Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's a Miracle!

Like I said before, if I got a dress out of the 1.6 meters of Liberty print I bought in Paris, it would be a miracle on par with the loaves and the fishes, so here it is: the Loaves & Fishes dress, ever after to be called that, to the confusion of almost everyone.

I was almost done this for a very long time. After I finished the shirt, I went back to it and the skirt issues sorted themselves out immediately. Then I made the belt, pocket and finished up the sleeves. The pocket is probably one of my favorite parts, but I really like the sleeves, too.

I had button issues, because out of all the probably millions of buttons I inherited from my grandmom, two aunts and my mother, I didn't manage to have four matching vintage buttons that looked right for this dress. After much hemming and hawing, and a trip to the store to discover they didn't have anything I liked better, I went with my instinct and used some domed buttons that I think were my grandmom's - there were three blue and two tan, and I needed four buttons, so I alternated them. It's kind of kitschy, but because it's a faux-vintage dress, I think a little kitsch is allowed.

The pictures on me aren't as nice as I would like, but between self-timer and extremely hot living room, my efforts were limited because the dress kept sticking to me.

There were times I thought I'd never get this done, but in the end, it's a project I'm really glad I tackled. One of the most fun parts of sewing for me is knowing that I can (more or less) cobble together features from different patterns that I've liked and come out with a wearable dress that looks like the idea I had in my head when I started out. It was a challenge from start to finish, and I enjoyed almost every moment of it - even though it took me longer to make this one dress than it did to construct the dress, top and skirt whose pieces made up the bulk of this dress.

Part of me wants to go in and sew today, another part says I need to clean up my swamplike sewing space before I sew another stitch (the room is so messy I've lost the instruction book for my sewing machine, and since I never read it all the way through when I bought it, I like to keep it on hand), but what I'm actually going to do is finish up the demolition work on the room that's going to (someday) become a walk-in closet. It was a bathroom, now it's just a dirty little storage area, but hopefully by the end of summer it will be a nice, clean room with two Ikea wardrobes for my clothes, a dresser for the off-season sweaters and stuff and, of course, the litterboxes back in the corner behind a screen. The cats can't be inconvenienced, not even by my need for closet space.

So you can see I wasn't kidding, here's what's left of the Liberty:

16 comments:

Cennetta said...

Great looking dress, Karen. You are some kind of conquerer. Every obstacles was gracefully defeated. The sleeves and the button treatment are a plus for this pretty little number. You wear it well.

Rachelle said...

Oh WOW! That's great! What an excellent use of that fabric. That scrap pile is frighteningly small! I don't think the buttons look kitschy, or at least, not in any way that detracts from the dress's beauty!

Adrienne said...

Great dress!

toy said...

oh boy,, glad it worked out and it looks great, which pattern is this?

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Wow! It's amazing that you were able to make it work. Loaves and fishes indeed!

Keely said...

Lovely dress! That is a very small pile of scraps indeed!

Dana said...

Congratulations on a great dress! I love your "make it work" solutions.

Sewer-Sewist said...

The dress turned out fabulously... But I gotta say, those shoes are killer!
~Sarah

Caity said...

SUPER CUTE! I love the sleeves and I think the alternating buttons are a great touch. Well done!!

Elaray said...

Very, very cute! That small scrap pile is downright scary! You did a great job.

Linda said...

Just read yor review at PR and popped over here. I really like your dress. I like the combined patterns and how you made it work.

Lovely fabric.

AmeliaSews said...

What an inspiration to all of us who look at a piece of fabric and say - oh, I don't have enough!

Beautifuly Created said...

This dress is great, I wish I had the courage to cut into a piece of cloth as expensive as Liberty is.

Cathy said...

It's a darling dress! And the shoes are just too perfect! Amazing process but you succeeded beautifully.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a wonderfully satisfying project! Something that stretches you creatively and just allows you to wallow in your creativeness...and you got a really lovely dress from all of it too! I love the title of the dress it is so appropo!!!

Isabelle said...

Beautiful dress. You can be really proud of you. I adore the sleeves - they are the prettiest thing I've seen in a while!