The “Urban Desert” Dress
- Fabric: sheer print (stash) & white lining (stash) (I imagine these are both man-made fabrics)
- Pattern: Vogue 8234 ($5)
- Year: 2006
- Notions: thread (stash), invisible zipper ($2), vintage button (stash)
- Time to complete: 7 hours?
- First worn: May 27, 2012
- Wear again?: Yes
- Total price: $7
My original plan for this challenge was to do this very dress in a red crinkly fabric, thus making something that looked at home in a casino. But my secondhand red fabric had fading from the sun that will have to be dyed out in order to use it, so I switched to a sheer fabric I got a couple years ago on sale (I don’t remember the amount it cost and it’s over a year old, so I consider it free). But this didn’t say “casino” to me so much as it said “desert.” But hey, that’s where Vegas is. In a desert.
Living in Michigan, a state surrounded by the Great Lakes and covered with 11,000+ inland lakes, rivers, and wetlands, it’s not easy to find a real desert. In fact, in this state you are never more than six miles from a fresh water source. However, the big buzz around the capital city lately is a proposed casino run by the Sault (pronounced “Soo”) tribe of Chippewa Indians to be built downtown not far from where these photos were taken outside the Lansing Center and in front of the Grand River and the Accident Fund building (which I chose because of its desert-like colors).
This dress was easy to construct and I once again did nearly every seam as a French seam, including the ones that are enclosed by the lining, because this fabric frays quite easily. The French seams will make it much more wearable and washable. The one thing I noticed I screwed up on is that the waistband doesn’t meet up quite right in the back. But I’m hoping normal, non-sewing people won’t notice so much. Anyway, with how much this dress floats around in the wind, I’m pretty sure most people’s eyes are drawn away from my waist, if you know what I mean. It has been strangely windy this spring.
I am a big fan of (intentionally) uneven hems and of doing narrow hems with the machine. I also love sheer layers for hot weather. And this dress incorporates red into my wardrobe, a color I would like to see more of, and what I think is a bit of subdued Latino influence. It definitely says Southwest to me. I used a vintage button from the stash and a loop made from embroidery thread to do the neck closure rather than a hook & eye (since I’m out of those) and I really like the more finished look it gives the piece. I think I may start making a practice of this and use up some of my lonely single buttons.
Sunday afternoon as we walked around downtown I took the photo above as Daddy went to get the car, which is the last one taken of my son at age three. As of Monday he’s four. Wow.
Not sure if I’ll ever make it to Vegas (as I have absolutely no desire to go), but I have a feeling that if I can drag my husband out west to go to some national parks (to which he seems to have absolutely no desire to go), a side trip to Vegas will have to be the incentive to entice him into the desert.