Earlier this year I was struggling with 'what to wear' which translates to 'what to sew.' I don't have to make a work wardrobe any more so I wasn't sure what to sew. I was feeling kind of mopey about it and when I described my dilemma to my husband, I said I really didn't need anything to wear...to which he wisely replied, "it really isn't about wearing is it?!" DING! Light bulb moment!
Exactly! It's not about the wearing it's about the making.
"Hey. Slow down there Pablo, where do you think you're gonna hang that one?"
I also said that my husband is thoughtful. Specifically, he is a great gift giver. He remembers little details or picks up on some one's passion and then finds the perfect gift, not the expected one, but the perfect one.
Example: Just before my birthday he went to London to see his beloved soccer team. They had finally had a winning season and he wanted to be there. (I have sewing, he has soccer)
So what does he do while in London...?
He spends time in the fabric department of Liberty of London picking out not just gorgeous Liberty cotton, but a pattern to go with it!
Let me be clear...he voluntarily, by himself, spent time in a fabric establishment!!!! And, he did good!
I received 4 meters of wonderful Liberty cotton lawn and a pattern for a 1950's inspired sundress...Happy Birthday!!
I was surprised that the 'trial balloon' of the pattern fit with only minor adjustments. Just a bit of length to the waist and I dropped the shoulder seam forward a smidge.
I loved the Liberty print, but thought that the dress would be more interesting (and fun to sew) if it was not all the same fabric. You have probably figured out by now that I am not one for using a single fabric when two...or six! would be more fun!
It took some searching and pondering, but my friend Cheryl at the fabric store found it! Turquoise polka-dots! Totally had the 1950's color vibe and added the right amount of whimsy for a sundress. Score! (It also happened to be the same fabric that was pictured on the pattern cover...when we realized it, we had a laugh about our 'originality')
I decided to add a contrasting yoke and hem to the design. I used the Liberty lawn for the HUGE full-circle hem and yokes. I also used it to line the bodice. The polka-dot I used for the lower part of the bodice and the upper part of the skirt and separated them with a gray quilting cotton (it actually has the names of quilt patterns printed all over it!)
The pattern called for facings, but once you sew and turn the neckline and arm holes of a facing you may as well have added 4 inches and made it a lining - duh! It's so much nicer to wear and ticks the "as-nice-on-the-inside-as-the-outside' box. The lawn made a beautifully light lining. I also added some boning at the side seams and darts to help hold the bodice shape.
When I got the dress together it needed something at the waist. To keep with the 1950's feeling I tried several versions of a 'skinny' belt. I tried several vintage buckles from my button box, but ultimately decided on a tie made from the Liberty fabric and the gray. Simple.
It makes me smile when I think about how my "Sew Over It!" Betty dress came all the way from London for my birthday. Thanks Honey! It is perfect!
My beautiful niece at her wedding.