It should be a familiar story at this point. I see a garment online/in a store/on Man Repeller. It’s beautiful. I want to be the sort of person who wears whatever that is. But HOLY FUDGING SKIT-BALLS BATMAN IS THAT THE PRICE??!! HAHAHAHAHA! NOPE. Cannot afford. Nooooooo.
This time, the garment in question was a little sun-dress from The Reformation. Now I am usually vehemently Not A Dress Person. I often have places to be via foot or bus or train with multiple bags of bricks to carry (you know how heavy bags sneakily make your dress ride up at the back until everyone on the train platform gets some accidental fan-service?). I also hate being the person clutching their skirt with grim determination in a 24 knot gust, wishing they had more hands to hold the damn thing down. The rest of the time I hate how I suddenly look 12, or I associate dresses with auditions and get jumpy, or they just feel… unfinished. But this time…. ? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the slightly grungy insouciance with which they’ve styled their models? Maybe it’s the fact that they were wearing white Converses and I too (I know, surprising!) own a (very scuffed) pair of (used to be) white Converses. Maybe it’s how El Niño took so long to bugger off that Sydney was still 20+ degrees in the middle of freaking May. Maybe I’ve been watching too much anime and have been coming to terms with the fact that looking cute is, well, cute. Whatever it was, a cute little mini-sundress suddenly looked a lot more appealing than its ilk has in years.
Sadly I can’t say my take on it is as environmentally sound as The Reformation’s. My fabric is a synthetic (viscose/rayon, I think?) from Darn Cheap Fabrics which created God-knows-how-much carbon dioxide and waste water (and also I’ve heard rayon’s very bad for you long-term), but they let you order online now and they often have a good range of unusual prints. I know. Synthetic. I hate it. But it’s the only way I’m not going to be precious about it and actually wear it in casual situations. The best thing about it is the print. It looks like a floral from a distance, but get up close and:
THEY AREN’T FLOWERS AT ALL! (APART FROM THE BITS THAT ARE) THEY’RE GOLDFISH!
So down to the nitty. While I wanted my dress to look close to the original, there were also a few things I wanted to change.
- I wanted a slightly more flared skirt because a true quarter circle skirt (as I suspect theirs is close to, just cut in panels) ends up needing shaping to fit both my hips and my waist, and I’d rather flare the skirt more than have to shape it at the top. I ended up taking the pattern from the horsey mini and adding flare.
- Pockets. One of the things I hate about dresses is automatically going to hook your hand into a pocket and then realising with great sadness, after pawing in at the side of your hip for five minutes, that there are no pockets. And then where do you put your hands? Because it’s awkward now. You fold your arms. You unfold them. You put your hands on your hips, but that’s wrong too. Pretty soon you’d give your kingdom for a pocket.
Mostly it was trouble-free to pattern and put together. Apart from the bit where I need to re-do the back of my bodice block because it’s always a bit tight across the shoulders, and in my attempt to correct this on the fly I introduced about 2cm too much excess fullness across the bust which needed to be taken out at the end. Fortunately I’d included a CF seam, and strangely enough my shape likes a bit of CF seam shaping. The sleeves were a total fluke, patterned from my French sleeve block, but again with extra fullness added into the top on the fly. The innards are all finished with pinking shears, because this stuff doesn’t seem to fray easily (win!).
I apologise for the blurriness of that photo. I dropped my phone shortly after I took the other photos and the camera is no longer what it was. But you can see all the adjustments I ended up making to the basic pattern in all the taped-in bits of tissue paper, as well as the tiny fold I ended up taking out of the back because I still can’t seem to get the fit right. Damn my prominent shoulder-blades.
And next up in What Strange Hemming Method Will She Try Now? is tying 18th Century costume garters around your legs and pinning your hem to match them. I didn’t take a photo because I was too frustrated at the time. The manga-stack method I used for my PANTS gets a bit unwieldily once you get above the knee.
Then it was just stick-an-invisible-zip-in-the-back time, and done!
And behold! It pairs well with gold Supergas and over-the-knee socks in my opinion. And stupid poses.
The setting of the zip could be better, but I only have a normal zipper foot, so all things considered it’s pretty good. You can’t tell in a blurry photo anyway so why am I even telling you? Geez Belinda, shut up!
And tbh who even cares about zip setting when there are pockets and goldfish, and the fit is good. Honestly I put on a RTW skirt this morning and almost died at how appallingly it fit, so I think next up will be making some more skirts. Maybe. You know how scatty I am.