This is my entry in the SewLongSummer Sew Along Summer Crush contest, and, you guys, “Summer Crush” totally describes this project.
All summer, I’ve been reading sewing blogs and drooling over all the lovely shirtdresses people have been making. I really wanted to make one for myself, but I kept resisting, thinking I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it and it would look wrong on me and I don’t have any appropriate fabric in the stash and and and . . . .
Then I happened to open up a drawer in my sewing room dresser and came upon this UFO.
(Many thanks to my photographic assistant for the use of his fluff as background.)
This Vogue pattern (7541) is dated 2002, so this UFO is at least 10 years old. Unlike some of my UFOs, I remember the circumstances of it getting wadded up into a grocery bag and stuffed into the Dresser of Shame: I had finished the bodice completely and had just put the darts in the skirt pieces, when I decided to pin it together and check the fit. Whoops. Too small. In the dresser it went.
So all I had to do was finish the skirt, attach it to the bodice and do the buttons. Perfect, since I had to get it done quickly to enter it in the Sew-Along.
It was still a little bit snug, so I unpicked the side seams and resewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Do Vogue patterns usually run small? I wear an 18 in Ready-to-Wear, usually make size 20 when sewing other patterns, but this is a 22 and I probably should have made a 24, at least for the skirt.)
The only other change I made was to use more buttons. The pattern calls for 8 buttons a whopping 4″ apart. I was nervous about gaping, so I put them 3″ apart, added extra to the waist seam, and extended them farther down the skirt (believe me, nobody wants to see my thighs).
I love this. I love the fabric and the green buttons. The dress is so comfy and it makes me feel pretty.
You know, my body and I have something of a . . . complicated . . . relationship and it often feels like we’re fighting each other–me forcing my body to exercise hard when it is feeling tired and worn out, my body punishing me with lots of achy, sore joints (and other symptoms if I DON’T exercise). And I just turned 51 a couple of weeks ago.
So being able to make and wear a dress that’s pretty and comfy and makes me feel good?
Yep, a summer crush indeed.