The “Red & White & Blue & Hazel All Over” Dress
Fabric: Poly crepes: $3 for the floral (Fabricville last chance pile) and 25 cents for the navy blue (estate sale)
Pattern: Victory Patterns Hazel = $11
Time to complete: 5 hours (yes, 5 hours, most of which was wrestling with the neck)
First worn: In the dreary grey light of morning for this photo.
Wear again? nope.
Total price: $14.25
Oh polyester crepe….you’re the Pamela Anderson of the fabric world: from afar, you look colourful, radiant, and unwrinkled. But get a little closer, and your cheap plastic nature is glaringly obvious. You’re slippery and hard to work with, and it’s impossible to iron you. Wait…I think my metaphor fell apart there somewhere…..
This dress is a resounding FAIL, and I wasn’t planning on posting, but then I got to thinking: these are challenges, right? It’s not all about posting only your best work and the photos in which you look the most glamorous; it’s about challenging yourself to make things you otherwise wouldn’t and learning from the process. That’s why I’m uploading these last minute photos taken with a flash on this dark morning, between dropping the offspring at school and rushing to the lab. Feast your eyes:
Blatantly ripping off Taking a cue from Diane’s Tale of Two Cities dress last week, I downloaded Victory Pattern’s Hazel dress and found matching floral / solid poly crepes in my stash. I cut a straight size 6 without any modifications because the final measurements of the pattern seemed roomy enough for me. BUT! as I mentioned last week, I usually add width through the back and move the armscyes forward, and I didn’t bother with this design.
I can’t lift my arms and my biceps, although by no means muscular, are being strangled, causing my blood to pool in my arms and feel like a heart attack is coming on. Not usually the fit I aim for in a dress! Also, the poly just would not take a crease, so the neckline facing wouldn’t lay flat; the seams all had to be serged as soon as I cut them because they fray in the breeze; and poly crepe is so heavy and slippery that every time I turned my back, she was slithering off somewhere, trying to escape.
Ah well, live and learn. I really love the combo of red, white and navy, and I’m tempted to unpick the whole top and start again, since I have another 1.5m of this print.
Here’s the inspiration: Most of my childhood photos were taken on slide film so I don’t have copies, but my father recently emailed me some scans he had made from old colour slides from 1971-1981. All of them featured me wearing a bib-front jumper or overalls, and while that’s a cute look on a 2 year old, I wasn’t sure about wearing them 4 decades later! I cut out a vintage pattern for a bib-front apron dress and even started drafting this post, but quickly realized that I had little enthusiasm for it, and it would become a wardrobe orphan. Then Dad sent an email with another four scans, and the photo below got me thinking: Remember those summer days of childhood? You woke up, slapped on a bathing suit and a hat and you were fully equipped for another day of running wild.
I’m not likely to spend my summer days running wild on the beaches of Nova Scotia anymore, but I do need something effortless that I can throw on for work every day. Something uncomplicated. Something breezy. Something red, white and blue. I thought this Hazel would fit the bill, but c’est la vie. Peut-être la prochaine fois. (Maybe next time)