What prompted this reverie is that Mr. Lucky and I will be heading back to South Carolina for a fabulous family wedding weekend next month. I've mentioned before that we have a very small immediate family....even smaller than we anticipated when we got together over thirty years ago. My loving, sweet and delightful first cousins have been including us as part of their extended families and we are so grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness. So we were thrilled to be included in the next special event, the wedding of their son to a lovely young woman.
Now, here's my guilty
I am the most fortunate person on the planet to have that winter tropical time renting a place in Florida... but being away from my fabric resource center and/or New York was frustrating while I contemplated this project. I also knew that the time frame was going to be a real crunch since we would not be back in Baltimore until the first week in April and I had numerous other commitments that would take up precious planning and sewing time. While in Florida I did take myself out to my favorite department store, Dillards, to do snoop shopping. I tried on maybe twenty dresses in their wedding and evening wear dept. It was interesting to try styles I would never consider but it would have been so discouraging if I felt the pressure to buy one of them. I'm in an entirely different clothing demographic these days. I want something that covers my upper arms...at a time in fashion when every woman is supposed to have Michelle Obama arm definition. I want knee length dress...not three inches above my aged knees. Thank goodness I sew!
I took crappy cell phone pictures just to remind me of some of the things I liked during this process and to remind me to incorporate some details in future dresses.
|Snoop shopping details: nice sheer top with sweetheart dress neckline Too tight but not bad silhouette actually.|
|Hmmm, all stretch lace might work in a sheath....like the color. Way too short and boring neckline|
|Ignore the bra straps...interesting embroidered sleeves and neckline that feel open and lighter|
The style is so immensely practical that I want to make several versions for future needs....this could be my dressy version TNT pattern. My first thought was hey, I'll have time back in Baltimore for a NYC trip to find a similar sequin lace in some colors I like and some nice solid stretch knit for the sheath underneath...easy, flattering, comfortable and dressy enough, jackpot.
I was explaining all of this to one of my Florida sewing friends when we got together. She kept encouraging me to find a way to just add length to the Dillards dress. I said adding to the hem would just look like I was ten years old and my mother had to add fabric to the bottom of a dress because I was growing so fast. Then she said, how about making it as a band several inches above the hem? I vetoed that because a new fabric had no relation to the top of the dress with its lace and coordinated band....but that gave me an idea. All I needed was another 1 1/2 inches in length. I certainly have dark navy knit fabric in my resource center....and I could just cut the dress further up my torso underneath that sequin overlay and add the band. It will be visible to us as sewists but virtually invisible visually to anyone else.
Voila, that's my plan and here's how it is shaping up in my sewing room. First, the RTW dress on my dress form...sequins are hard to photograph.
|The sheerness of the sequined lace|
|Underneath the overlay, nothing but a side darted knit sheath dress|
|With a center back seam so it feels shapely|
To tackle this small alteration project I decided to channel the wonderful Mrs Mole who does those astonishing wedding garment re-makes/revisions/miracles. Mrs Mole at Fit for a Queen blog Truly, she is the queen in this area.
So I searched the fabric resource center and came up with two possibilities. One is a dark navy ITY which would be adequate although the fabric itself is thinner, not as dark, and would have to be interfaced. But then I came across this perfect navy stretch satin silk. I'm fairly sure it is from Fabric Mart because I have a lot of it although I only need four inches to make this plan work. I'm using the dull, "wrong" side and I think it's almost perfect:
|Wrong side of stretch satin on top of actual dress|
Everything looks good so far but I'm not going to get to the actual marking, cutting and sewing this week. We are busy getting ready for our church auction offering, our fourth "Downton Abbey- inspired" tea for ten this weekend. I've been printing out recipes, some old and tried, several new and delicious sounding, all of them taking time and effort in addition to the house cleaning and table setting. Here's part of the savory selection in progress...vodka and citrus salmon curing in the refrigerator, an Emeril Legasse recipe Vodka and citrus cured salmon
|Wrapped up for curing in the refrigerator|