Hot! The “With Great Style Comes Great Responsibility” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: 2 yds Spiderman cotton print $10.32 (in sale), red sheeting from stash.
Patterns: McCalls 6324.
Year: Contemporary.
Notions: 14″ atomic red zip (I like the geekiness of it being ‘atomic’ red) $2.99, 1 sheet of shrinky dink plastic from craft stash, thread.
Time to complete: 16 hours (I was having too much fun).
First worn: 1st July 2012.
Wear again? YES, YES, YES….probably first to go and see a movie, are there any good movies out this week?

Total Cost: $13.31 (£8.50).

The challenge: “Red, white and/or blue”.


“Listen Tempest, with great style comes great responsibility”.

“What’s that, Style Sensei? Reee-sponsi-silly-billy-tee? Nope, you’ve lost me there, can’t we just try that wax on, wax off stuff again? It cleared up my moustache and my hairy legs. Or practice the walking with books on my head, I liked that session”.

“NO! Tempest. This is important. If you are to be a style superhero, you must learn to curb your childish ways, you must learn to concentrate on building a colour palette to match your skintones…Tempest!…..Tempest!!!”

“Wheeeeeeeeeeee, look! I’m flying like that Superman guy…..

“Stop that at once! This is what I mean. That doesn’t even make sense. You’re wearing a Spider-Man dress. He doesn’t fly. You have to EDIT, stick to one idea, not be off on a tangent……are you even listening to me Tempest?”

“Spider-Tempest, Spider-Tempest, climbs up into webs, and…..gets stuck…..and doesn’t rhyme-est”.

“Tempest, you drive me too far. I’m beginning to think you’re a  lost cause. Name me one thing, just one thing you’ve learnt from style superhero lessons”.

“Erm…….colour-blocking….? And, adjusting the pattern to be a 20 from neck to bottom of armholes, 24 from there to waist and 26 from waist, hip, onwards? Taking the waist in slightly more as I’ve now learnt that I actually have a waist and this is more flattering than empire-line on me. Honestly Sensei, I am trying to learn about this mysterious world you call Style”.

“O-k-ay….perhaps there is some glimmer of hope there, young grasshopper….what else?”

“Erm…ooh, ooh, I did an exposed zip!”

“Good, good, that almost excuses the matching shrinky-dink Spider-Men earrings and zipper pull you made and added to the outfit. Don’t think I didn’t notice those. Too matchy matchy. Edit, edit, edit!”

“But he’s hanging upside down on a white elastic ‘thread’ Sensei…doesn’t that make you smile? It makes me smile”.

“Fashion is a serious thing my apprentice…..”

“Ah, stuff this for a game of soldiers, I’m off to play with my kids!”

Happy 4th of July to all you Colonials out there, just let us know when you’re ready to have good Queen Liz back in charge ;)

PS. Thanks for not throwing me out of your country. It’s very nice here. You might not have marmite or frozen yorkshire puds, but you do have exceptional fabric and crafting shops. Thank you once again.

PPS. McCalls 6324 – very straightforward to put together. But on reading reviews by other sewers, I added an inch on the neckline. I like good coverage of my bra-straps and not to be repeatedly pulling dress straps up. And rather than have a full lining for the bodice as per the instructions, I made bias tape out of some of the left-over Spider-Man fabric and sewed it on the insides of the ‘holes’ but overlapping slightly so it looked a bit like piping. I think if I make this again, which I probably will, it’s a great day dress for Arizona’s current temps (it was 115F/46C today during this photoshoot), I’ll make the length slightly shorter to sit mid-knee. I think that’s all the pertinent points :)



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. I love this dress and I agree-a little more leg would be good. You shouldn’t keep those sexy things all covered. I think Mr. D would agree-

    • I’m in two minds about the length at the mo. I totally think I should take it up now to get a better shape….but I went bowling in it the other day, and when I do my posey leg fling to the side on delivery, a longer dress keeps my bum covered haha.

  2. OMG I love this post and this dress! The dress seems to fit really well, too – looks great on you. The pics make me rofl – thanks, it’s been a hard day for me…Love your flying superman pose best. I didn’t even know people can survive in such a heat! Anyway, love your dress, the photos, the text. Wish you could have emigrated to Germany instead but I guess our fabric stores just aren’t good enough…

    • It’s interesting because anyone watching my twitter this week will have noticed the worried tweets about me working with a new pattern (and not having done many McCalls ones before so not being sure about their sizing) and whether I’d graded it up enough (no pattern actually fits me). But there was a triumphant “It FITS” tweet once all sewn together. If I make the pattern again, which I might because it’s a darn good around the house/gardening/bowling/pool cleaning dress, I might even take the waist in slightly more.

      Thank you and it’s my pleasure to make you smile :)

  3. Yes, Tempest! I did see a Spiderman movie on the marquee at the nearby theatre. You should go…or not. I haven’t seen or heard any reviews. However, your dress is awesome! So cheery and fun! If I saw you, walking down the street, I would definitely have a real feel good moment. Your story telling kept me smiling. I look forward to all of your clever posts and photoshoots. Keep um comin’, girl!

    • Thanks Barbara. I actually planned to make this dress since seeing the date of the new Amazing Spiderman, and thought it highly lucky to fall on a red, white & blue challenge. I’ve always wanted a superhero dress of some sort, I’m such a geek.

  4. I love this! The silhouette of this dress looks so good on your curves! If you shorten it then I think it will balance your figure more and we will see that sexy burlesque hour glass of yours. But for reals now, you are so cute I can’t handle it! Please stay in the States as long as you like. Sorry about the tea….

    • Ohhh OK….criminal waste of good tea though. Sorry for the Evil Tyrant stuff ;) Yes, if I’d stopped mucking about for long enough and posed properly, the skimming effect of the dress looks pretty good, one of my better efforts.

  5. It looks great! This dress is so cute and girlish :D I would love to have it, but maybe a bit shorter. Really great job!

  6. Looks great! And the post was so fun to read.
    Also, having tasted Marmite the last time I was in the UK (and Vegemite as well…) I must ask… WHY???? There’s so much better in life than that XD

    • Thank you. Marmite rocks. Perhaps it’s because it’s in English blood, passed down through generations and when we don’t get it we go cold turkey? Just a theory :)

  7. Tempestman, Spiderman,
    Does whatever a seamstress can.
    Spins a dress, any size,
    Rolls a hem just like flies.
    Look out! Here comes the Tempestman.
    Is she strong? Listen bud—
    She’s got radioactive blood.
    Can she swing from a thread?
    Take a look overhead.
    Hey there! There goes the Tempestman.
    In the chill of the night,
    At the scene with her Singer,
    Like a streak of light,
    she finishes the weekly challenge!
    Tempestrman, Tempestman,
    Friendly neighborhood Seamstressman.
    Wealth and fame, she’s ignored—
    Sewing is her reward.
    To her,
    Life is a great big sew-up—
    Wherever there’s a hook, zipper or snap-up,
    You’ll find the Tempestman!

  8. You are a wonder! I love that pattern and now thats it! I must have!!!

    • It’s a pretty nice pattern to make up actually. My only advice would be to sew the 3 front panels together and the 3 back as soon as possible after cutting the pieces out so you don’t forget which are which or get them the wrong side around. Thank you.

  9. Super cute.. great job.

  10. I have that pattern and always wondered how it would look on my figure……and now I know it looks fantabulous!
    Agreed with a tad shorter…show off them gams

    • I wasn’t sure either, but I’m a serious pear shape and the sculpting in of the waist and skimming the hips of this pattern suited me much better than I thought it would. Go for it! :)

  11. It’s fabulous and the shrinky dink stuff is great. I love messing about with anything like that myself.

  12. Great dress, great photos, great post! (And Krista- great comment!)

    • Thank you so much Rachel! And yes, Krista’s reworking of the Spider-man song is ace. My kids sigh every time I start singing it (which admittedly I do too much).

  13. So. much. awesome!! Fantastic interpretation of this theme and the photoshoot is perfect! I also love your shrinkydink accessories. Awesome job as usual :D

    • Thank you, I do endeavor to please (and have fun with it). I don’t think I could drag my kids out into our Arizona heat without us all being silly.

  14. Love your dress and the photos! Hooray for Marmite and Mightymite! I don’t think I’ve had Yorkshire pud since I left UK 14 years ago. Must look up a recipe. What is shrinky dink? I think I’d buy it just for the name.

    • Ah shrinky dinks are ace – you often see it used in making jewellery on Etsy. It’s a thin plastic (in clear or opaque) that you can draw or print onto designs. You then stick these in an oven and ‘cook’ them for about 1-3 minutes when it shrinks and thickens. They’re also known as shrinkable plastic or grafix shrink films. I’ve made arty bendy flowers out of it as well as earrings, necklaces and now a zipper pull.

  15. I knew you were heroic, but this proves it…Our Friendly Neighborhood Seamstress strikes again with another funtastic fashion frenzy!! Thanks for making me smile and laugh and for inspiring Krista’s (Rogue) hilarious song re-write.