7.15.2012

nick's dress

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gosh! the weather has been so dreary here lately that this late afternoon sunshine left me feeling slightly giddy. like someone just told me i got to have chocolate for dinner...

i'm calling this dress "nick's dress" even though it would probably be more appropriately known as simplicity 1880, or perhaps the "2-in-1 dress" or hell even "sunni's dress".  because this dress is, obviously, all those things. but i'm going to call it "nick's dress" because my husband picked out the fabric, and because he likes it. iron clad reasoning. 

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i have to admit that i don't usually consider myself a purple person - actually i believe this dress stands alone as the one and only purple item in my closet. but while at a fabric store in houston - when we were picking out fabric for my husband's shirt - i mentioned that i wanted fabric to make some easy summer dresses. we happened to be standing by the bolts of linen and i believe i lazily stroked one and said "linen might be nice...or maybe a lawn..." and my husband, sensing what i'm sure was about to be an endless back and forth and hemming and hawing that could, really, last hours, grabbed this slubby purple number and said "how about this?!! this would look really good on you!" and you know what... i agreed. so good eye, nick. i know you just picked it to get me out of the store faster, but it just may be my new favorite color.

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this dress is a little different for me. it may not look like it, but its far more vintage-y than what i would normally wear. you see i have a long standing struggle with vintage and retro styles. i love them, but they don't always love me (can i get a hell yeah from any other thick waisted sisters out there who can feel my pain??!?!) but this dress didn't seem so literally vintage and i do love me a wrap dress (even a faux wrap - as the case may be) and maybe, really, this was all in my head anyway...

so i made the damn dress. i lurked sunni's sew-along in the most lurky-lurksome ways and made the damn dress. the construction is so thoroughly covered in the sew-along i won't go into any of it here, but i made a straight size 10 without making a muslin (eek!! totally living on the edge over here at sallieoh...) i had measured all the pattern pieces before hand and had an inkling that the waist might be a smidgen tight (see above, re: thick waisted) and lo and behold! it was. but only a smidgen. so i sewed each of the side seams at the waist with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and tapered it back to 5/8 inch. the waist is still snug, but not in an uncomfortable way. just in a squish-you-in-to-make-you-look-like-you-have-curves sort of way.  i'd like to make this dress again (because despite all my bitching, i really really love it) and when i do i'll make sure to add 1/2 an inch to the waist in the flat pattern.

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i never noticed that weird wrinkle above the zipper until i looked at these photos! doh! also - can you tell which foot no longer has a big toenail?

the only snag i hit during construction was with the zipper. i installed this pretty little purple invisible zipper and it was weirdly hard to get in (a problem i don't normally have) and then when i went to zip it up the zipper pull got stuck at the waist seam (what is it about waists today?) and i pulled and pulled and pulled and broke the effing thing off!! so pissed. however i gave myself a break and then groped through my stingy notions stash and found a long ass white invisible zipper i had probably got for some forgotten project and put that guy in there figuring, hey, its invisible. and it is. except for the pull (and where it gets a bit tight at the waist but lets just ignore that for the sake of my vanity) so now it looks like i got some armpit jewels. its all the rage...

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ignore that part where the bias binding doesn't meet the waist. just ignore it!

i got a little crazy in the notions aisle of jo-ann's searching for hemming tricks and bias binding for the neckline. and by crazy i mean i bought something in a contrasting color! holy beans! she's lost her mind! i had just enough fabric to cut out the dress minus facings so bias binding around the neck was my only option. i don't have a lot of experience hemming this circle-y of a skirt and i think i didn't want to fiddle around with a narrow hem (and the resulting burnt fingers) so i bought some hem lace in the same teal color as my binding and hand stitched it down, which didn't take as long as i feared it would. i rather like the prettiness it lends to the inside. 

i wore this dress to a recent opening at my gallery and felt like quite the lady all night. even the part where i was shoving my face with barbeque. total lady.  but this story doesn't have a completely happy ending. i'm very sad to report that the little citrine crystal necklace i'm wearing in these pictures met its demise while bending over my tripod (and catching the necklace on something and jerking my head up quickly. i can't tell you how many necklaces have died this way). this makes me very sad because, while i don't really really believe that crystals have powers or anything - there was something about this one that gave me a certain energy... 

and now that you all think i'm a crazy i'll say goodbye. i'm going to go have chocolate for dinner. 

xo

57 comments:

  1. quietandsmall adventuresJuly 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    lovely lovely dress!! i really like the 70s easy casual vibe it has going on and the color is perfect for you!

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  2. Such a beautiful dress and your husband was right, purple is definitely a good color on you!  The contrast inside is pretty sweet too, livin' on the edge!  I so completely and totally feel you on the vintage sewing.  It's not generally my style but I sometimes think, oh maybe, that dress looks so good on (fill in the blank blogger) but then I remember it will look like total crap on me because I literally do not have a waist, no matter what size I am at the moment.  Sooooo I'm gonna give you a hell yeah on that!

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  3. Oh, this is so pretty!  You look lovely in purple, and the wrap-y, loose style is easygoing and chic at the same time (say what?!)!  I'm sorry about your necklace-- I just broke my favorite necklace the same way (bent over and it caught on the button of my jeans and snapped in half... sad face).  

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  4. I'm with nick, You look lovely in purple! the dress is divine! Now that I have lurked here, I'm going over to lurk at Sunni's - :) perhaps I'll make this dress too! x

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  5. what a pretty dress. Your husband was totally right, even if he picked it just to avoid spending ours at a fabric store. I can totally relate, everybody knows me for spending hours at a fabric store and coming home with much less than you'd expect after so much time. 
    I am usually drawn to dresses with a vintage feel but not vintage per say. 
    I have big hips so that's the problem area for me, therefore I try to accentuate my waist. I'm currently sewing a navy blue dress that hopefully will do just that. 

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  6. I really love the colour lilac. Or purple. Or whatever you wish to name it! A lovely swishy dress, too! I'm 100% for contrast seam binding on the inside. Its always a case of 'Oooh! I didn't expect to see YOU there... :-)'

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  7. Ah yes, the sew along I said I'd do and then didn't have time to do. Well crap now I really feel like a party pooper lolz. Yours looks so good!! (no surprise.) I love purple on you too :)

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  8. Bahaha armpit jewels, love it! This is so stunning on you, the colour really suits. I've never even heard of this pattern before but I'm off to check it out now. Love your work Sal. Love your work.

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  9. Oh, ain't chu cute struttin' down your sidewalk runway. The dress looks great! Seems like it has lovely drape and movement. I'm so excited to start seeing more finished Simplicity 1880s on the blogosphereland, even if it will make me jealous I didn't participate.

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  10. That colour is really gorgeous on you.  Love the shoes with the dress.  I don't have either the body shape or the personality for vintage, so I just admire it on others.

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  11. You really are just the most lovely lady Sallie and THAT COLOUR AND THAT LIGHTING. That is some serious moody goodness right there. I love that the man picked it out for you (you'll appreciate this: http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/cocktail-dress-for-my-girlfriend) and the style is super flattering. I have to say, I kinda love your non-vintage steez. It's refreshing in the sewing blogosphere - your point of view is so modern but I do love this dress and you in it. Looks so cool and breezy - but I fear the linen wrinkling and never sew with it. Is it a wrinkler? (RIP citrine - can you get a new chain?)

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  12. He may have been in a hurry but he definitely made a good call! You look very pretty in this color... wisteria? It shows a nice warmth to your skin. I always think purple means depth and mystery of sorts and that's why I love it so.  Good call on how you finished the insides!

    It's still raining in Austin... it's just building up like crazy all week and we have pools in our front yard. (I'm not complaining, though... this means I haven't had to water a single thing all week.)

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  13. A goddamndorable. This is so cute. I love this color, and the faux wrap is gorgeous on you. I don't know, I didn't muslin this thing and had SO. MUCH. EASE. in my final product, so I would go down a size, personally, but this is baller.

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  14. Hell yeah! I'm also thickwaisted and I looove vintage dresses but usually if I find the right waist size, the boob measurements are like Dolly Parton sized. Chocolate for dinner, or any meal is right-on! I found a way to make a (sort-of) healthy chocolate shake for breakfast and do it all the time. Anyways weird comment part over... Your dress looks great! And that color on you is really nice, good one Nick, for picking it out. Excellent sewing skills, as always. I've had the same problem with invisible zippers jogging at the waist seam and actually just broke one in the same way. What's up with that?

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  15. Wow, what a great dress.  I always get excited when a post of yours pops up in my reader.  Always such great garments to admire.

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  16. I think this dress looks fantastic on you! I'm super impressed your hubby chose the fabric - good eye!! And i think it was well worth it putting those internal pretty touches on like the lace hemming - it's just so pretty, and i kind of feel like things that look pretty on the inside make you feel better. you know?
    XOXO

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  17. Ah that's gorgeous Sallie. It's got such a laidback lounge-y lady feel to it - and the colour is fabulous on you. Loving the drape of that fabric. Good on Nick!

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  18. Sorry about the necklace, hate it when something like that happens. Love the dress, the colour compliments your skin tone. Ooo love the laced faced hem. Think I'll steal that idea when I get to sew. am a sporadic sewer lol.

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  19. VERY pretty color and style on you!! Bring it home for Grammas party so we can see it! It would be perfect for that occasion! It has a look about it that matches some of her dresses that I saw in pictures as I was making her slide show tribute. And you posed the same way! You inherited your grandmothers beauty and style Darling...

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  20. Love this! The inside is so cute too :o)

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  21. I'm blaming it on a cheap zipper - but who knows!! Totally with the Dolly Parton boobs! I'll put those dresses on and then am like... I COULD wear a girdle - or I could just go over here and look at these 60's a-line dresses....

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  22. According to the chart I should have made a 12 or 14 - but thats why I measured the pattern pieces and saw that actually the 10 would probably fit closer to how I wanted it to (minus the slightly snug waist - but at least I saw it coming!)

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  23. Oh citrine - I will forever hold you in my heart. And most likely replace you pretty darn soon. 

    This is some sort of linen blend - I couldn't tell you what its blended with because the store I bought it from has a nasty habit of not labeling their bolts very well. But from what I know about linen blends (and the price) its probably either blended with cotton or rayon. Its got a pretty soft drape and hand and actually doesn't really wrinkle. 

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  24. So, so pretty.  That purple is the perfect dusky shade.  Some purples I love, some not so much- this one is great.  I really like the way the blousey-ness looks on you.  I had some issues with my version and I have very little of that.  Just a few gathers.  Well done.

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  25. I am a recent purple lover, myself. I only just realized how good it can look with my red hair, now, I admit, I think I'm getting obsessed. Your dress does not come of as vintage-y, but more classic. Either way, it looks great and comfortably dressy. 

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  26. So pretty! I actually have a dress in that exact same color (it's not handmade, though, just a simple vintage cotton shirtwaist) and my boyfriend always comments on how the color looks so good on me. Maybe our dudes just like purple haha :)

    Anyway, I love your little contrasty insides. And these pictures, for some reason - I know y'all live in Texas, but where you're standing looks EXACTLY like the street I lived on when I was a New Orleans resident. Makes me miss it just a little!

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  27. Such a gorgeous dress!  I really love the turquoise finishing bits inside, a nice little surprise every time you put it on.  Looove little details like this  :)

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  28. Love the dress. It looks great on you. It makes me want to break out the sewing machine. I'd be happy to fix the necklace for you, if you want. I'm a jeweler and am always fixing things for people.

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  29. I will give you a HELL YEAH! You are my style hero because you have mastered the art of fashion; no one would guess you have a "thick waist" :) That's my bane too, and I would have made the same choice; pick the size that fits everywhere else & then do a waist adjustment.

    That said, you're rocking this style & looking gorgeously hourglass and vintage lady :)

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  30. I've never been to New Orleans, but from what people tell me the architecture and climate and foliage is really similar to East Texas - especially these old Galveston streets! I love them, they feel very southern to me.

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  31. Thanks! I haven't really seen anyone else's version yet - so I'm excited to see yours! I hope you post it. If I make this dress again I'm toying with the idea to shorten the bodice to reduce some of the blousy-ness ... but I think after looking at the pictures I've come around to it. You just gotta embrace it!

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  32. Oh man... I have an entire jewelry box full of broken necklaces!! 

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  33. Great dress - I love the fabric colour - your husband has good taste!

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  34. I feel your thick-waisted pain!!  I'm glad you were able to save the dress, it's gorgeous.

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  35. Miss Crayola CreepyJuly 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    It is so amazing! And that purple is perfect for you!

    Your husband sounds like my husband when I am being indecisive. He will say things like , "oh that is the best picture of you ever taken" just so he doesn't have to take any more photos of me modeling my new clothes haha

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  36. what a delicious post to devour over coffee.  love the dress, love the contrast, and i had a chocolate covered coconut bonbon at the end in honor of you.

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  37. I'm not stalking you you but...I was just lying in bed thinking about your zipper when I remembered an old sewing article that used nail polish to colour the pulls on invisible zippers to match.  I'm sure you could find a perfectly matching purple polish.

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  38. It's perfectly wonderful! I have so enjoyed Sunni's sew-along....it's going to be such fun to see everyone's dresses this week!

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  39. I love your purple dress Sally, you rock!

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  40. Fabulous dress! I'm glad that this vintage-inspired number worked for you. I know you might not think so but you should stick with purple. I like it!

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  41. Lol, I love the vintage too but I have no waist at all and the resulting effect can be... not so good.  Love your dress though. Very flattering!

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  42.  I need your advice on something that I wanted to take to the email world (it was only a matter of time) but I can't find your contact info. Can you drop me a line at closetcasefiles@gmail.com when you have a chance?

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  43. beautiful.

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  44.  Eeeah! Seeing this was such a good kick in the pants re: finishing my own, so thank you (also, it's lovely!)

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  45. Very pretty dress - some purple nailpolish on the zipper pull will add a cloak of invisibility to it.

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  46. First I thought it was jersey. Nice dress, nice fabric and nice color.

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  47. Your dress is gorgeous; that nubbly purple fabric was a great choice!  You soo have to make another with your changes, it's a great silhouette. 

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  48. I'll have to try that! Bonus points for having an excuse to buy some purple nail polish...

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  49. Mmmm... I like that!

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  50. It nearly always works too! I'm always like "Oh really?! You think this is the best photo of me ev - .... waaaiiiittttt...."

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  51. This is awesome, your makes should be featured on pattern envelopes XD. Sorry to hear about your necklace, isn't there like a mr. fixit or somethin' in your local shopping centre that can fix it?

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  52. Oooh, I LOVE this. It is a pretty color on you! I totally feel ya on the vintage thing. I'm positive I can't pull it off, but I think this dress is actually pretty modern - it reminds me of those faux wrap Tucker dresses. I may have to try it out! 

    Ugh, sad about your necklace! It's really pretty. I love citrine.

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  53. A smashing success.  I love the sashay photo.  It says a lot about the dress and how lovely it is.  I am tempted to add this pattern although I am trying to be selective with dresses as I don't need as many as I think I can sew.

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  54. You look truly divine in purple! Gah! I love this color on you! The dress is totally up your alley and I totally hear ya about thick waists because I feel I have a thick waist and still try to keep pulling off vintagey styles and don't love me back. Thanks for lurking and making your dress! Yay! Gorgeous sister!

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  55. Always, always lovely, Sallie! Look at you getting wild on the inside with contrasting colors. Oh, I have a sad little pile of snapped necklaces as well, and most suffered the same demise as yours. I'll get to the jewelry supply shop. Sure I will.

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