Friday, May 1, 2009

NYR #11, Pepper and Salt Dress

So, awhile ago, I told you that I had joined the American Sewing Guild (ASG). I did this for many reasons, but one main reason was to make myself eligible for the ASG Creativity Contest. Each year, ASG partners with Simplicity Pattern Company to put on a sewing contest. Together they select nine of Simplicity's patterns for you to pick from to create a one-of-a-kind outfit. While you can only use these patterns, they encourage you to "adjust, adapt, and embellish" as you please.
Although you are allowed to make multiple items or even mix and match different pieces from different patterns, I chose to just focus on making one great dress. I chose Pattern #2939, pictured above, but with all the adjusting, adapting and embellishing I did, I essentially created my own new pattern.
To maximize on the design of my fabric, I added a waistband and added length (for mommy-appropriate modesty) and width (to allow for some topstitched pleats and to get the stripes to line up nicely on the side seams) to the skirt. I also moved the bust dart so it wouldn't interfere with the stripes on the fabric.
I highly recommend the Readers Digest's Complete Guide to Sewing. It helped me conquer my fear of zippers (tried once before with disastrous results) and I even sewed a LINING in this dress (a completely new experience)!
In order to jazz up the fabric, I sewed reverse tucks that brought the stripes closer together and gave the graphic stitching a softer, almost lacy feel. Above is a photo where the fabric has been modified (see the shots below of the back of the dress to get a feel for the unmodified fabric). This was perhaps the single most time-consuming aspect of constructing this garment.
Here's the ruffle before I sewed it down. Please forgive my unfortunate looking ironing board, I plan to recover it sometime in the near future. Anyway...
Here's the end result! And please forgive my unfortunate bits of arm flab. Now that I don't have this dress to make, maybe I should do a few arm exercises.
It's a stylish frock I can dress up or down for any summer occasion!
A closer look at the front...
And the back.
See how the stripes are further apart? This is because I didn't tuck the back fabric.
Bring on Summer -- I've got a dress that's ready to go!!!
p.s. I'll let you know how the contest turns out if/when I hear from Simplicity. Best case scenario, I get some cold hard cash, a SERGER and five free patterns of my choice from Simplicity. Worst case scenario, I have a cool sundress and I'm an ASG member. It's a win-win situation!

11 comments:

Becky H. said...

You are AMAZING!!!! I could never even sew a seam straight, more less start modifying my own patterns. That is just so, so cool. It must be a great feeling of accomplishment! Good for you!

Lynn said...

I haven't been by to visit this site for a while. O.M.Goodness!!! This dress is adorable! Very classy. I'm impressed.

Beck said...

Amazing and inspiring! (*chanting* I will dust off my sewing machine...I will dust off my sewing machine...)

You look amazing and I love your passion for everything you create! Marv!

Carrie, Stephen, Molly and Oliver said...

So impressed, again! Love the dress, you look beautiful, and where is that last picture taken?

sarah said...

Very Very Impressed! The detail is terrific. I look at dresses all day long, I often think about the creative aspect but rarely the craftmanship goes into making a unique piece. Very talented. I hope you win the merger.

Susanna said...

SUPER cute! I am very impressed!

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

Rachel,
It's absolutely INCREDIBLE! You should definitely win, no matter what!!!
You look beautiful!
I am completely in AWE at how you can make something like that....and equally in awe at how you find the TIME to do it!!! :)
Love,
~annie

Bethany said...

WOW! Well I can see why it took so much time now! You are very talented and obviously got every creative and crafty gene that mom and dad had to give. You will obviously be able to make many pairs of fruit shorts for your children in the future. :-)

Rachel said...

Can I just say "Whew!" for you? THat is beautiful. Hvae you always been able to work with patterns or did you just learn? That is one thing I cannot get the hang of! Wish you were here to teach me! Everything I sew is by eye and measure measure measure and pin pin pin! Love it Rachel...keep it up!

ChrisandMissy said...

I know I've told you in person, but I'm saying again, the dress is amazing and you did such a great job with the fabric. The lacey detail and lining up ALL those pattern lines. You are simply amazing.
PS. I'm still intimidated to try the bolster.

Rachel said...

This dress is gorgeous! You look in amazing in it. Nice work!