6.17.2013

devil with the blue dress

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Stop the presses, hold the phone, and all that jazz! You guys... I took these pictures in the morning. That's right. I'm packing my woolies for the afterlife,  because hell just froze over.

You see, I am not a morning person. Like, I've been known to breathe fire, speak in tongues, and spew green shit if I'm addressed directly before 8am. It should also be known that I'm not a night person either (person of the night? lady of the night?) rather, I think of myself as a day  person.  Between the hours of 9am and 9pm I'm golden, an utter joy to behold - anywhere beyond that and it's really a gamble.  But for some inexplicable reason, today I was literally champing at the bit to get out of bed! I made myself wait until 6am, for the sake of decency and so I wasn't blowing too many minds, but once 6 rolled around I was up and at 'em as they say.

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So I made it my business to take some blog photos! Everyone knows that the best times to take photos outdoors is when the sun is at an oblique angle (late afternoon/early evening - or, as the case may be, morning).  So I did my morning routine, ate my breakfast, got myself gussied up and tramped out with camera in tote to pose in someone else's garden. And here I am! Home before 9am! Is this what it feels like to be an adult...?

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This dress was one of those makes that sort of happened a bit unexpectedly.  Lately I've been trying to take care of some projects for other people, and as every selfish seamstress knows, there's only so much of this one can take before ohmygodihavtamakesomethingforMEEE happens. This also happens to be the time of year when I can often be found crawling on all fours, sweat pouring from my brow, my trembling hand reaching out for my sewing machine, gasping to no one in particular (but usually the cat) "need.... more.... summer... dresses...." And it was in this frenzied, heat stroke induced state that I made this dress.

This is V8810 that I purchased during one of the awesome $1.99 sales, not really all that sure what I'd do with it, but thinking it might make a nice basic summer dress. I haven't really seen this dress around on the sewing blogs, and while I know there are plenty of people out there that sew and don't choose to parade around on the internet for all the world to see, something about this dress' absence in blogland tells me that it's not particularly popular.  And I can kind of get why. It's a little meh. I mean, a drawstring waist dress...? It sort of says "potato sack". But I've also been known to be a sucker for a tie waist, and the gathered shoulders were definitely my thing, and I liked the skirt options, so I went for it! 

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The fabric is some weird rayon that I think is trying to imitate a summer-weight wool.  It's slightly scratchy, but not uncomfortable, it has a nice drape and is lightweight but still opaque.  And I love the color. Like really really love it.  I used those Dritz fabric covered buttons, which I've had so-so luck with.  I actually think they look quite nice, and are surprisingly easy to make, but I've found that they don't last very well. The tops tend to pop off after a wear or two.  But since this is really such a plain dress I wanted to make sure the buttons were immaculate so this time I pulled out one of my favorite sewing tricks - some glue and a hammer! I glued the top and base together and then pounded the shit outta them with the hammer.  I'll let you know how they hold up...

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After I finished the dress and put it on I felt a wee bit lackluster about it. I was kind of expecting this, but it was still a bummer to actually see it. Something was just off. I loved the color,  but I felt like the shoulders were just too wide, despite the gathering.  So I decided to make these shoulder tabs for it to pull up the excess fabric and make the sleeve sit at a more flattering place on me.  I could have just gathered the sleeve more, but after trying on the dress I felt that it had a sort of uniform-y feel to it (not quite sure what kind of uniform... waitress? airflight attendant? armed forces...?) so I decided to kind of play up whatever utilitarian vibes I was getting from it by adding the little shoulder tab touch. Now I feel like the whole bodice is more flattering.  

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All in all, this dress has been a pleasant surprise! I don't feel like the pattern envelope or drawings do the collar justice - it really has a lovely, almost mandarin-type, stand to it which I find really elegant and becoming as a neckline (necks can just be so lovely, can't they?) It was quick and easy to make, and while it may not be the most amazing thing I've ever made - I think it will serve me well as a great casual dress for work during the long hot summers.

Have you ever gone into a project with low expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised? I love it when it happens!

xx



44 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress, love the color, it's perfect for you. The collar and shoulders are very interesting. Good job, i'm sure you'll wear a lot

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  2. I never would have guessed you weren't a morning person, because you look SUPER cute and happy to have gotten up at the buttcrack of dawn ;) Love this dress, btw - and I can totally see why you love that color so much, it looks INCREDIBLE on you:D

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  3. The color looks really great on you, and makes the dress! I love the shoulder tabs, that was one of the first things I noticed. I am not a morning person either, but unfortunately the little people in my house like to wake up at 6:30, maybe 7 on a lucky day. Needless to say I can be a bit of a grouchy mommy in the morning.

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  4. This is really pretty! I love this color on you! Such a great dress!

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  5. Really cute on you.

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  6. Wow, I wish I looked that good in the morning! I love this dress, and can see how it could really become a summer staple. Thanks for showing the potential in a not-very-special looking pattern.

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  7. Sallie, you look lovely! The photos turned out wonderful, and so did the dress. I am liking the collar very much. And on a somewhat unrelated note, your posts are always such a fun read! You can make even the most mundane things entertaining!

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  8. You're so cute I just want to smush you. I don't know what smushing is but I think it's like a squeeze/squeal. Great colour on you (looks like silk in the first photo). I wouldn't have looked twice at that pattern but it makes up nice and I think the shoulder tabs were a smart plan. I like the proportion of the drawstring/belt.



    So with you on the summer dress tip. As soon as the sewalong ends.... IT IS HAPPENING.

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  9. Such a cute dress. Such a great colour!

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  10. Aww thanks!! That's me blushing! Seriously, writing the posts is almost as fun for me as making the clothes! So it makes me happy that you have fun reading them!

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  11. love the color of this dress! and the fact that I'm not the only one who takes advantage of other people's pretty yards for pictures :)

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  12. so cute.. and that color is gorgeous on you..

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  13. this is a great color on you. such a useful and lovely dress! i'll have to remember this pattern, it's right up my alley!

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  14. I really like this dress! Actually I have a RTW in bright yellow that is very similar but I like the neckline on yours a lot more. I think you will now find this dress starting to pop up on a few blogs.

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  15. I agree! Your blog is a fun read, and you sew great clothes, too. Your version of this dress is so pretty - I really like how you changed up the shoulder design.

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  16. Love it Sal! That color looks amaze on you and good call on adding the shoulder tabs, it definitely ties the whole thing in together. Another gorgeous sew.

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  17. Love this color, and your version looks WAY more flattering than the one Vogue made. This looks like a perfect summer dress! :-)

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  18. That color is super flattering on you. The shape is nothing crazy, but it looks comfy as hell and at the end of the day, those are the things we wear the most.

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  19. this is a lovely dress on you! Andthe shoulder tabs really make it I think... I think my problem is, I only have high expectation projects, that I dream about in my sleep and take months to finish. So that's probably what I need: a low expectation project that won't require a muslin...Thank you for the inspiration :)

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  20. Love it! The shoulders are my favorite part and the color looks great on you. It's always a nice surprise when you think something could turn out just alright and it's a serious winner!

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  21. So lovely! The way the collar stands paired with that v-neck gets a thumbs-up from me! Definitely let us know how the buttons hold up- I love the look of them, but when I see the kits it scares me how un-sturdy they seem. :(

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  22. Great pattern and super great make. Will definitely be putting this one down on my to do list.

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  23. I'm pretty sure I have this pattern (unmade of course!). Love what you did with the shoulders - looking good!

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  24. Your fashion sense - hmmm maybe I'll draw the shoulders in more with tabs - is what makes your sewing projects so great. Love the dress and fabric! And see?? Isn't early morning a great time? I knew you'd come around!!

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  25. Great fabric choice, blue looks so good on you! I wouldn't have picked this pattern up but what a nice surprise seeing it made up.


    A hammer is the one thing I'm lacking in my kit. Have to get onto that ;)

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  26. A fabulous addition to any wardrobe. The color adds just enough punch to make it classy but cool. Well done! xoxo

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  27. Thanks Rochelle!! I love seeing people make patterns that I would never even look twice at! That's always my favorite - I'm like, "Wait... that's a VOGUE pattern?? How did I MISS that one!!"

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  28. Beautiful as ever! That electric blue really suits you!

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  29. Very cute! I love the colour, will look awesome in summer! I was pleasantly surprised when I made my first wiggle dress from Gertie's book, I knew the pattern was awesome, I just didn't know if it was going to suit me, also with the length, but I absolutely loved it and already have two now!

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  30. That blue! It's just gorgeous. I want more of that blue in my life! Also, good save with the tabs, and the neckline is pretty awesome. But, really, that blue...

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  31. Love that colour pop and the breezy feel of the dress. Great job.

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  32. Good on you for your creative problem solving! The shoulders really turned out well. As for the pattern, I was also looking at it during that fantastic sale, and "meh" was exactly my reaction!

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  33. It's gorgeous, Sallie! I swear, you can make any pattern look good! The shoulder tabs really do add a lot. And the color! It's amazing.

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  34. Lovely and easy on the eyes. Shirtdresses are the best! But oh how I wish I could sing at the morning like that; the light is so wonderful and it's not half as hot as sunset. I'm in my 40s and still can't get with it--a complete and utter night owl here... and I went on a summer dress cutting frenzy two nights ago for all the same reasons... the heat is killing me.

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  35. Gosh, what a pretty dress! and you reminded me that I have this pattern and it's time to make it for summer! bought it during the winter. Hope those buttons behave!

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  36. Gorgeous dress and colour! Looks really comfy and wearable.

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  37. Sallie...I think the problem is probably on my end. Sorry for the miscommunication! I just wanted to say that I'm a long-time admirer of your sewing and your writing. :)

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  38. Gorgeous color used for a lovely dress. Hope you get lots of wear out of it this summer!

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  39. Gorgeous as always - you are a rock star!! :)

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  40. ohmyjillies.wordpress.comJuly 1, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    I like this dress as much as your other creations. You look fantastic and it is a pleasure to read your posts.

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  41. Hi, I am a silent (but very regular) follower of your blog. I love your style and look forward to seeing your makes. I think you mentioned somewhere that you live in Houston (sorry if I am wrong). I have recently moved to Dallas and going to Houston today to attend a workshop next week. I just thought of you when I was told that I would be going to Houston :). Cheers, Sohini

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  42. Hi Sohini! Thanks for commenting!! Wow, it's so cool to have a reader so close! I actually live in Galveston (about 45 min. away from Houston). I hope Texas is treating you good!

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  43. Hi... If I knew that you are in Galveston, I would have gone done to meet you!!! May be next time!!! I will be coming down here regularly! Hope you meet you soon!!!Sohini

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  44. Cute!! I really love those fabric covered buttons down the front. Eek about them not lasting though, that freaks me out because I use them all the time! Especially lately, I had no idea people had trouble with them lasting longer than a wear or two. Well I guess I'll be crossing my fingers I don't run into that problem and if so, a hammer and glue it is!

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