…and two and a half dresses

Continuing on the recent project round-up, we have some frocks to discuss. Two are awesome. One is not. Let’s start on a high, shall we?

Dress one: vintage Simplicity 4232

Ages ago I made a notch-necked sheath from loud corduroy. It became my favourite of all dresses. I love it the best. I wanted to make it again so when I hit the Fabric Store‘s 40% sale, I went in looking for sheathables. Not usually a lover of lace (chantilly, no matter how expensive, looks like nasty trash to me. I also think diamonds are shabby. Perhaps my X chromosomes are defective) I found a geometric lace that didn’t give me the shudders. Off we go then!

I interlined it in a turquoise blue stretch cotton woven and went to town. I even got the neck notches right this time.

Headless Esme in blue not-lacey lace sheath

Look at those buenos notches.

And because Headless Esme’s rack is higher and smaller than mine, here ’tis on real flesh in a crappy phone photo:

Dress Two: New Look 6067

I made this twice but I’ll spare you a look a the second one because it was a costume made in nasty stretch silver for a space-themed gathering. This one is much classier… so classy that the first time I wore it, I didn’t feel like myself. It was too tasteful.

Black linen New Look 6067

The little turned over collar and buttons are pretty dandy.

The linen was an op shop score yeeeeears ago. It reeked of cheap dye and stained my yellow cardie on its first wear. Four or five washes later it doesn’t smell but I will be sniffing every bit of fabric from now on. If it has the stink, it’s not welcome in the stash.

Dress and-a-half: Butterick B5101

Last weekend I dragged Moggy (kicking and screaming, as you can imagine) to the Rathdowne Remnants yard sale. (We got $1/m cream merino jersey. We win.) She was wearing a becomming frock so I borrowed the pattern when I dropped her off and went home to make it, thinking it would be ideal for my impending USA trip. I’ve had this green wool jersey in the stash for years (I think it was a v. cheap Darn Cheap score because it had a fault or two in it) so schnip schnip, I cut it out.


It looks like a dressing gown on me. The solid colour is blah. The fit is for the slender of hip not the ample of pelvis. It’s just naff. It remains unfinished. What’s the point? Maybe jersey dresses are never going to be my thing. I’ve tried a few and they’ve never lasted long.

Green jersey dress fail. Headless Esme doesn't fill it out right but it doesn't look much better on me. Bummer.

PHEW! Now I’m up to date. Clearly it’s time to start something new. More good travel clothes, methinks.

Trousers, two tops and two and a half dresses

Contrary to the sluggish activity on the blog, the Ladies’ Lounge Sheltered Workshop has been a hive of activity since the start of the year. Before the reportage gets too unwieldy, it’s time to catch up.

Top one: Colette Sorbetto

Actually, I made this twice, but I ditched the first version to the op shop after it shrunk in the wash. Second bash used a remnant of vintage silk from the Rathdowne Remnants haul (I don’t know why it’s not in those pictures. Probably because silk is slippery stuff.) It was a tiny little piece but I loved it so, and I wanted to find a very simple shell that didn’t take much fabric. Enter the Sorbetto.

Colette Sorbetto top

Detail of the vintage silk twill

I’m not much for shapelessness and to be honest, it’s a bit borderline. But tucked in and cardiganned, it’s swell.

Top two: BurdaStyle 09/2011 Sleeveless blouse #128

There’s something about a neckline that’s high at the back and pleated that just looks so damn classy. So this one was a no-brainer. I shelled out my $5.40, printed it and glued it all together.

That's a lot of white space, Burda.

As usual, our friends at BurdaStyle (or BS, for short) have taken English and tortured it when writing instructions. It’s like an intelligence test written in another language. If you’re the introverted type, you feel stupid. If you’re extroverted, you get cranky and ranty. And Burda shelters all the way on the other side of the planet where our pins and dressmaking scissors can’t reach them. Not that I’d ever cut anything but fabric with my sewing scissors. They actually have “NOT WITH THE GOOD SCISSORS” written on them in tribute to Tony Martin in the Late Show, who also said:

My mother’s obsession with the good scissors always scared me a bit. It implied that somewhere in the house there lurked: the evil scissors.”

After the expected BS wrangling, this one is pretty nice. So nice that I made it twice. Once for me, and once for my friend for her birthday. Most edifyingly, she wore it for three days after I gave it to her. Less edifying, I didn’t take a picture. But here’s mine, made from a big ol’ mumu I bought from an op shop years ago. It would work best in something a little softer and drapier, I think, even though BS wants it made in poplin.

Burda sleeveless top

I thought it would make a good addition to my travel wardrobe because I’m off to the USA for a month in a couple of weeks. Squee! Also needed for such a rambling adventure was a new set of dacks, so may I introduce:
Trousers: Simplicity 3756
I’ve now made this pattern‘s welt-pocket-and-buttons version four times. Four times! That’s a record for me. The first was a test run in polyester houndstooth. Not so wearable. The second was a loose-weave denim that never, ever lost its cheap dye stink. The third – the Best Pants Ever. Bright red cotton twill with big turn-up cuffs. Ludicrous pants made ever more so because the fabric’s first life was as two red superhero capes. True story. Then I wore them to death, they lost much of their redness, and they were besmirched by the bicyclist’s curse:

Damn you, chain grease.

I picked up this denim with rainbow pinstripe for a song from Clear It years ago. I think it was $5/m plus a 20% off sale. Needless to say, I bought metres and metres of it. It’s made a dress for a friend, a skirt for me, and now these high-waisted, wide-legged beauties.

Clown pants, clown shoes. Perfect.

I’ve still got the two and half dresses to explain but I’ve rambled so long I reckon I’ll cover them in a different post a bit later.