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Finished Object: Alice Dress

This dress feels rather thrown together.  It cost almost nothing, and came together this weekend.  I have stared at this fabric in my sewing room for a long time with zero inspiration, and then all of a sudden I had a dress on my hands.

The husband saw this while I was leafing through my inspiration file last week.  I turned it down at first, but the design stayed with me for a few days.  I felt too lazy to make a front packet, opting instead for a round neckband-facing-extra-wide-binding.

Some time ago a colleague destashed and gave me several lengths of “What was I thinking?” material.  This is a weird poly-cotton crepey nothing sort of fabric, but I have a thing for black and blue and plaid so decided to play.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  Besides, it was free.  I made up a pattern and realized I wouldn’t have quite enough fabric for a full skirt.  Bother.  I’m very much in the middle of a fluffy skirt phase, so a slim skirt simply wouldn’t do.

( I like my polka-dot stockings, they’re tough as Kevlar.  Nearly.)

Some time ago, I drafted a blouse for this shadow-striped fabric, only to run into a similar issue- I didn’t have enough for the blouse.  So I used it to contain the big wide plaid pattern.  I like borders.  The whole dress is very airy, perhaps too much so.

The fabric grew and stretched out of shape as I sewed it, the waist came out several inches bigger than I cut it.  No matter, that’s why I have belts.  I interfaced the front and back neck bands, but decided not to worry too much about controlling the fluid, drifting fibers.  Sewing this crepe was like stitching cheesecloth.  These shoes are a recent acquisition- all my work shoes were too much mended.  I hate breaking in new shoes.  I slipped my feet into these and they felt like comfy house slippers immediately.  No breaking in!

I felt like climbing today when we took photos.  I’m so out of practice in front of the camera, the whole exercise felt awkward.  I hope you don’t mind the last shot, it was my favorite.  This dress is so light, it kind of sits funny over my stiff tulle crinoline.  I might line this skirt with a lightweight cotton voile to allow it lie more smoothly.

All in all, I don’t mind it, though it has its quirks.  The fabric bunches a little bit under the belt, and blouses where I don’t generally like blousing.   I’ve worn it twice and will probably reach for it repeatedly over the summer.


16 comments

  1. Cute dress! I'm in a fluffy dress mode at the moment too. Having a bit of a dilemma with what to do with the floral fabric and the pink seersucker (both on my last sewing post) – they match so nicely so your post is giving me some inspiration with contrasting fabrics :-DAnd isn't it great when you don't have to worry too much about trashing some expensive fabric or agonising over fitting?

  2. Gosh I love this dress to, and teh border is delicious. Really finishes it off. This fabric may just wash back into shape! Let it dry in air not a dryer and I suspect it will suck in like a sea anenome. :) Mind you recently I bought a length of what I thought was japanese cotton crepe, bu after washing the crepy texture turned out to be dressing, and it is light and fine and smooth. Very pretty though! :)

  3. Confession time- I simply ran a line of straight stitching 1/2" from the raw hem.Thanks so much for the lovely words! I think it'll wash up ok. If it doesn't well, I won't be heartbroken.Leimomi- I think Wellington in summer is perfect for ONLY frocks… ;)

  4. I love it! It looks fun and cool and easy to wear. I don't notice a problem with the hang, but those are mostly action shots, so it doesn't show.I especially love what you did with your bias-trimmed black hem.It's great to have you posting again, by the way, I'm just way behind and random in my blog reading right now…

  5. That's a really really great dress. It looks very Alice in Wonderland to me! I love plaid and what it does in full skirts! Cute photos too. RE: the editing of one's self. DON"T DO IT! IMHO. Unless you want to become a blogging queen and get sponsors and money and stuff! There is a place for that, when I think of the opportunities it has given Gertie, but then I also think she has to post less of certain parts of herself and more of the 'public appealing' part. I mean absolutely no disrespect there. I just think you know who you are and certainly didn't start this blog to please the masses LOL!I understand your attraction to Harajuku I am just wondering what you think of the whole sexualizing little girl stuff. I struggle with that. I can see it, grown woman of sexual age dressing like opulent little girls…some people say that is not the case and yet, it sets of some warning bells in my mind when I see it, I still like a lot of things about their style and I am not even sure what the whole culture is about anyways! LOLOh I hope I haven't come off as some righteous know it all, I am just spewing random thoughts.

  6. Great dress! I like the solid borders with the plaid. And that one slightly racy and very sexy pose is also great! Not vulgar at all, just lots of fun. :)


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