This dress is ME. The color, the cut, everything. I completely fell in love with this fabric when I spotted it at a yard sale a few months ago. And, you guys, I LOVED sewing with thick polyester fabric! It was a dream. The stitches just disappear into it.
But ... there were a few missteps along the way.
First there was the whole issue of the bodice. You see, I had decided that I wanted the stripes angled downward on the bias, because it seemed like it would look cool. But this is the part of sewing where I often fail. To wit:
the last dress I sewed (and borrowed the sleeve from that pattern), and thought about what I had absorbed from poring over Love at First Stitch. And it was ... mostly OK.
So let's tally up the firsts that are represented here. First time installing a zipper; first time sewing a collar (it's pretty wonky but so be it!), first time sewing pockets; first time cutting pattern pieces on the bias (we know how that went) and first time altering a pattern to fit. And I am probably proudest of that last one, because my natural inclination is just to say "Screw it" and keep going. But I didn't, I stopped and made it right. Perhaps I am finally becoming a grown-up.
Here's what the dress looked like the first time I tried it on. I had already shortened up the bodice to make it hit closer to my natural waist, but I was surprised to find when I put it on that it was quite big. Because of the construction of the dress (it has side panels rather than side seams), I decided to pick apart the waistband at the back, and sew the back of the bodice to be a bit tighter. It is still a bit loose (I don't think I could really wear it without a belt), but on the plus side, it's super comfortable.
And as for the pockets, which I was pretty excited about, they do make the skirt hang kind of awkwardly ... but so it goes. I will put up with a lot for the luxury of having pockets in my dress.
My overall verdict of this dress is that I LOVE it. I was worried that it would be all flash and show and not actually be nice to wear, but it was a dream. The fit is just right, not super loose or baggy, but also not clingy or tight. (I can even raise my arms above my head, which makes this dress rank above the last two I sewed!) And I really feel like, with each project I take on, I am gaining skills and confidence, which is terrific. Up next for me, I think, is a simple dirndl skirt — after zippers and stripe matching, I am eager for some instant gratification. Then maybe I'll be ready to attempt the butterfly-print maxi dress I've been dreaming about ...
Vintage fabric: $0.50
Vintage pattern: $0.50
Notions: About $2.50
Total cost to make: About $3.50!