Hi guys! It’s been so long since I took a photo of myself that I feel really out of practice. Even in my front yard I felt a bit camera shy.
But I made something! (That wasn’t lingerie.) Actually I sewed up four projects in a week, an all time record for me, and here’s why: I had the flu last week. And it was my birthday too! Getting the flu is like one long Twilight Zone episode, a strange dream outside of time. And when you’re stuck at home with little energy for anything more than 15 minutes at a time, what do you do? I eat a lot of comfort foods, shlep around in my pjs and take lots of naps.
And since nothing is worse to me than mental boredom, in my spare spurts of energy I went on a patternmaking and sewing binge. I managed to cut, sew and fit this dress, a t-shirt, and two pairs of pants, and drafted two more pairs of pants I want to make this winter. That was my birthday present to myself…
So here is my belated birthday dress. Because sick or not, one must have at least one new dress for a birthday, no?
This was one of the silhouettes I came up with for my summer capsule wardrobe. I really wanted to have a few easy, throw-on knit dresses for our very hot summer days.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make many non-lingerie pieces this summer. Nor did I buy any clothing. I’m really committed to not filling my wardrobe back up with impulsive buys or ill-fitting clothing but instead want to work toward a thoughtful whole, no matter how long it takes me. However, all this discipline, combined with purging about 75% of my closet in the spring, left me with little variety. So I wanted to knock at least one summer piece off the list before the heat completely disappears.
This is just a simple little knit tank dress. I drafted the tank portion off of my fitted t-shirt pattern. For the skirt, I wanted something in between a quarter circle and half circle skirt, but with waist gathers. Frankly, I don’t like the way circle skirts lay over my tummy. So I drew out a quarter circle skirt, then slashed and spread down the center for the extra ease.
All in all it was pretty slapdash (for me) but I will probably make a few more next summer!
The fabric is a lovely cotton and modal blend knit that I sourced wholesale over the spring. Wholesale means: I bought an ENTIRE ROLL! Yowzas. It was my first business fabric purchase and I was quite nervous about keeping that kind of inventory/stash but once I unrolled the fabric, I knew it was the cotton of my dreams. It is also undyed, also known as PFD: prepared for dyeing. This means the cotton has its natural off white color and there are no treatments on the surface. It is quite a glorious fabric to dye!
I used Dharma Trading’s fiber reactive dye in Scarlet, which turned out a lighter red than I wanted so if there’s a next time I’ll make sure to use a little more dye for deeper color.
By the way, if you have never tried fiber reactive dyes (also known as Procion MX dyes) on cotton, rayon or linen, you are in for a treat. It takes about an hour to do a solid even dyeing but you don’t need hot water to make them permanent, and after a proper after-dye rinsing and washing it does not bleed or fade. At all. I’ve been using these dyes for over a year and washing items dyed with them quite a bit, so I speak from experience!
I’m so glad to be out of the Twilight Zone and have a little color back. What do you guys do when you’re sick? Are you a fighter or take-it-easy sort? I guess I’m a little bit in the middle…