Monday, June 20, 2011

The New York Vacation Dress

(Click to Embiggen)

I'm back! Did you miss me? I had a wonderfully relaxing vacation visiting my lovely friend Beth Ann in up-state New York. I did go into The City for a day to peruse the garment district and finally get to meet my online friend of five years, Maeve, in person. She is not a sewist (yet, I'm trying to convert her) but is INDEED an expert knitter. In fact, she got stopped outside of Mood by another lady who gave her a card and said "Friend me on Ravelry!".

Beth Ann was much amused by all of this. She was on the hunt for neat fabrics out of which she'll make cool stuff animals. I coveted her partner's three-eyed monster one but somewhere there was a threat of painful death if I took it. O.o Or I could be imagining things, its possible. Beth Ann took the photos of me waiting for the train back home. I did not wear it into the city because of rain. Phooey patooie. (Loot post comes later)

So! In any case I wanted to show off the construction of this dress, of which I'm rather proud. Its V8645, a very simple pattern. I did this in a size 18 with a four inch FBA. In retrospect I probably only needed three inches with the wide shoulder adjustment and then taken it some in the waist. Its rather shapeless with without a belt even if I did take it in a bit. The cotton lawn I got at Fashion Fabrics Club on sale and upon handling it for the first time felt it needed a contrasting lining to give it a bit of OOMPH. I blame the article on layering sheers in Threads #154.
(shoulder details)

(skirt detail)

When I was mostly finished and tried it on I decided that the hem needed LACE and desperately. An applique lace at that, to give it a good bit of interest. And since I loved my gold belt with it so much I used gold chain instead of ties at the shoulder. Obviously this thing swallows my size tiny display mannequin*.

(pinning lace to dress)

I finished the shoulder seam by hand after having to undo and redo the lining. I had sewn up the lining shoulder seams too soon and couldn't turn the fabric "right side out". Bugger. I did use the mannequin (I kept the dress from moving by scotch taping the already completed shoulders in place) to allow me to pin the lace onto the bottom of the dress and used a TINY zigzag stitch to attach it, then cut away the excess fabric. And as you can see below I did do french seems with the exception of the two side seams on the lining. I realized too late I had sewn it together in the wrong order and I was too lazy to un-pick and start over. Also I might have been short on thread. I was using some of the cotton thread from the ancient box of stuff Mom gave me. I truly did not want to the store at that moment.

(applique and lining details)

So there it is! I hope you love it as much as I do. Also, in case you are wondering the luggage is vintage samsonite from the late 60's/early 70's. I have quite a few blog post ideas in the works and will probably be posting with more frequency when my schedule changes (AGAIN) in July. Graveyard shift. joy.

p.s. I would like to mention that Hotlanta is finally living up to its nickname. Walking out of the airport Saturday night the sticky heat hit me like a brick wall. Time for more shorts and dresses.

*The story behind how I acquired this and one other mannequin that models underwear on my husband's dresser is amusing and rates a blog post all on its own.


  1. Ok, that is a gorgeous fabric and I LOVE your applique lace detail. OMG, gorgeous. I hope your vacation was LOVELY! :)

  2. Love it! Also, yay! New pictures to save to my you folder! I do think the detail work you did is gorgeous (the lace is out of this world!), including the metal shoulder attachment. I think that was the right contrasting touch, gold belt aside.

  3. Fantastic! I love all those finishing touches, the lining and the shoulders and the lace. They really make the dress.