The “Stylish Alternative” Dress
I think anything would probably look stylish as an alternative to the permed hair and neon wind suits I so dearly loved in the late eighties/early nineties. I SHUDDER when I look at pictures from these years. I wore my pants too high and all my shirts tucked in (a boy in band actually asked me why I wore my shirts tucked in all the time) or wore stirrup pants with oversized blouses and sweaters. Then there were the wind suits. So comfortable. So sporty feeling. I wore the two or three I had…. a lot.
So, to counteract the awfulness of this photo, I hope to present the antidote, the neon maxi.
Fabric: ITY knit from Fabric.com
Pattern: bodice based on Sis Boom Jamie Dress and the rest is my own concoction
Time to complete: too much, 6-7 hours because of unpicking and resizing
First worn: all day today and then out to take pictures
Wear again: Yes!
Total Price: $8
I loosely based the bodice on the Sis Boom Jamie Dress pattern even though it’s not made for knits. The skirt is just two rectangles and then what was the border on both sides of this crazy fabric, became the ruffle, using the selvedge for the hem.
After completing the bodice, I tried it on and the fit was fine, a tad loose, but fine. I suspected though that the weight of the skirt would pull on those stretchy straps and throw the fit (and the length) totally off. Boy was I right! There wasn’t any way for me to tell how long to make the straps or the skirt until I put the whole thing together to see how it would hang. If I was aobut 5 inches taller and my boobs were about 5 inches lower, it would have been perfect. As it was, I was indecent and tripping over the ruffle.
It took some time to unpick because the thread buried itself good and deep into that knit. I was somewhat prepared and I just knew the result would be great if I could see it through to the finish.
I shortened the straps each by about four inches to compensate for the stretch and the weight of the dress pulling them down. I shortened the elastic in the front casing by about 4-5 inches as well, just to be positive I would never have to worry about an indecent moment. I also had to re-sew the seam between the ruffle and the main skirt to make the whole thing 5 inches shorter without taking away my ability to use the selvedge as the hem.
I knew I wanted to highlight the design of the fabric by leaving the front of the skirt flat. I attatched the gathered part of the bust to the flat part of the skirt and then gathered the rest of the skirt, matching the side seams. It was pretty wide through the ribcage still, so I added elastic to the seam all along the gathered part and left the flat part untouched.
My vision became a reality and I think this is a much more stylish way to do neon in a comfortable, wear-every-day sort of item. It is officially my new favorite dress of the Summer!