Gift of the Wind Dress
I feel like a bad blogger lately. The weather has been gorgeous, I’ve been trying not to spend so much time glued to the computer, spend more time with words on paper, etc. Marathon Monday was two days ago, and for the first time since we moved here, I went down to check it out. Talk about being moved. I camped out at mile 26, with just two-tenths to go before the finish line. From the first racer to zoom by in a wheelchair to the elite women, men, then the waves of thousands (people in costume, blind runners, soldiers in full gear with backpacks, pairs tied together), some still looking strong, some barely able to take that next step, the crowd was incredibly supportive. There was great energy all around.
What’s that, you want to read about the dress? Okay… well, here is the extra credit dress I made from the pack of Simplicity patterns sent to me for the blog hop. Despite my aversion to full skirts, I went ahead and stitched up 2444, as all the versions I’d seen online were much better than the pattern envelope suggested. I’m still not entirely sold on full skirts for my figure, even though all fashion advice says I should be. Last summer I made a skirt with pockets that I absolutely love (hmmm, it’s also in red & white), and this dress is just as comfy. However, I’m always afraid I’ll pass the line to full skirt frumptastic.
The full run down is over at the Sew Weekly. The theme was local color, and originally I couldn’t decide what my inspiration would be. I’ve been such a nomad! But then I settled on my current city, and this public art sculpture I came across in my first outing amidst unpacking. It was a blustery, bright autumn day, and the wind was spinning the red metal hot air balloons around against an azure sky. A nice break from brown cardboard boxes! The red flowers on the fabric from my mom’s stash look equally windswept and cheerful. It wasn’t until last week that I discovered the name of the piece, Gift of the Wind. And how perfect, as the fabric is a bit of a recent windfall. One last bit of serendipity – both textile and sculpture are circa 1983.
I added a full lining in batiste, also from my mom’s stash, and hemmed with white lace hem tape. The darts of the lining and bodice are attached with a tiny thread chain so that they don’t shift around while wearing and cause a visible layer under the fashion fabric. The zip is of the invisible variety, but I hand-picked it. It was the only appropriate length zip I had in white, and I like hand-picking, invisible zipper or not.
I carried over the bodice adjustments from the 1913 Lampoon dress to this pattern, and it worked beautifully. These included a minor swayback pinch, slash/spread for round shoulders, then add neck dart, pinch front/back to bring up armscyes. I’m really happy with the way the back bodice turned out, but there is quite a bit of gaping at the front neck, and some stress lines from the shoulder to bust. (I think Ginger experienced a similar issue recently.) The only thing I can think of, is that it’s finally time for me to ‘fess up and start going down a size, then making a full bust adjustment. Ugh! I’ve always considered myself average-busted, but maybe FBAs are what I really need. I swear, the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Now that I’m able to fit my hips properly in skirts and my upper back, it’s time to address the front. What really kills me is that I made a bodice muslin, and yet again did not see the issue until I was practically done with the actual dress. On a related note, I just cleaned out my closet, and with it several old FOs from when I first started sewing with patterns (instead of upcycling). They were sewn nicely enough, but with absolutely no knowledge of how to properly adjust things. It was all take in side seam/let out side seam. There wasn’t much of an online sewing community, or at least not to my knowledge. Where would I be? I love you guys!
I’m still going to wear the hell out of this dress. But one of these days, I’ll make a garment that doesn’t have some weird fit issue. In other news, my waxed canvas moto jacket is done, and I totally love it!!! Stay tuned…