Adorable Boyfriend seems to have something against poufy-skirted dresses, but then he has most likely never worn an honest-to-gosh party dress. I am madly in love with the rustly sound of the fabric when the skirt moves and I do believe there is no feeling more fun and feminine than that of loose gathers of chiffon tickling one's knees.
I really cannot wait to get out and kick some tires (so to speak) in this dress. This is a dress for breezes and bare legs. And magnificent Portland summers. The urge to dance and declare how much "I like to be in America" admittedly overtakes me in this dress. (And that speaks volumes.)
My February dress also makes me want to hula hoop - which means that this will be the dress I choose for Kirsten's upcoming wedding/urban carnival. This pretty baby, alas, goes in the closet until September. But, when I finally bring her out, you can bet there will be a party!
Needles broken: 0
Spools of Thread used: 2
Oh, boy! Look what I found! It's a wonderful collection of books from 1953 called Sew with Distinction. If memory serves me correctly, my mom picked this up for me at a thrift shop when I was but a wee lass. I spent countless afternoons just flipping pages. Maybe I picked up some sewing skills by osmosis. It could happen.
I have moved these books with me to two different colleges, to Los Angeles, back home again, and they have been all over Portland, yet it has been at least a decade since I have cracked open a single one of the little volumes.
I have an idea that while working on the upcoming March dress I will work through the Complete Set of Eight Books and see if I don't learn a few things. Don't worry, I'll share. "A Picture Reference Sewing Course" is really too adorable to keep to myself.
Because I am so far ahead of schedule with my February Lovely, I decided it was high time for some clean up in the ole' workspace.
While going through some of my things, I found this adorable set of snaps. It was in a sewing box I inherited from my grandmother when she passed away two summers ago. Judging from the style and picture, I would guess these little snaps are from the early 1930s. I am sure my grandmother picked it up at a garage sale. Depression-era Okies simply did not travel around picking cotton and living in camps with snap collections. Okies do, however, love a good garage sale. And that is a fact.
Regardless, what a fun find. It's this classic vintage look that I love. How a little piece of colored advertisement can epitomize my whole aesthetic, I do not know. But it does. I want every dress to look like this backer somehow. Except for the "Size 0" part. That just wouldn't work for me.
Notions are fun as it is, but vintage notions? Wonderful.
Hand sew the straps. CHECK!
Put in zipper. CHECK!
Hem lining. CHECK!
Hem dress. CHECK!
Tack waistband. CHECK!
I am just over a week ahead of schedule, which gives me so much time to Just Twirl. Or think of an additional embellishment for this sweet sonnet of a dress. Hmmmm.
What's the perfect soundtrack for a twirling-type dress, you are thinking. The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury, of course!
Things are coming a long nicely, but I hit a bit of a snag with the gathering. I wanted a nice full skirt, but getting that much fabric to not to look bulky at the waist has taken some brainstorming. Eventually I sewed some grosgrain ribbon to the raw seams where the skirt attaches to the bodice. I will tack it in to make sure the seams lay flat at all times. The whole thing won't even be seen since the dress is fully lined, but I think it will make the bodice lay more smoothly. I'll be trying it on again tonight, so I'll know for sure.
1) Hand sew the straps.
2) Put in zipper.
3) Hem lining.
4) Hem dress.
5) Tack waistband.
She & Him - Volume I and Volume II
Tonight I was All Business.
I really wanted to get the bodice mostly put together. Despite the cold, I got down to it.
The fingerless gloves (and heavy winter coat) really helped.
For some reason the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack also helped. I can't put my finger on that one. [shrug.]
This mess is actually the bodice.
I wanted the bodice to be tight and a little stiff. To get that I found a thick yellow satin. Not only did I use the satin as a lining, but I basted a layer of the satin to the sheer chiffon. This helped in a few ways. 1) It made sewing the chiffon MUCH easier (it's slippery stuff and likes to rove); 2) It gave me the added stiffness that I was looking for; 3) It hid the seams that would have shown if the chiffon was the only top layer (again, it's sheer).
Well now, what do you know? It's starting to look like something. Now to try it on . . .
Cross your fingers for me.
Needles broken: 0
Thread spools used: 1
. . . and I'm also mad that February is the shortest month. How is a girl supposed to find the time to procrastinate when months are just going around having 28 days?
My vision for the month of Feb. is admittedly a little summery (Wishful thinking!). I found some very pretty yellow (with touches of purple) floral chiffon. What this fabric says to me is, "Tight bodice, low scoop back, full skirt, please." The fabric also says "Why did you buy me? You hate working with chiffon!" It's true, but I have always liked the look of chiffon dresses from the early 60's that have a really deep hem that is visible through the fabric. I am hoping that I have enough fabric for the skirt to replicate it.
So far, the bodice has been cut out - but it's really more of a template at this point. I haven't decided whether I want a low scoop or high bateau for the neckline yet. I am really going to have to spend some time messing around with this one, b-b-but it's just too cold in the basement to do that right now. Brrrrrr.
Oh February? Why do you have to be so cold and short?
These Pretty Babies (a.k.a. all night long by Seychelles) serve as my inspiration piece for February.
Could it be I'm craving a little sun?