Friday, March 14, 2008

A Painterly Dress for the Artist Within

I'm not sure why this photo appeals to me so much. I'm looking off to the distance, maybe even looking a little sly. Perhaps I am ready to crack a smile? I just don't want to take myself too seriously. However, I'm not quite ready to put on my Happy Face just yet. It's still chilly out there and I took off my coat for this photography session. I might not look cold, but I am in the above photo. It's me, the dress, the girdle, a pair of beige-colored mesh hose from Target and my BCBG Girl wedgies.
Ah. Here I am playing The Serious Model. More on the dress, which I sewed using a dramatic black and white cross-hatch cottony jersey from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, Ill. This fabric is really lightweight and airy, and I think it will be extraordinarily comfortable when the heat gets turned on here in Chicago, sometime in the middle of June. This print is all over the runways this season. If you're interested in purchasing some, Vogue has more of it on the bolt at $4.99 a yard. There's a similar print with more of a buttery, silky hand in a royal blue colorway that's parked next to the above fabric bolt at Vogue. Same deal. Check it out if you're so inclined: 847-864-9600 (that number is committed to memory and I don't work for the store although I could.) You might be able to find it at the store's web site, but there's a lot that's not online, so you'd be better off picking up the telephone.
The close up. This is Simplicity 3681, size D5 (4,6,8,10,12). I went for a straight size 8, which turned out to be a good fit. I opted to do a blend of view E (with the short hem) and view C (the three-quarter length full sleeve). I'm really in love with raglan sleeves these days; the shoulder seam seems to suit my petite frame better (this is a Misses'/Miss petite dress incidentally). I don't have to make any adjustments or use clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seam. Now for the low-down on construction. The pattern sews up lickety-split (but not by itself). I did secure the inside facing on the collar with a line of stitching on the outside. It looks Ok, but I'm not blown away by it. I did a mock cover-stitch on the hem with my oft-mentioned Viking...

I think the dress is really shorter than I intended it to be. I'm wearing this with stockings, but I'd be hesitant to wear it bare-legged. I might buy a pair of black lace-edge leggings from Marshalls, and then wear with the shoes you see below....
The shot you all have been waiting for. These are a pair of BCBG Girl wedgies, purchased at Nordstrom's last year. They're very versatile, although a bit wobbly at times. I really take care of them and have the cobbler nail on little plastic cleats on the heels to reduce wear and tear. You can't see it here but these shoes have a black rattan exterior that gets chipped easily. My shoe repair man sprays them with a black spray for free every time I taken them into his store.
This is my third version of this dress. The first, made in the wrong size, is an essentially unwearable muu-muu in a cute brown and blue floral cotton jersey. The second? A beauty made from two complimentary fabrics from the $1 dollar at Vogue Fabrics. I call that my Gwen Stefani dress. I'll write up a story on it once it's a bit warmer. That one's short-sleeve...

2 comments:

Lindsay T said...

Hi from Lindsay T. First time visiting your site but definitely not the last. Thanks for adding my site to your links and I will do the same with yours.

Love the dress, BTW, and the way you've put the whole look together with the rockin' shoes and fishnets.

the_lazymilliner said...

Thanks, Lindsay, for the kudos. I like your site (besides you've given me great hints on better photography of my creations) so naturally I had to have a link.