I didn’t set out to make a wiggle dress, but I think I kinda did!
I’ve been thinking lately about my mix-and-match collection of bodice and skirt patterns, and I wanted to try a new-to-me skirt silhouette. I’ve always been attracted to blousey-on-top, tight-on-the-bottom dresses… somehow they look sexy but easy to wear at the same time.
For the bodice, I considered the Olivia Oversized tee, like I used on my red floral dress this fall… but decided a Jalie Dolman top would use less fabric, because it has a separate sleeve piece. I remember this pattern being huge when I sewed it in rayon, but somehow in ITY, it really didn’t turn out all that blousey!
The skirt is the fun part of this dress – or at least, the learning curve! I was inspired by both Inge and Birgitte, who have both made fun and chic twisted jersey skirts this winter. It’s basically a long tube, the width of the hips, folded up and given a 1/4 twist. I like how it drapes in a tulip shape at centre front and back of the hem, but still has plenty of ease for walking. The down side of this skirt design is that there’s no shaping at the waist. This fabric is perfect though, because the ITY is slippery so it hangs nicely and doesn’t need a slip. The busy pattern also means I’m not worrying about bumps and lumps!
It was a bit of a comedy of errors getting the bodice and skirt the right length – both ended up too long and too short at various points. I tried a 1/3 twist on the skirt, but it ended up too short and too tight at the knees! At one point I had to cut the inside of the skirt away from the waist band and add a 6″ strip of fabric to make the skirt longer again. The elastic at the waist couldn’t handle the amount of gathering and after stitching it stretched to be far too loose. I felt totally bummed about this dress after making it, and almost tossed it… then I figured, “Hey, it can’t get worse!” and took two tucks at the side of the waist to snug it in. Hurrah – the dress is saved!
Did you notice my attempts to improve my photo area? I picked up two little grey rugs to cover up my ugly flooring… though clearly I need one more to cover it all. I was hoping I could get the rugs to lean up against the wall to cover my radiator, but they kept falling down. (I did teach myself to clone them out in Photoshop, but it looks really messy so I decided just to leave it!) On the plus side, you’d never know from these pics that it was grey and snowing outside, and really dim and dark inside! Thank you, Lightroom.
Real talk for a minute: When I first made this dress last weekend, I felt like I’d wasted my time and fabric. And most importantly, I felt like I didn’t have the body to wear this silhouette. Which really, speaks more to my general stress level affecting my perception than how many cookies I ate over Christmas! But here’s why taking good blog pictures is important to me: by time I’d played with accessories, worn it for 30 min, and edited the pics to look their best, I like the dress. Not my favourite, but I feel like I’ll wear it for work and feel just a bit sassy. Thank you, photography, for helping me give this a second chance.
Chances are, I’ll usually wear it with a belt and cardigan. This dress is complete opposite from my last: That one was monochromatic and needed bright accessories, and this is plenty bright and I’d probably feel more comfortable toning it down for work! Oh, and a necklace top tip that I learned from my Mom: buy second-hand necklaces and use a plain chain necklace to extend them. Cheap and easy, and gives new life to too-short necklaces!
How are things in your neck of the woods? Anyone else going through a post-holiday slump? What’s your solution?
PS. I’m hosting Lingerie month on the Curvy Sewing Collective in February! And on the Better Pictures front, Anne did indoor pics for her latest Jungle January project (I LOVE Jungle January!) and Helen took indoor pics for her Carolyn Pyjamas! Birgitte talked about her editing process, and Charlotte took lovely pics in natural light inside!