April 10, 2012

a dress for me

The butterflies, the pastries and the garden were all Sunday morning. But by noon we were back at home sending Will off to studio for one last push before his final this week which left me with two Easter candy buzzing children to entertain for the rest of the day. They did not want to go back out, or play quietly in their room (go figure) or nap (really? you got up at 5:30 to look for eggs!) So I put in Wii Sports and let them have an afternoon of mega Wii Olympics. And while they bowled and played tennis and golfed and tried to knock one out of the park, I sewed.
I almost never indulge in a whole afternoon of sewing and every time I do I remember how much I love to sit down and work on a long, unhurried project at the sewing machine.
That morning Will had commented that I probably needed a new, and preferably with hints of Columbia blue, dress for his upcoming graduation and it occurred to me that I've been toting around the fabric (including said Columbia blue - or almost) and a pattern for a good year and a half for a dress that would be too dressy to wear almost anywhere, except maybe to my husbands graduation. It must have been fate that day when I found the chambray on sale at the fabric store.
While it wasn't a horribly hard pattern, it wasn't and easy one either and would have been much simpler to sew if I had a dressmakers dummy. The cinched waist isn't quiet as cinched as it should be to really fit but I'm planning on wearing a wide belt with it, so it shouldn't be a problem. When I bought the pattern I envisaged a cherry red lining that you'd get peeks at now an then under the more somber blue. A little devilish under the plain. Like something that Juliette Binoche would have worn in Chocolate. I haven't hemmed the skirt yet but I think once I do the red of the lining will show there a bit when the skirt swishes and the red on the cuff gives it a bit of flair as well I think.
The biggest challenge with this dress was the crazy yardage in the skirt. In total the pattern called for something like 15 yards of fabric, half in lining, half in the main fabric. And of that, about a yard and a half of each went into the bodice, the rest is all skirt. Two skirts, really since the whole dress if fully lined and I had to make two long full skirts, gather them evenly and then set them into the bodice. I haven't sewed that much skirt since the summer I talked my grandmother into helping me learn to sew a dress with a full circle skirt and more buttons than should legally be allowed on any garment outside of the Victorian period.
In the end it may be too warm to wear to an outdoor graduation in May, or maybe not, we'll see. I do think it deserves some killer red heels, you can't wear a full skirted 1950's style dress without some killer heels. Am I right?

Now I just have to figure out how to evenly hem all that skirt without going bonkers.