Back at the end of February, I thought about my birthday dress. Now I don’t have a G Street and JoAnns to choose from, but there are fabric stores I know of in the capital on Duarte (a place of wonderful shopping opportunities). And found this fabric. Not having an actual plan of a dress beyond maybe a big skirt, let alone a pattern, I bought 2 yards.
So then I went on a search of ideas, just thinking about what kind of dress the fabric pattern suggested to me and also what kind of dress I would like. Looking around ModCloth, I started to congeal on an idea.
I loved the top half of the red dress, the whole dress b, but I still clung to the idea of a flowy skirt. So I looked around and then I asked Hannah her opinion. She said big flowy skirt a la I Love Lucy. So I put two pictures together to get a visual (the first two photos should take you to the product page for each if you like the dress)
Now in the States, I would go looking for a pattern that fit the idea. However down in the Dominican Republic I am more limited, all I have found is the burda sewing magazine. I little more limited in variety than 4 major pattern companies. So I have increased my skill set. Using the pattern blocks from How to Use, Adapt, and Design Your Own Patterns I made a sloper. More on my first foray into pattern creation in the next post. So I took the muslin I had and working off what I wanted and my pattern sloper I made the idea of pieces. I then basted them together and altered to make it work in reality. I did not cut into the dress fabric until I was satisfied the dress would work.
From there I cut the fabric and lining up and started sewing it together. I only ended up lining under the upper bodice just because that seemed to work best. I was on schedule for it to be ready for my birthday. However then I spent some time horribly ill with dengue and just felt with only a week to go I wasn’t going to get it done. So it became less urgent, I finished sewing it together, but didn’t feel like the effort of the zipper. Although really the zipper was easier after I involved fusible interfacing and an iron. I choose to do I side zipper because I feel it works well as there is already a seam there. Following instructions I found, I faced the side seam where the zipper would be placed so that it would be stable as I hand picked the invisible zipper. The fabric I have is porous, so the stitches are mostly unseen.
I got distracted by other projects (like the blue knitted dress) partly because the dress no longer seemed pressing. However with being put on standfast (that is when Peace Corps DR tells us we cannot leave our communities) for the threat of tropical storm Chantal, I decided the time had come to finish. So I finished fixing the final edges and put it on. I found for some reason (perhaps my crookedness) the back was uneven. So I evened that out the best I could, tightened up the lay of bodice and finally the dress was done. Now the skirt is not as full as my imaginings because I only bought 2 yards of fabric, but it still has a nice flow.