Hi Guys! As you can see, the sun has decided to come out and play, and I've basically been walking around like this in a sun-drunk haze. It gets very awkward when you're constantly running into things, but Igottasoakupdatsun!
But, hey! Yesterday was my birthday! I haven't done a proper birthday post in... gosh... years. Not since I turned 27 (I still love that dress, btw. So pretty). But seeing as I turned 30, some fanfare seemed in order.
I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be feeling existential or what, but I'm actually quite happy to see the back of my 20's! Don't get me wrong, a lot of wonderful things happened in my 20's - I got my BFA and MFA in Painting, I met Nick, got married, taught myself how to sew, started this here blog, and got to know all of you wonderful people. But it was also a decade of a lot of uncertainty and, well, growing up. I'd be perfectly fine if my 30's were a little less momentous! I know a lot of people have anxiety about getting older, but I think with each passing year I get closer to my internal age. You know how some people are 'young at heart'? Well, I'm the opposite of that. I'm not joking when I say my true age is, oh, somewhere between 65 and 85, but firmly planted in the senior citizen zone. Which is good! I've got awhile before I peak!
But enough navel-gazing! I don't care how old you are, birthdays should always be at least a little bit about having fun and feeling great, and nothing makes me feel better than a new dress. After the sewing extravaganza that was my jacket I needed a palate cleanser. So for my March contribution to the Mood Sewing Network I turned to some of my sewing favorites - my comfort food of sewing. In this case it was a combination of gorgeous silk crepe de chine, a tried-and-tested pattern for the bodice, a circle skirt, and straightforward construction. From start to finish this dress took me two days, which is about as instant gratification as my sewing gets!
A few months ago I snatched up this Ralph Lauren Dark Blue Polka Dotted Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics online with the intention of turning it into a sundress as soon as the weather warmed up. As any fabric enthusiast knows, a good polka dot is hard to find! So when I spot one, I jump! And this is a good one. The blue is one of my favorite shades to wear – a brilliant deep cobalt – and the scale of the polka dot is perfect. Plus, silk crepe is one of my all-time favorite fabrics to sew with. If you’ve ever been intimidated by silk, do yourself a favor and pick up some silk crepe de chine. It has all the luxuriousness of silk with none of the finicky handling.
This silk is pretty lightweight, but still very opaque, which might mean it's, like, the unicorn of silk fabric. It also meant that I decided to skip the lining on this one, making this the simplest, slinkiest little slip of a dress in the history of dresses. I did use a one-inch strip of fusible interfacing to reinforce the opening for the invisible zipper, which makes inserting a zip into lightweight fabric like this much more manageable. But other than that, when I'm wearing this dress, there's nothing between me and the world besides a little shimmy of brilliant blue, polka-dotted silk! Just the way I like it!
I wanted to pair this fabric with a pattern that would be simple, timeless, feminine, and flirty. For the bodice I used By Hand London’s Holly jumpsuit bodice, variation 2, which I made once before. I love the disco-vibe of the cowl neck paired with the skinny strap. For the skirt I just used a half-circle skirt, my favorite of all the circle skirts. I think it has the perfect balance of volume and swish and also body-skimming sensualness (can skirts be sensual? I think half-circle skirts can). After letting the skirt hang overnight I hemmed this skirt at my preferred midi-length using a narrow folded hem. Overall I think the look is classic, and slightly retro without being overt.
I wore my new dress all day yesterday on my birthday and it really helped me feel great, like a modern day Sophia Loren. And really, what more can a girl ask for on her 30th birthday? Of course I also ended up enjoying so many sweets and drinks and decadent meals that by the end of the day I was more than ready to unzip and give up all pretense of any sort of ladylike or sensual airs. And my birthday ended as all good birthdays should - by washing my face, dotting myself with zit cream, putting on my ratty robe, popping a couple of ibuprofen and heading to bed!
So here's to new decades, new dresses, and sewing something that makes you feel great! Hope you're all having a great March! And if you're not, try sewing yourself something you love.
I'll be back in the next couple of weeks with a tutorial for the Minoru pattern, so stay tuned!