Saturday, May 23, 2009

What I didn't wear

to the wedding: my latest version of McCall 4444, the Laura Ashley sundress. I've made it three times now, and every time, I like it better. And somehow, even being a backless dress with a relatively distinctive neckline, it's one of those patterns that changes depending on the fabric you use.

This version was made in a cotton/lycra blend I bought from Kashi at Metro Textiles, back in 2007. I got it in my head last year, after the fabric had aged sufficiently, that I wanted to use it for this dress, but then I complicated matters by deciding that I needed contrast fabric, and that my contrast fabric had to match the aqua in the floral.

Not brown. Not gold. Not black. I had to match the aqua.

It took until the end of last summer, when I found a yard of of aqua oxford shirting at Kincus Fabrics in Philadelphia. It was the end of the bolt, it was buried on a shelf, dusty and covered in glitter from a dressy remnant on the shelf above, but even without a scrap of the floral with me, I thought it matched.

I got home, and it did. And then it got chilly, and it seemed wrong to start making another summer dress when it was September.

The idea stayed in my head all year, and surprisingly, I still liked the combination of pattern and fabrics when I pulled them out last week. I used a slightly different version this time - I put the contrast band along the top of the bodice, and also used it for the gathering tab. Since I've never, in 3 versions, used the buttons McCall recommends for the halter straps, I sewed the straps together and knotted an extra tie at the back of the neck, for a faux-halter look. I also sewed a band of contrast around the hem, which made it look more finished.

If it hadn't been 60 last Sunday, it would have gotten worn to the wedding, but I'll try to find an occasion to wear it this weekend. (And once I make a little jacket to go with it, I can wear it to work).

Thankfully, my week of no sewing is over. I took the day off yesterday and met up with Kisha and we took a little trip down to 4th Street. (For those who look at the sidebar, yes, that's 13 more yards acquired yesterday. Does it count that I know what I'm doing with at least 9 of it, immediately.

I think I needed a little infusion of fresh fabric to perk me up, because I no sooner got home than I threw all the new yardage into the washer, and by lunchtime today I had knocked out a new short sleeved shirt for Mario to wear to the cookout his sister's having tomorrow. Pictures to follow.

19 comments:

Lori said...

This is just so pretty, the colors are wonderful.

LOVE's Sewing said...

The dress is beautiful!

Myra said...

That is so retro looking, especially with the aqua.

laura said...

I live for sundresses and that is adorable! I wish the things I made turned out like yours.

Uta said...

Such a beautiful dress; the fabrics and colors are gorgeous!

AllisonC said...

Very cute! You have an amazing memory for colours, I would now be searching for a new print to match the aqua I just purchased!

Tany said...

Stunning! I'm sorry you didn't have the chance of wearing it for the wedding, but I'm sure you'll get many chances of wearing it in the future!

gwensews said...

That's a very pretty dress. It can go a lot of places this summer.

Sherril said...

You're going to look fantastic in those colors. Too bad you couldn't wear it to the wedding, but for the next event, you'll look fantastic and cool in your new dress.

Rachelle said...

Absolutely LOVELY!

Rose said...

The two fabrics work together so well! I love the dress.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This is a very beautiful dress. And I have a couple of pieces of fabric that are still waiting for coordinating pieces...and ideas that have yet to come forth into actual garments. I love that you followed through with this...you are going to look amazing one very warm summer day this year!!!

Becky said...

I like it! And I'm glad you felt the need to match the aqua-- it has much more impact than black or brown would have!

Cennetta said...

Pretty.

DawnSSL said...

I agree with AllisonC..LOL. I am absolutely in love with that dress. You did a fabulous job!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

It's so cute! I've only made this pattern once, several years ago now. I should think about another...

Houkje said...

That dress is fabulous, I hope the weather will allow you to wear it soon!

Would love to make it myself, but for whatever reason the pattern is not available in the UK?

Nancy K said...

Great dress! The aqua fabric was worth waiting for.

Kat said...

This is really beautiful, Karen!