Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Dress

Here's my Easter Dress, which I finished just in time:

These aren't great photos, but here is the back: I used a cotton voile I got from Chadwicks here in town. It's a delicate floral print:

This shirtdress gave me fits. Which I don't understand because I this was the fourth time I had used this pattern, from the 1950s:

I've used it to make the Crab Dress:

And this one:

Clearly, I made some changes: 1) I put a gathered skirt on it instead of a three panel skirt; 2) I made elbow length cuffed sleeves that I borrowed from this pattern; 3) I made a shawl-like collar instead of the notched; and 4) I made the bottom bodice darts to be tucks instead.

Still, this dress shouldn't have been this hard. I couldn't figure out how to get the collar on properly and I had to visit VickiW to get it sorted out. This made no sense, as I have made this dress several times before. While trimming the sleeve allowances, I nicked the front bodice with my sissors, which I repaired with a little fusible interfacing; I don't know how long it will hold. Finally, for whatever reason, the waist ended up too big, so I used a lace scarf as sash. All these issues caused me to wonder if I had used up all my sewing knowledge on my wedding dress, and now I have become a sewing idiot - it was all so frustrating.

I think one of the problems was that I was too ambitious for this fabric. I think this delicate voile wanted to be a summer blouse and I tried too much and made it a dress instead! The fabric wrinkles like crazy, so in retrospect a blouse would have made much more sense. I originally made the skirt ankle length, aiming for a Downtown Abbey sort of look, but I ended up more with a Christian Fundalmentalist Ranch sort of look instead, so I took more than ten inches off the length, hemming it just below the knee so as to diminish dowdy factor.

I love shirtdresses, but I realize this isn't the most chic look, and the gathered skirt makes it less so. Still, I think this will become a good Saturday-running-errands dress - it will be very cool and comfortable. Next time, though, I'll make it more like the Crab Dress!