The “I can’t believe it’s done!!!” Dress
Fabric: Navy Wool Crepe & navy bemberg lining
Pattern: McCalls 6677
Notions: 4 buttons, 16″ zipper & silk organza
Time to Complete: 8 months
First Worn: May 2012
Wear Again: Perhaps to work tomorrow, if the weather stays cool
Total Price: $45 ish
I can’t even begin to tell you all how thrilled I am to be able to finish this dress! As you may have read in the details, this dress technically took me 8 months to complete. heh
Last September/October of 2011 I had a plan. I created my own inspiration board along with projects I wanted to complete. I then set about shopping locally for fabrics to match with certain patterns and I happily got to work. I started in on the McCalls 6677 which is one of my favorites in my stash. I loved the simplicity of the gathers, the draped waist, and the bow belt. I have a major weakness for bow details of any kind.
I first stitched the bodice together (darts, gathers, and shoulder seams) and then got started in on the skirt. I cut the fabric and stitched the whole skirt portion up only to soon realize that it didn’t fit! My hippy hips had somehow grown since cutting the fabric and I didn’t have enough fabric or seam allowances to make up for the tight fit. Dejected, I set the pattern and sewn pieces aside hoping that a miracle would happen and my lower half and would shrink.
Fast forward to April 2012.
With the winter weather officially over, and spring was beginning I had new plans for my spring/summer wardrobe. Thinking of fresh, summer blouses and sun dresses I found myself driving to my local fabric store once again to see if anything would catch my eye. When I saw it….
The same EXACT fabric that I bought back last fall for my McCalls 6677 dress was there on a bolt right before my eyes! How is this possible?! I picked that bolt of fabric up so quick, all the while in disbelief that it was the same as what I had at home. Not even knowing how much fabric I needed, I got 2.5 yards just in case of any more mishaps.
I got the fabric home and matched it up with the completed bodice and it was an exact match! Craziness!!!
You see, when I first mis-cut the fabric I didn’t even bother going back to the store to see if there was any more. There wasn’t that much fabric on the bolt and I assumed (based on my prior experience) that there wouldn’t be any left. Silly, silly me! When I was back in the store (8 months later) I’m nearly certain that it was the same bolt that I first picked up since the dye lots are a complete match and there still wasn’t that much left on the bolt.
I found this fabric in just enough time to start working on this pattern for the 1940’s challenge here on Sew Weekly. I debating working on something else, but this was the perfect challenge to get it off my chair and on a hanger, in my closet, and to share with you my crazy story. :)
While I was trilled to just be able to complete the dress, I really wanted to make it appear like the dress came from the 40’s. So I decided to incorporate some embroidery on the bodice, which is actually my first time doing embroidery. I practiced during one of my lunch breaks at work and also during my daily commute. But having a 4-day weekend provided me with ample time to sit, relax, and stitch away otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to finish it in time.
The embroidery pattern I choose was basic vintage pattern found here; which is perfect for a beginner like me. I did the daisy stitch for the flowers, french knots for the stamens, and a running stitch elsewhere. And to give the embroidery a bit more dimension, I used 4 different color yellows along with a cream for the running stitches.
I added a bit on the back of the belt to give some more visual interest, and I think I’m going to even add a bit more on the font bow portions of the belt since I appear to be hooked on embroidery!
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be able to actually finish this dress; it’s been a long time coming. I don’t want to preach, but let this be a lesson for you all to “never assume or think the worst” without looking for yourself. I wish I had run back to the fabric store last year, but I can’t imagine a better ending to this story than having this dress all done.