The “Madras Mash-up Melt-down” Dress
(also known as The Dress That Skooled Me).
Fabric: 4.5 yds madras $13.50 with coupon (£8.50).
Pattern: McCalls 6324. Year: Contemporary.
Notions: 18″ Zip 97c (61p) in sale & thread from stash.
Time to complete: 20 hours (I was all fingers and thumbs and kept making mistakes whilst watching the Paralympics).
First worn: 5th September 2012.
Wear again? Yep, made this dress because I need it for the summer dragging on and on, 104F/41C today.
Total Cost: $14.29 (£9).
Challenge: “Mad for Plaid: This week, in celebration of going back to school, we’re breaking out the plaid”.
Oh this dress. It taught me so many lessons. This is what I learned:
Firstly: plaid is pronounced plad not played….got that one from a nice lady in Jo-Ann’s. Somebody could have told me! I’ve been calling it Dead Men Don’t Wear Played for decades now and no-one corrected me. Mind you, that’s probably because no-one else in the UK knew how you Yanks say these strange words…to us it’s madras, gingham, check (including glen and windowpane) or tartan…..much more straightforward ;) OK, you’re right, it’s not. Having one word to describe all fabrics that have stripes that criss-cross probably is more sensible.
Thirdly, if you’re going to use a zip from a shop’s clearance sale….just have a think that it might have been folded up inside its packaging for a very long time and no matter now much you iron it, the kinks won’t come out and ruck up the flat-sitting of your panels.
Fifthly, when making adjustments, do them LITTLE BY LITTLE! It’s so much easier to cut a little extra off than repair or adjust when you’ve cut too much off to expose a zip…..and then try and fool everyone by building the gap for the zip back up with bias tape, cough cough.
Sixthly, when you’re doing french seams, make sure you REALLY trim the edge of the first wrong-side to wrong-side seam before you stitch the enclosing seam…..so you don’t have raw edges sticking through that need trimming and to be honest you never cleanly get rid of them.
Seventhly, make your own bias tape (I usually do but I tried to cut corners with some bought stuff I had in my stash that matched) then you can make it the width you want it, and don’t have to fiddle trying to pin it to a rapidly fraying edge whilst shouting, crying and jumping around in excitement watching Alex Zanardi or Jessica Long or James O’Shea or the blind long jump or so many other of the amazing moments from the superhumans at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Eighthly, don’t write a post starting off with firstly when you have loads of points….fifthly probably should have been the limit here.
Those of you watching my instagram or tumblr this week will have seen why this dress is named the melt-down dress. Anyway, it’s over, I’m not entirely happy with it but it will be useful for the last few months of this seemingly eternity of a summer….if it could just get under 100 I’d be so much happier, heat wears me down.
Oh yes, one more thing……why the huge sunglasses? (Well, other than the blinding sun). They’re there because I really don’t think plaid eye make-up is a trend that’s going to catch on anytime soon: