The “Kiss Them for Me” Dress
When I was in high school my parents bought me a 2 piece set, skirt and embellished jacket, in bright yellow. They had gone out to breakfast and decided to stop in at a clothing store near the restaurant . My dad picked it out because he thought it would look beautiful with my long black hair. My mother produced her red terry tube top to go underneath. That does sound a bit scandalous but it was a high waisted skirt and the jacket was to be worn buttoned (at all times).
The cut of the jacket was just like this one and mine had studs on the shoulders. It was rare for my parents to buy me something I actually liked. I guess I can be pretty picky. I liked this dress though and it wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized why. It was one of the few times I remember my parents telling me I was pretty. Don’t get me wrong, they did think I was pretty but in my family you’re just supposed to know how they feel about you without it having to be said. I wish I could have heard it a little more. I think it would have done me good. Anyway…
I have been wanting to add more yellow to my wardrobe to remind me of my parents but have yet to find the right fabric and color. I did find some pretty silks but I’m afraid it wouldn’t last very long with all the running around I do. I wanted to use a print for this challenge but nothing with flowers. Just not the look I was going for. Is it ever? Maybe one day.
This pattern is marked easy but as I was working with it I couldn’t imagine how someone with little to no sewing skills could have an easy go at it. The panels are sewn in and one of the marks is pretty off.
I decided to use more of my leftover stretch cotton from my skinnies for the panels and had originally had it on top as well. The dress was a minor disaster. I cut the pattern without checking for any adjustments first. I did not feel like adding a zipper so I needed some ease to be able to slip it on. I set it aside for the night to give myself some time to think about how to fix it.
I was going to scrap it. I went back to the fabric store and tried again. No luck. I was going to have to “make it work”. I tried to use the leftover fabric to make a simple skirt but it was way too tight. So tight my thighs hurt while I was in it. That’s pretty crazy tight. I had some leftover faux leather and was able to squeeze the top panels in with some very creative placing and cutting a few corners (literally). I needed to make them a little longer than the original pieces. This worked great! I wanted the dress to fit a little more snugly though. I had to take it in myself so I used safety pins to mark where I needed to take it in in back then got to work getting out of the dress. It does take some work but I was not going to mess with a zipper. I just didn’t have it in me this week.
As I mentioned in my blog (yes I finally updated it) I wanted to wear a wig for this shoot. I think it works well with the dress. My new friend Monika Labbe, a gifted photographer, took the photos for me because my family is out of town. I didn’t want her to go out of her way and insisted we use my point and shoot but she wasn’t going for it. Because this dress has pieces that don’t breathe well and because I was going to be wearing a wig we had to meet at 7:30 in the morning to beat the 90 degree weather that was coming. That meant that I needed to wake up at 5 do my hair and apply my make-up. It was worth it. I had so much fun doing this. I have worked as a stylist and I guess it didn’t really occur to me that Sew Weekly was a great opportunity to use that gift on myself. It’s still not easy being the model though. So since I had access to a world class photographer I’m going to share a lot more photos than usual. Skip to the end if you’re not in the mood for so much me.
Believe it or not the woman does not use Photoshop. She really knows her stuff. The title comes from a song by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Since my family is away it made me think of them because I can’t kiss them myself. The hair reminds me a bit of Siouxsie Sioux. Just a little.
Pattern: McCall’s 6278
Fabric: 1 1/2 yds. some sort of stretch poly blend $7, scraps of midweight stretch cotton and faux leather from stash
Time to Complete: 4hrs?
First Worn: for this shoot
Wear again? Yes
Total Cost: $7