Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My almost favourite summer dress

This outfit's nothing special, mostly utilitarian (that sounds funny). Other than showing my new hat in action with the matching tote... The hat does not look so particularly good with the bun in some of my photos. Nor do the colours match. That's the utilitarian part. Monday was the hottest day since recording started in Czechia. (I kind of ruined my feet. And I woke up with a splitting headache the next day. Half a Paralen and about 3 liters of liquids later, I feel better, though.)

This dress is one of my few green pieces of clothing. I LOVE this *exact* shade of green. I love it on this dress. It's such a subversive pop of colour. ("Look, what a bright colour!" - "But it's only green!" - Um, does that make any sense at all?)

I also love the cut of it. Almost; I think a slightly fuller skirt (at the bottom) might be better. But: surplice bodice + tulip sleeves? And the yoke with the gathers in the back? Yum.

I love the fabric. It's a loose weave cotton with a slight crease; light and airy for summer, yet crisp enough for the style.

I do not love the unwashable dark spots on the skirt (small, so not seen on the photos, but noticable enough in real life).

I do not love the fit on me. It's too tight in the bust, which leads to two unfortunate results: a) the neckline is wobbly, b) the fit is uneven: it sits higher in the front than in the back.

Therein lie my problems. I'd love to recreate the dress, with a better fit. But I want to recreate it in the exact. same. fabric. The exact. same. colour. And where am I going to get that? I have no idea where the dress came from or how old it is. Fairly old. (The style is something like 70s meets 40s, but the notions used - plastic zipper of the tiny kind and fusible interfacing - probably place it in later times than 40s; who knows, maybe it's just early 90s.) It seems to be homesewn; but it was not sewn in this household.

I rather like the way it is empire-line in the front and sits on my waist in the back. But I do not like the way the skirt hangs in the back. The way the skirt hem is uneven on me.

Oh, and if I ever make it, I want it to be better finished inside. The interfaced waistband is not lined/underlined, and the interfacing is pretty worn-out. Eugh.

So that's it. One of those - not really RTW, but almost - pieces I want to recreate and replace (see the new blog button on the right). But I do not know how to do that and fulfill my wishes for it. This piece cannot simply be recreated for function; I also want it to be recreated for style. And vice versa. I want those two to be in harmony: the dress as it is comes near, but unfortunately not quite on me.


  1. It's a really lovely and simple dress, I can see why you'd want to clone it. :)

  2. It really suits you! I can see why you'd want to make it again. I"d say early 90's, because that fabric was very popular then, but who knows really. I guess if you find the fabric you can easily copy it and fix the fit issues eh!

    1. Interesting about the fabric! I should look in old stashes... pity ours does not contain a fabric like that.
      And now that I think about it, there used to be loosely woven AND crisp cottons; the same applied to one of my mom's dresses that she later resewed into skirts for us. That was earlier, though. It must have had something to do with the way the threads were spun...

  3. I'll probably start with a different fabric with similar hand to perfect the pattern, and then wait around for THE fabric...

  4. That color is rather fabulous! I can see why you want to clone it.

    If it helps, the Jean-ius class on Craftsy tells how to clone garments without taking them apart. It's specifically for pants, but I'm sure a lot of the same concepts would apply to dresses. I've also had decent success with layering masking tape on a garment in the shape of the part between the seams, then peeling it off and sticking it on paper and adding seam allowances. But I did that on a tightly woven cotton, so I'm not sure if that would be a problem with a looser weave.

    1. I think I'll make my own pattern starting with a pattern that already fits me well (the Little Black Dress) and combining it with the dress somehow (measuring tape saves the day!). It's a sort of remaking that does not require it to be the exact same pattern as the original - quite the contrary.

      The Jeanius class sounds tempting, from the first time I heard about it; but I am fairly certain I do not want to pay so much for a class that tells me how to copy the perfect pair of jeans I do not have... especially seeing as I am a person who likes to figure such things out herself - maybe not for 100%, but that can be perfected with muslins. If I ever buy a class at Craftsy, it's going to be Gertie's Starlet suit - now there's a lot of things I want to learn and cannot figure out on my own! And I love the style. :-)