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.
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...?
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!
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...
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.
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!