Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Easter Dress!

I was super lucky and got a ticket to go to Easter Mass at the Vatican!   One word of warning if you ever decide to try that - you will be in a crush.  The Italians do not believe in queuing or in crowd control.  At all.  Still, I was very happy to go and to be there in Saint Peter's square on Easter Sunday.

Of course, when one finds out they are going somewhere as special as the Vatican for the most holy day on the Christian calendar, you need a new outfit!  The teal jacket - which is unfortunately lopsided in the photo- is something I made back in 2014. I made a couple of dresses around the same time.

The floral dress is new.  One of the dresses I made around the time of the teal jacket, my purple knit sleeveless dress that I wear to work, I love.  Here is a linke to the original write up.   I know the pattern I used, Simplicity 9103, very well as I've used it several times since the purple dress. The problem was that I forgot to pack it when I moved. D'oh!

The pattern is basically three pieces, a front piece, cut on the fold, and two back pieces with a slight curve in the middle back. It's the curve in the back that gives the dress a very flattering shape to it.

Recently, I bought a few gazillion yards of knit fabric from a lady selling off her Grandma's stash. Almost all of it is 1960's/1970's. While some of it is pretty useless, some of it is really quite cool - or groovy. The floral is actually a very low pile velor knit. It looks like a brushed cotton knit and I think it does have some cotton in it. I fell in love with it and decided it had to be the Easter dress.

For the pattern, since I was dumb and didn't pack it with me to go to Italy, I just folded the purple dress while it was inside out, and traced along the seams on to brown packaging paper. I made sure to add seam allowances for places like the neckline where the seams weren't sticking out. I then cut out the cloned pattern pieces and used that as a base for my new dress.

I desperately wanted a ruffle at the bottom so I cut the dress about 5" shorter than I normally would and I cut out a couple of wide strips for the ruffle out of the floral knit fabric. Because the ruffler foot refused to work, I just played with the settings on my Singer Quantum and the "baste" stitch I used caused the fabric to automatically gather. I then easily sewed the gather to the bottom.

Once the dress was mostly sewn up - everything but the hem of the ruffle- I tried it on. I then marked out where I wanted the hemline to be, cut about a 1/2" below that, and hemmed up the dress. Really, it only took maybe an hour to cut the dress out and sew it up.

The dress is very comfortable and goes much better with my summer shrugs but it was a bit too cold to wear those on Sunday. :-) I'm really happy with how the dress came out.