The “Aperol” Dress
Fabric: old sheet, scraps of cotton blend batiste for the bodice underlining
Pattern: McCalls 3214
Notions: store-bought piping for the sleeves and self-made flat piping for the neckline (both leftover from other projects), invisible zip
First worn: 9/29
Wear again: yes
Time to complete: about 8+ hours
Total cost: $2 for the zipper
Refashion week! I chose an old sheet from the ever growing pile of refashionable items because it seemed to have the most potential for transformation. Since I had so much fabric to work with, I knew I wanted to make a fabric-eating 50s dress. This right hand dress on this darling pattern has been calling to me for a while. I love how plain it is, like the generic image that pops into your mind with “dress”. That said, I wanted to add a little something, especially since I wasn’t making a belt. Belts at my natural waistline just bug me. I put in red flat piping at the neckline and regular piping at the sleeves, a process that added hours to the construction time, unfortunately.
I figured with the piping I had to use the facings, so I underlined the bodice instead of lining it. I’m not sure if that was the best way to do things, but I like that I could catch stitch the facings down to the underlining. All very time consuming. I was lucky with the fitting, which was minimal. I added 5/8″ to all the side seam allowances, including the sleeves, grading with a French curve from the shoulder seam for the top of the sleeve.
I’ve made dresses from old sheets before, but never from sheets I slept on myself countless times over many years. It was kind of a weird experience. When he saw the finished dress, my husband agreed, though he liked what I did with the trim, impressing me greatly with his fashion vocabulary. I do love this kind of project– making something from nothing and the little bits I already have lying around. In the end, this dress is a lot more successful and wearable than other projects I’ve spent big bucks on. Which is both satisfying and annoying. I named the dress for the slightly sweeter version of Campari that is a main component of my favorite summer cocktail, the Venetian Spritz. I’m having trouble accepting that summer is gone.