Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter Dress Contemplation

**Update** Photos Added

I like challenges. A new pattern, a new luscious fabric, uncharted territory ~ it's exhilarating for me. Don't ask me why - maybe it's to prove something to myself... that I can master it - but not just master it to completion, but master it with explicit detail in the finishwork. I don't mind doing a bit of hand-sewing if it makes the garment look more finished.

All that to say, sizing has me perplexed. I've long since known that my children are little skinnies, but now that they are growing, I'm approaching shapes and curves that make sticking to a particular size and adding length a little more perplexed.

This year's Easter dress is case-in-point. A couple of years ago I purchased some yardage of vintage fabric (feels a bit like lawn) that was from an *original* old Singer Sewing Center. It is a muted minty green with super tiny little puffs of flocked fruit throughout - think oversized dotted swiss with shapes. It had the original Singer counter label on it with the measurement of '4 yards'. This was a diamond in the ruff for me as most of you might imagine.

I'm thinking I might be able to coordinate with the Dotted Swiss - what do you think? I'm totally open to suggestions and ideas on this.

Anyway, I have in my mind's eye a vintage pattern with the classic full skirt. I even bought some vintage pink crinolin (sp?) at an antique show last summer that would be a great underslip to make the skirt poof out even more. Are you visualizing yet?

My dilemma is sizing. Karen gave me some patterns to ponder but their sizes are '6' - SweetPea is a size '4' width with about a size 6 length. Although, I'm sure she would need even longer than the pattern's size 6 because vintage patterns have a tendency to run short anyway. Well, save for the extra hem allowance - so I might be okay there (thinking out loud). Lengthening a pattern is relatively easy because you just typically splice in the middle and add length. But the width is unchartered territory and I'm nervous. I'm debating whether to go for the challenge and open up my vintage books where I know I've seen ways of altering patterns for different body shapes (but the fear of having a botched dress out of prime fabric puts me in panic-mode), or forgo another Easter year of using this fabric and pick something else to make which will confidently come together smoothly and nicely.

Yes, yes - I know I can make a muslin first. I've told countless other people to do it when in similar situations, but the time.... well, not-so-much the time, but the alternative is how many other garments of luscious fabric could I make in the meantime.

I do have some lovely fabrics coming my way from - I can't wait to see them even though there aren't many prints. I went plain jane and ordered some high-end solids for blouses and such that pintucks and sewing decoratives could be added and embellished to.

Speaking of embellishments (and going back to the Easter dress contemplation), I made some faggoting awhile back for just the purpose of using with this special old Singer fabric. So, if I decide to go with using the old Singer fabric I would also have the enjoyment of embellishing with something really unique, too.

Oh, dilemmas, dilemmas... this is one serious contemplation. No, I don't think this deep for everything I make, but almost.

Better go finish supper - pork chops and gravy are in the crockpot and mmmm-hmmmm, it smells so good!


G.L.H. said...

I don't have a solution for your dilemma, but I do have an opinion on the Pink Dotted Swiss:

Fabulous! by all means use it!

Other than muslin, can you make the dress in some other fabric that could be used as a playdress or schooldress? That way it won't be a waste of time?

Goosegirl said...

I live them both! What about going classic Easter with the flocked fruit as a waisted yoke dress with a full skirt and puffy sleeves and the netting built into the lined skirt. Then a pinafore with angel sleeves over the top out of the pink dotted swiss. And of course a lovely big bow in the back. You could scallop the hem of the pinafore so that the faggoting in the skirt of the flocked fruit dress would show below. I am thinking something like this:
Or something like this:
Or this one:

Cute stuff! I am tempted by these as well, but I have already started smocking a dress for Ahnalin and am driven to complete it.

Just suggestions, but such lovely fabric! I can't wait to see what you make!

April said...

Thank you both for such wonderful ideas! Sivje - You've encouraged me to tackle it. I even have my vintage book in my lap ready to alter the pattern size down width-wise because SweetPea is definitely not a size 6 for bodice. I'm feeling a bit more confident after reading what I need to do.

Barbie - the cheap fabric idea was good, too... I will do that.

I'll keep you posted! I might even share the wonderful book that I'm referencing. I've been stockpiling them because they are so wonderful.

Dawn said...

April, I can't wait to see what you create for "R"! I am still putting together ideas for Abby's dress and I have not yet completely decided on my design.