I confess to being a little Michelangelo-esque on this point. He said something along the lines of, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” And that's how I approach fabric. I don't often think, "I need a sheath dress! Off to JoAnne's!" It's more like, "I dig that pattern. What does it want to be?" And this blue thing did NOT want to be a sheath dress, or a midi skirt...
|Even though this one is a little tired looking, I liked the idea of a kimono sleeve on a traditional bodice.|
I finally Pinterested some things that caught my eye and ransacked my patterns. Of course I didn't have anything like what I wanted but I found the top from Simplicity 7503 (a pattern I've used before but less successfully) and a pocket from McCall's 3693, used a simple gathered rectangle (in three pieces so I'd get my side seams) for the bottom, and the sleeves...I tacked a piece of computer paper onto the tissue bodice following the shoulder line and cut the fabric generously. A Franken-pattern par excellence.
I wanted a summery dress I didn't have to wear a cardigan with and didn't have to worry about gaping or garment lines showing. I like how the very mod fabric is refashioned into a pretty, traditional silhouette. I call it The Matt Two: The Matt Strikes Back or:
|A Pocketful of Pebbles|
“As she walked past a cab rank in Pont Street, Mrs. Miniver heard a very fat taxi-driver with a bottle nose saying to a very old taxi-driver with a rheumy eye: ‘They say it’s all a question of your subconscious mind.’
Enchanted she put the incident in her pocket for Clem. It jostled, a bright pebble, against several others: she had had a rewarding day. And Clem, who had driven down to the country to lunch with a client, would be pretty certain to come back with some good stuff, too.
This was the cream of marriage, this nightly turning out of the day’s pocketful of memories, this deft habitual sharing of two eyes, two pairs of ears. It gave you, in a sense, almost a double life: though never, on the other hand, quite a single one.”
Now my pockets are plenty big for lots and lots of pebbles.
So, things I learned:
- Pockets. What on earth was I afraid of? The directions on the pattern were rubbish but I am not the daughter of a draftsman for nothing. Understanding how a two-dimensional picture translates into a three-dimensional dress is something Dad would probably be awesome at. It's never too late to take up sewing, Dad!
- I learned how to hand-tack neck and arm holes. I was more used to thinking that I had to either top-stitch or blind-hem stitch (neither of which are really discrete on an arm hole). My new Visiting Teachee Paula (whom I probably didn't assign myself for the sheer amount of sewing advice she could give me) fixed my wagon and as a result, all the seams are lovely.
- At some point in every sewing endeavor, my husband will say that it looks like a pioneer dress. You just have to keep going.
- Paula also walked me through a fitting issue I had (Oh, my kingdom for a dress-form!) that led to some unpicking and a re-worked dart.