Hot! The “Voices Made Me Do It” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Piece from some very expensive curtains given to me by sister-in-law
Pattern: Based on KazztheSpazz’s Black Smoke Yellow Haze Dress (but I made it wrong!)
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Just thread
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: 5th April 2012
Wear again? Yes, once I finish the seams properly

Total price: $0 (£0) Zilch.

The challenge: “Very Important Pieces: This week, we’re sewing with VIP fabric — those very important pieces in our stashes that need to finally see the light of day…”

So this is how it all happened…..

Me: OK, I’m taking a week off Sew Weekly Challenges. I know I’ve said this before, but I need a week off to catch up on life and plan for future challenges. I am definitely NOT doing the VIP stash busting challenge. That will give me two weeks to make my City challenge dress properly, french seams the lot. Definitely not doing anything for this week.

The Voices: Are you quite sure about that? You haven’t missed a weekly challenge yet…. It would be a shame to break that running streak…

Me: Shut up Voices. I need a week off. And anyway, I haven’t got any VIP fabric.

The Voices: Reaaaaally? What about that piece of material you look at nearly every week trying to decide if you can make it into something? You know the one. The leftover bit of your sister-in-law’s curtains…..the bit she asked you to take to the charity shop (thrift store) in case anyone wanted it. The bit you nearly made your Mad Men dress out of except you wanted a full circle skirt…

Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about Voices. I definitely didn’t get it out on Monday and drape it on Betty (Betty Draper my dressform).

The Voices: Yes you did. You even took some pics of it ready for put on Instagram and Absobloominglutely as sneak peeks if you were going to do the VIP challenge….

Me: That’s as well be, but I haven’t got time to make anything now.

The Voices: If you made a KazztheSpazz special you’d have enough material and it would be quick….

Me: Yeah, but knowing me I’d probably get that wrong and sew up the side seams instead of leaving them open and sewing up a channel in the middle for my body…

The Voices: Hmmm this is true. You’re not the smartest of bears…but I’m sure in the words of the great Tim Gunn you could still Make It Work.

Me: No, no, no, no, no…..I’m having a week off…..I haven’t got time.

The Voices: I bet you could make it in 2 hours.

Me: Absolutely not, impossible…..all that hemming and finishing seams…..

The Voices: Bah! Just tell the world that unfinished hems are now fashionable and you meant them to be left that way. Like you did on the Dr Seuss skirt.

Me: Erm, what exactly are you insinuating…..I did mean to leave them unfinished. No, no, no….anyway even if I made it, Goth Child is at school so can’t take my photos. So ha! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Voices!

The Voices: Right, yeah, so you couldn’t just take the pics yourself like you did for the Freaky Déjà Vécu Dress, and I seem to remember your Parachute Maxi Dress? You have a camera remote…..we’ll let you be silly…..

Me: Don’t think you can buy me over with promises of silliness…..I’m a grown woman. I’m a Chartered Accountant. What makes you think I do silly?

The Voices: We’re not even going to dignify that with a response….you have history….the Lorax moustache? The space hopper?

Me: Clearly photoshopped by that Mena Trott. Anyway, I haven’t washed my hair for photos.

The Voices: Oh for goodness sake, backcomb it to death, stick it up in an up-do and we’ll let you do some Crane poses from the Karate Kid.

Me: OK. Deal :)

The Voices: And we might even let you take a pic of you carrying the latest hot fashion accessory, the world’s smallest cat.

Me: Now who’s being silly, there’s no way my cat Luca Brasi would get in a shot exactly the right distance behind me to make it look like she’s tiny and I’m holding her up! Pah! You need to go and have a lie down in darkened room Voices, the Arizona sun is getting to you….



Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. We had similar weeks AND similar conversations in our head : ) Good to see you made it, I think it’s pretty nifty, good job!

  2. The cat clutch kills me but the dress is pretty great too! You look so glamorous.

  3. I LOVE how in the last picture the perspective is such that you are holding a very small cat by the rear! :) I think that is some great fabric and a good use of it. Kazz would be proud.

    • That photo cracks me up. I had loads of her around my feet….but that one just reminds me of when I trained to be a tv news reporter and always had someone come into the back of shot and give the camera a weird stare.

  4. you are too marvelous for words.

    • haha that’s one of my favourite Billie Holiday songs. I shall be singing that all day now :) You’ll never find me in a Websters dictionary…

  5. Your posts never fail to crack me up. Love the curtain dress!

  6. Too funny. The fabric and dress are great!

    • You are too kind. I am pleasantly surprised at how well a last minute speed sew worked out. I think I was very lucky to have the fabric to make it work.

  7. You made me literally LOL. Love your post, love your photos, love your tiny cat, love that you didn’t take the week off. You can do it! Keep going! We can all do it!!
    Ok enough cheerleading. Your fabric really drapes well!

    • The problem now is I’ve proved to myself that sometimes you don’t need to take 20 hours a week to make a dress. I quite enjoyed experimenting with squares and holes….It’s not something I’d have tried at all at the beginning of this year, but now I’ve learnt more about shapes (including mine)techniques and fabrics I’m willing to experiment more. I think I might have to try a few more of these before the year is out.

  8. Oh the voices. Glad you listened! That is beautiful fabric and you are the second crazy funny accountant I know. What is it with accountants?

    • It’s being cooped up in suits, working with numbers and things being so black or white, right or wrong with no creativity…..we erupt into silliness and rainbow-explosions (though in fairness I quit accountancy quite a few years ago….I couldn’t fight my love of life any longer, I needed to fly).

  9. Aw Tempest you are too funny, the voices, the voices. I think you look gorgeous, this pattern is really flattering on you. So so glad you made it I look forward to reading and seeing what you make from week to week….squares are the go when you don’t have time. Way to go!!

  10. Hilarious Tempest. Can you make me a Kat Bag to go! Looks super comfy.

  11. I wish the voices would goad me a little harder – I am feeling very slack. Great simple piece for showing off the fabric to its best advantage.