At least I’ve got the dress

Very recently, I’ve started sewing for my daughter too.  Besides just diapers that is – it’s a completely different experience sewing clothes that won’t get pooped on!  But I guess really I need to back up a step and say that only very recently, I’ve started sewing for ME!

I had a moment a couple of months ago, as I cleaned my sewing room, that I got the bug again.  When my sewing room is just a mess – which happens after a complicated project, or after my daughter sneaks in there when we think shes napping and pulls all my pins out of the cushions and marks the chairs and carpet with my fabric pens – well when it’s just a MESS, I will spend days, weeks, or even months not sewing.  Because I would honestly rather give up my hobby than clean the room.  🙂  Thankfully, this usually coincides with a need to clean the rest of my house and devote more attention to my daughter and husband, so the break is welcome.  BUT once I finally get up there and clean it, and I’m touching fabric again, looking at my sewing machine, thinking about what I’ve sewn before – well then I just ITCH for a new project and I become obsessed once again.

A couple of months ago, as I obsessed while picking pins out of the carpet, I realized that although I’d sewn ballgowns for my mother in law, a faux fur coat for my sister in law, countless chore garments for my own wonderful mother, and diapers for my daughter, I really haven’t sewn anything for myself.  Unless you count my silver materntiy bridesmaid dress as “for me”.  I don’t.

I asked myself what I *wanted* sewn for me.  There was no doubt.  I wanted a retro 1950’s style dress, like the ones the housewives in those old black and white TV sitcoms used to wear.  I grew up watching reruns of the old Dick Van Dyke Show with my grandmother, and in honest truth, I still want to BE Laura Petrie when I grow up!  The beautiful young loving housewife, graceful and charming, all that good stuff.  I can’t live in the ’50’s, and housewifedom is a couple of years off still, but at least I’ve got the dress now!

I went to JoAnn’s technically during my work day, in the brief space between my sales meeting one Wednesday morning and opening the sales office shortly after.  I normally would chose a non-workday moment to do my personal shopping, but the closest JoAnn’s is over a half hour from my home, and I was less than five minutes from one at the time, so I couldn’t resist!  I didn’t have much time, but thankfully I found a pattern I liked in the first book I looked at, appropriate fabric on sale, and was in and out in record time!

Simplicity 3673

Simplicity 3673

The pattern suggested a few fabrics, including linen.  Linen look was on sale and I saw a simple grey that I was sure would result in something I could add to my work wardrobe.  I followed the pattern to a T for my first attempt – cutting my size per their measurements, and adjusting to “petite” since I’m 5’4″.  This is the result:

My first 50's dress

Here’s my first attempt.

Cute, but not the best fit on earth.  DESPITE the fact that I chose a pattern size which supposedly allowed for a 44″ bust, this dress like oh so many others just doesn’t believe my breasts.  Which was a bit frustrating.  The seam where the bodice joins to the rest of the dress hits me right across the bust, which sort of throws off the fit through the ribcage.  And finally, the petite hemline coming just above the knee for such a flared skirt looked a bit more baby doll than I’d hoped for.  Very cute, and I wear it, but I wanted to give it another go.

So off I went for more fabric.  And another few days long marathon of sewing with every spare second I get!  My dear poor husband put up with long, late hours of me sewing.  I have this terrible habit of bringing my fabric downstairs to watch television with him while I’m doing mindless work like pinning pieces together, and then expecting him to sit there with the show on pause while I run upstairs to my sewing room to hastily sew and serge the seams.  He is very good to me!  (Point of fact, he’s been sitting beside me on the couch waiting for the past hour while I type this post, before we watch a bit of TV together and then head to bed).

For attempt #2 I chose a brighter color – PINK!  And I found an adorable black ribbon with white polka dots that looked VERY 50’s to me, which I decided to use to trim the hemline and the seam at the bodice.  I adjusted the bodice to give me more room (in truth I think I overcompensated a tad and the dress poofs just a bit at the bust), and I left it the normal length rather than shorten it.  And here it is:

My pink 50's dress

And here’s my fabulous pink with polka dot trim 1950’s inspired dress!

Well I am remembering that of course I started this post to talk about sewing for Eva.  But that is just NOT going to happen tonight!  My darling husband has been waiting for me far too long, and even I’m getting tired.  I’ll post more soon.


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