Uhhh, so I’m very late with this post, sorry about that.
The issue isn’t that I was late to making this outfit–I wasn’t, I made this outfit on time for Halloween! The issue is that I’ve been having trouble with motivation to have long-winded writeups with each of these. That’s why you’re honestly much better off following me on Twitch.tv or Instagram. Even Instagram is getting a bit shaky recently. I realised I was feeling bad when I compared myself to other makers on Instagram so I had to wean myself off the platform a bit. I still post and I still respond to comments, I just try not to hit that “Explore” tab. The world is full of trickery, and Instagram’s only showing you the good bits and hiding or airbrushing away the bad was weighing heavily on me.
A lot of shame felt about my ageing body seeing younger, prettier, filtered girls on the scene who know how to do their hair and makeup and here’s me with my orange lipstick I got from a novelty set of children’s lipsticks from Target like 5 years ago. Pretty happy I had some orange lipstick actually. Made a nice change from the tinted lip balm I’m usually sporting, PLUS matched pretty well with this dress. Don’t mention the rest of my face, please. I don’t think I’ll ever fully get mascara or blusher or contouring or highlighting and I’m certainly never going to get these eyebrows under control.
But this isn’t a self-roast, so let’s move onto this dress! I’m actually crazy proud of this dress. I got the concept from either Simplicity or Vogue patterns from the 60s that I can’t find right now to show you. While searching, I found that the Philippa from Sewing Muse also has a similar concept (though obviously I think mine was executed better ;) ). I love playing with design lines in my dresses–giving every seam a reason to be there. I cut this dress at the waist because I only had a single metre of fabric to work with. I know, how does she do it?
I don’t actually know. The fabric was side enough at 1.5m, but the issue was that with such a bold print, if it wasn’t pattern matched well, it would look very odd. Coupled with the fact that I have a back shaped like a banana, I had to cut this at the waist so I could have the right kind of shaping. I did a decent job of pattern matching the pockets at the front but the back subsequently fell apart. The hip shaping pieces on the back are, as a result, not pattern matching but at least they match one another.
There were some comments on the places I posted this dress about the buttons running down the back actually. Mind you I kind of wish that I had been able to incorporate the striped piping around the buttons, that would have been amazing. But that wasn’t the question, the question was: “Aren’t the buttons uncomfortable when you’re sitting down??” Funnily enough, I can’t even FEEL them! This fabric is from Ikea so it’s typical furnishing fabric and hence quite thick and canvas-y. This makes for a great shape for a mini shift dress but also means that you can’t really feel anything poking you through all the layers. And there are a lot of layers. I had to use some plain white fabric for the facings, but all that, plus the seam allowances.. it all added up.
I really loved how it turned out! Even if it isn’t what I’m normally used to wearing, it was fun to experiment with the style lines and mix up the order of sewing a little bit. That was a wild ride! For example, with this dress, I had to sew all 4 side panel pieces together first to create a big oblong-ish shaped side panel, then sew together the top and the bottom of the dress, then the front and back, and then while sewing the side panels in, slip the pockets in too. What a crazy adventure!
After I had mostly finished the dress, I also discovered that the pockets gaped at certain angles and exposed the white lining of the pocket–The way I’m going to solve that if I make it again is that the pocket bag will be entirely made from the outer fabric and not a lining fabric. I was obviously running out of fabric here so I had limited choice with what I was able to do. So before I wore the dress out, I also made sure to stitch in the ditch between the piping and the dress to tack the pocket down to stop it from gaping. The opening is still just big enough for my hand, thankfully. Not that I’ll be wearing this dress too much, it is a seasonal item after all. I can’t wait to make it again! It would be nice to see if I can add these lines to a flared skirt… Definitely more experimenting is in order, I think! If you’d like to watch my future patternmaking experiments, make sure you tune into my Twitch channel some time, I’d love to see you there, we got a nice little community going.