress. I went to the fabric store with the intention of representing London or Memphis but I couldn’t get the white dress out of my head. I kept coming back to this white cotton fabric. I made the dress mostly because I could not think of anything else to make.
I did not have a dress to wear for Easter so I thought that whatever I make should be something I could wear to church as well. My first thought was Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. Make the dress then paint an image of a skull onto it. Cool but maybe a little too dark for Easter-plus Easter is all about the resurrection. So I went with Jerusalem.
I used the same pattern as I did for last week’s challenge only this time I used view A. I lengthened it to make a simple sheath dress and lengthened and widened the sleeves. I also added a pleat at the top of the sleeve to put a little more emphasis on the shoulder. I sewed the right sides of the sleeve and lining together along the sides and bottom then turned it all right side out, pressed it and top stitched along the edge. Instead of the separating zipper in back I used an invisible zipper. I had the idea for the contrasting fabric in the sleeve later in the week. After basting the dress together to get the fit right I got to thinking about how to finish the sleeve since the inside was going to show. I think the floral fabric makes it look more like fashion and less like a priestly garment. I have not lined the dress because I couldn’t really afford something nice and I felt like the cheaper lining would bring the quality down. I plan on exhibiting this dress at some point and will line it then. I wore it with a vintage slip for now.
I’m sorry all the pictures look the same. We were at a friend’s waiting for lunch and had about 20 minutes to walk to a nearby park and take them. I hope you get an idea of how the sleeves are attached and how it would flow when I walked or how it would fall when I was standing.
I like this one but I should have thought a little more about my hands. They look a bit claw like here. Also, my beautiful nude heels look a lot like sandals.
Of all the pieces I have made this one is one of the most meaningful. I was not raised in the church and did not become a follower of Christ until I was in my 20’s. I was an alcoholic and drug addict. Recovery and healing have taken many years but I would not be the woman I am today and could not share my gifts with you all if not for God and his love for me. He literally gets me through each and every project. That’s where the title for the dress comes from. In the Bible in Isaiah 61:1-3 it talks about giving us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. This dress is a representation of new life in Christ and symbolic of the church as the bride of Christ. It is not my intention to preach to you all so I hope it was OK to share this. I just thought it was important to share this little bit of my life with you so you could better understand my inspiration for the dress. These are the things that make us more real to each other right? Anyway, thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next week.