Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blueberries 'n' cream

The dress has been done for about a week.  It hung waiting for its final pressing.  Couldn't seem to get around to it.  Had no real need to wear it.  This morning I decided that it deserved its first outing, so dress got pressed and worn to church.  No-one saw it, because I didn't take my coat off, but that's OK, because I knew what I was wearing.  After church seemed a good a time as any for taking some pictures, so here it is.
Front view
The pattern is Vogue 9945, which is from the late'90's, and now OOP.

 (Found this image at an Etsy shop called Restless Needle.)
The fabric has been hanging around since the '80's.  (Certainly time it got used.)  It came from the Lilly Ann outlet in San Francisco.  It's a wool plaid in navy and cream, even though for years I kept thinking of it as being black and cream.  (Goes to show you just how much attention I really pay to the fabrics that I have.)  I kept thinking of this as a jacket, but somehow that wasn't working for me.  Then I remember deciding that it was going to be a coat dress.  Even bought a pattern.  Obviously - didn't happen.  I love the fabric, don't get me wrong, but I think that the thought of matching all those tiny little navy blue lines kept putting me off.  Since I'm trying to slow down and enjoy the sewing process, it seemed that this fabric was a good choice for that.  Well, it certainly did take some patience.  First the cutting of every pattern piece twice over, since single layer was the only way to go.  Then the matching on 7 long seams, and then the sleeve-armhole matching.  Mid-sewing I had this panic attack that since the pattern was so old, the dress would look terribly out-of date.  Problem is, I made the sleeveless long version in black linen, years ago, but it lost its appeal after I wore it to my husband's funeral.  I surfed all over to assure myself that the style was classic enough that it would look OK.  To-day I wore it with just a malachite necklace, all hidden by my winter coat, but I can belt it, put scarves to it, etc. and change up the look.  Could even wear it with a jacket - guess that would mean acquiring a navy jacket.  (Yes, there's fabric in the stash for that.)
 According to the pattern, the zipper should be on the side.  From past experience I knew that this wouldn't work, so I moved it to the back, still leaving the opening with a button at the top of the back seam.  (I distinctly remember always getting stuck in the black dress, pulling on and pulling off, and someone would have to help to get me in or out.  These days there's no-one to come to the rescue - can't imagine running to the neighbours with a dress half on or off, so moving the zipper to the back seemed like the logical solution.)
I also fully lined the dress, slightly redesigned the facings because of this and added strap keepers, because with a bateau-type neckline those pesky straps always try to put in an appearance.  The lining fabric is also a Lilly Ann outlet buy from the same era as the wool.  It's polyester.  I had a RTW blouse in this fabric, and I didn't want another one like it so many decades later.
Now I have leftover plaid fabric - enough for a skirt.  As I was sewing, all sorts of ideas whirled around in my head.  Plaid skirt/navy military-style jacket.  Found some ideas for restyling a pattern that I have.  We'll see when that happens.  I need a rest from matching little navy lines.  I've "discovered" a grey skirt that I started last year.  The bugaboo that stopped the project was the decision to make bound buttonhole on the back vent.  Off it went into the UFO pile.  Now it's back in production.  Even found fabric for a blouse that will "make an outfit",  so that I don't have an orphan.  Even though the skirt is a wool, I guess I'm considering this already a "Spring" project.  At the rate the weather 's going around here, I'll be wearing wool for some time to come yet.  This morning my driveway was covered ankle-deep in the nasty white stuff, yet again.

13 comments:

  1. Oh no more snow. I hope you get a break from it soon! The dress is lovely and beautifully made. All that matching sure paid off. The fabric is gorgeous. The idea of a skirt with a military navy jacket sounds divine. Can't wait to see the outfit you are working on too. What color is your complimentary fabric? I have a grey skirt in mind with a pink silk top (Gonna make the Pendrell blouse when the pattern arrives).

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  2. Your dress has a lovely shape to it and you've made it so beautifully.
    I haven't tackled matching plaid yet but it's something I'll have to try sometime ;)
    A navy jacket would look great with the dress. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

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  3. It's so beautifully fitted! And the inside looks as good as the outside. It would look nice with a navyblue jacket.

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  4. What a terrific dress! Great sewing!

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  5. Hi Irene . So glad to hear from you on my blog. A fellow Canadian and snow sufferer! . Our snowbanks are so high around our house and driveway,i get claustrophobic.
    This dress is really classy and looks wonderful on you. It fits so well! Love that pattern too. I know what you mean about wearing your dress to church and no one seeing it. My sister, a friend and I have for years been going out to lunch after church so we always dress nicely and sort of compete with each other on our outfits. It's fun.

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  6. Oh, I feel for you regarding the snow! You know how much I hate it! *LOL* Your dress is very pretty and classy. That's a great pattern with great back detailing and I love that you moved the zipper from the side to the back. That's my problem with side zippers too, I can never get out of the darn thing!

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  7. I think your new dress looks quite modern. And I am also firmly in the center back zipper. Those side zippers are for the birds!

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  8. This dress oozes classic elegance! I love the beautiful fabric and am in awe of your matching skills - your careful work has certainly paid off.

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  9. That dress is a classic and never going out of style. It has such lovely details and wow'd by your meticulous plaid matching.

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  10. A very chic and beautifully made dress like this will never ever go out of style! It is simply gorgeous. I'm in admiration of your simple understated elegance in everything you make.
    Those bra strap holders are a very good idea. I should probably install some in my winter dresses too.

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  11. I love the perfection of that dress, navy is a good color, classic but fresh, so it has a lot to combine. As you say, with a scarf, a belt, a cardigan ... Beautiful work!

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  12. Here is a new sewing video blog that you might like. http://dressmakernewportbeach.com/episode-1-of-couture/

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  13. OMG, your dress is absolutely gorgeous. I am so very happy to see this dress made up as I purchased this pattern many moons ago but never got around to making it. You have inspired me to pull that pattern from the archives. lol Lovely, lovely and thanks for sharing.

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