DressJuly 2, 2008
[Hi, you sweet things. This is preblogged from the past. Right now I'm actually up north, at an expanded dispatch near Eureka, working the fires that no doubt you've heard about. If I may brag about my dispatch center again: we're becoming known for having incident dispatchers qualified in lots of specialties -- we get requested across the state for big fires, and sometimes even other states borrow our dispatchers to work on their lines. I'll be up there for as long as two weeks, so if you don't hear from me for a while, don't worry.
In the meantime, pretend like I'm just writing this today:]
I had a one of those La Brainy thrift-store days a few days ago. In one spot (Thrift Town, El Sobrante), I scored a pair of Doc Martens for four bucks, and a pair of cowboy boots for ten.
AND, while I was cruising the store, a customer randomly walked up to me and gave me a clipped coupon for three dollars off.
I found a piece of fabric that was REALLY loud but I liked something about it. It was ninety-nine cents. When I got it home and unbundled it from its masking tape wrapping, it turned out to be about five yards. Dude. For bright red and shiny gold fabric, that was a little much, so I decided to use it as a muslin for testing a dress pattern I wanted to make.
I have never in my life succeeded in making a dress that I would dare to wear out of the house. Many, many skirts, yes. I can make a skirt. I can make a skirt in a half-hour. Out of a pillowcase. But not a dress.
So I decided to use my brain. I would just practice with this fabric. Instead of guessing at my measurements, I would actually take them. And then I made the size THAT WOULD FIT ME. Sewing does have an odd aspect to it: while I fit comfortably in size 10 or 12 jeans at most retailers, I am an 18 in sewing patterns. I'm a person who is comfortable in my skin, so that doesn't send me into a spin, but it makes me go, "huh." You know?
And in cutting the pattern pieces for this particular pattern (New Look 6375), I had to draft it out a bit, since the bust would work, but the waist was too small. I was so pleased with myself for thinking! For using my head! For realizing that no, my waist is NOT 30 inches, and no matter what I think it is, I need to cut the pattern for what will FIT. I think I am so used to knitting, where we regularly plan for negative ease, that I forget that cotton fabric is, well, a little less forgiving. Positive ease is my friend.
So I cut. And then cut the fabric pieces. Then I sewed. And I basted the bodice and tried it on (another stupid thing I've done in the past is just sew-sew-sew till done, try on, and realize I'm a moron for not trying on earlier). It fit! I sewed some more. Tried it on. Raised the hem. It fit even better!
The weird thing is, when it was done the dress looked good. In the practice fabric. The same fabric that Lala had wrinkled her nose at when I'd shown it to her. It did look outrageous in the bolt. And it looked pretty outrageous when made into a dress and lying flat. But on me, it kinda works. What do you think?
I'm so proud of myself! All I want to do is make dresses! Now I want to make one like this:
But if you want to buy this adorable little thing, it's HERE. I think I'm going to attempt it using Simplicity pattern 3774 (recommended to me by the nice gals at Pattern Review). Maybe I can make another one I can wear out of the house.
In the meantime, today when I went to the county fair I wore this:
It wasn't until after I put everything on that I realized I'd made the sweater (Bella) and the undertank (Coachella) and the skirt (those are martini glasses in black on the blue and green background). So I took a picture. I've come a long way, baby.
(Amy and the bunnies - email me! Thank you! So much!)