Easter Dress Contemplation
by April Henry
**Update** Photos Added
I like challenges. A new pattern, a new luscious fabric, uncharted territory ~ it's so rewarding! Don't ask me why - maybe it's to prove something to myself... that I can master it - but not just master it to completion, but master it with explicit detail in the finishwork. I don't mind doing a bit of hand-sewing if it makes the garment look more finished.
All that to say, sizing has me perplexed. I've long since known that my children are little skinnies, but now that they are growing, I'm approaching shapes and curves that make sticking to a particular size and adding length a little more perplexed.
This year's Easter dress is case-in-point. A couple of years ago I purchased some yardage of vintage fabric (feels a bit like lawn) that was from an *original* old Singer Sewing Center. It is a muted minty green with super tiny little puffs of flocked fruit throughout - think oversized dotted swiss with shapes. It had the original Singer counter label on it with the measurement of '4 yards'. This was a diamond in the ruff for me as most of you might imagine.
I'm thinking I might be able to coordinate with the Dotted Swiss - what do you think?
I'm totally open to suggestions and ideas on this.
Anyway, I have in my mind's eye a vintage pattern with the classic full skirt. I even bought some vintage pink crinolin (sp?) at an antique show last summer that would be a great underslip to make the skirt poof out even more. Are you visualizing yet?
My dilemma is sizing. A friend gave me some patterns to ponder but their sizes are '6' - SweetPea is a size '4' width with about a size 6 length. Although, I'm sure she would need even longer than the pattern's size 6 because vintage patterns have a tendency to run short anyway, well, save for the extra hem allowance... so I might be okay there (thinking out loud). Lengthening a pattern is relatively easy because you just typically splice in the middle and add length. But the width is unchartered territory and I'm nervous. I'm debating whether to go for the challenge and open up my vintage books where I know I've seen ways of altering patterns for different body shapes (but the fear of having a botched dress out of prime fabric puts me in panic-mode), or forgo another Easter year of using this fabric and pick something else to make which will confidently come together smoothly and nicely.
Yes, yes - I know I can make a muslin first. I've told countless other people to do it when in similar situations, but the time.... well, not-so-much the time, but the alternative is how many other garments of lovely fabric could I make in the meantime.
I do have some lovely fabrics coming my way from Bessiemary.com - I can't wait to see them even though there aren't many prints. I went plain jane and ordered some high-end solids for blouses and such that pintucks and sewing decoratives could be added and embellished to.
Speaking of embellishments (and going back to the Easter dress contemplation), I made some faggoting (yes, I know - weird, vintage word, but it is a true word, nonetheless) awhile back for just the purpose of using with this special old Singer fabric. So, if I decide to go with using the old Singer fabric I would also have the enjoyment of embellishing with something really unique, too.
Oh, dilemmas, dilemmas... this is one serious contemplation.