Last summer i was bitten by the dress bug. I have no idea why, but suddenly i very badly wanted a sundress. Possibly it had something to do with our stuck-in-the-60s summer suddenly spiking into the 80s for a week.
Back in the early ’90s, my Gma made me 2 dresses from Simplicity #9746 — a long dress with long sleeves1 and a short sleeveless dress. It turned out that i had the pattern in my pattern stash, but somehow in all of the time i spent shipping things from PA out to Seattle i had failed to pack the dresses. My mother kindly complied with shoving the sundress into a Priority Mail envelope and sending it out to me.
I was shocked to discover that the dress was far too big for me. I have no idea why Gma and i thought it was a good idea to cut out a size 10. I still like the dress (tho’ i’m not sure about the fabric design — i wonder if i can dye it?), so i might see if i can take it somewhere to have it altered to fit me better.
When Andy and i were on vacation in Oregon last august, i hit up a couple of local fabric stores and engaged in a little stash enhancing. 2 I wound up with 3 fabrics that i intended to use to make sundresses out of this pattern. Then one of my local Seattle stores had a big fabric sale on Labor Day and i wound up getting even more stash.
And, y’know? I still haven’t made a single sundress. I made 1 mock-up and the fit was difficult. I think what i’m going to have to do 1st is get the existing blue-flowered sundress altered to fit me better before i plunge forward with making any sundresses out of this stashed fabric.
Well. As i say in footnote #2 down below, the longer something sits around, the more i start to second-guess it. Apparently, not only is this true of fabric, it’s also true of patterns. I have developed something of a wandering eye for a pretty dress pattern. Earlier this year the Cool Cottons blog mentioned the store’s crepe dress class. One look at Colette’s Crepe dress pattern (Colette #1013) and i was smitten. Then the ever-fabulous Sparkymonster pointed out Gertie’s Crepe sew-along and i realized that with so much useful advice staring me in the face i’d absolutely have to try making the Crepe dress at least once.
Now i have 2 big problems:
1) Which pattern do i try 1st?
2) Which fabric do i pair with which pattern? One of the things i dislike about the Simplicity sundress is the way the princess seams dictate several narrow panels that chop up a pattern, makeing the whole thing look a little kaleidoscopic. One of the things i like about the Crepe dress is the way you can pair a contrasting belt.
I think i like the 2 on the bottom for the Simplicity — something about their whimsy says “sundress” to me:
I think the 2 in the middle will work better for the Crepe because i see them with contrasting belts (The brick red fabric on the right, by the way, is populated by wee tiny little owls. Squeeeeee!!!!):
I’m really not sure which pattern to use for these 2. The fabric on the left is a really luscious cranberry with almost a tie-dye variation in the coloring that’s deucedly hard to photograph:
Do feel free to leave comments on the separate pages for these fabric pairings, if’n you got opinions.
- I wasn’t so interested in the long-sleeved dress, and i’m glad i never got my hopes up about that one. When i visited PA last autumn and packed up the rest of my dresses lurking in the back of the closet, i found that the past 20 years have not been so kind to the white material the long dress was made out of. It’s a white fabric with white flowers printed on it, and the white flowers were no longer white. I’m not sure if it would be worth it to try dying the fabric an interesting color, because i think the flowers will always be a dingy off-white. Sigh. Poor dress. [↩]
- I’ve never done deliberate stash enhancing. I’ve always preferred to buy fabric for a project i intend to work on in the very near future. Any time a cloth has wound up hanging around for longer than a few weeks it’s been because something’s come up to prevent me from sewing. And frankly? I find that i don’t really like deliberate stash enhancing. The longer a cloth sits around un-sewn, the more i second-guess it and start to not like it. Lesson learned. [↩]