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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Another day, another dress
Last Saturday I finished another dress. It's funny, I had very little desire to sew dresses from October on until the weather started warming up, and suddenly that's all I want to sew. It's just the weather. I don't like cold legs, so I don't like to wear dresses in the winter.
For some time, I've been searching for the mythical "instant gratification dress". I want a dress pattern that is both quick and easy to make, but which is flattering. I made a couple of dresses in high school that were "2 hour dresses" (although believe me, they took me longer than that), and the reason they were so fast is that there was NO SHAPING and no details (pockets, collars, belts, etc). So they weren't very flattering, and I didn't wear them often. Unfortunately, I've decided that I probably won't find the kind of instant gratification pattern that I am looking for, because I like details and shaping, which add time to both cutting out and sewing.
Another feature of this mythical dress is that it is something not too dressy, that I would feel comfortable wearing on everyday occasions. A day dress. Now, if you've seen the last two dresses I've made this spring, neither of them is what you'd call a day dress.
Though it falls short of my lofty ideals for an instant gratification dress, this pattern comes as close as anything I've seen (it's the only pattern I've liked enough to actually try). It went pretty fast, but I still spent between five and six hours on it, including cutting out, but not including the changes I made to the pattern itself before I actually cut the pieces out.
The changes I made were: adding side seam pockets, lengthening it by 6 inches (the previous user of the pattern had cut it to the mini-length view), and changing the collar shape. I also omitted the top button and loop, so that the collar would spread out and turn to expose the facing a little.
In the end, I only spent a total of $0.59 on this dress, since the tan fabric came from Goodwill, and the contrast collar fabric was given to me, as were the vintage buttons and the belt. Okay, and maybe a quarter's worth of interfacing on the collar and facings.
Although the dress looks okay without a belt (better on me than my dress form), the belt does improve it a bit.