Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Dress...... An Atonement

I am fascinated with the "slow clothing movement." It's a throw back to the depression era when no one threw anything out. Every scrap - string, paper, glass etc. - was saved to be re-used one day. With clothing, people wore hand-me-downs or re-fashioned items, to make, what was left, last a little longer - jackets into vests perhaps and finally, when there was almost nothing left -  scraps into quilts. Clothing took a long time to wear out.

I do mend things and re-use what I can, but, I have been guilty of sending off to clothing bins articles I have barely worn. Not any more! I am now following the slow clothing movement. Here's how it all started.

1. I went to a thrift shop - Value Village. I don't go often, but I do go, when I'm in an adventurous mood. It's the thrill of the find!!

2. In addition to a Ralph Lauren blouse for $10.00, I bought a sheet for a single bed that, I swear, had never been used. I couldn't pass it up, because it had the must gorgeous tucking on the top, which was edged with lace.

3. I decided I would make a dress from it, one day. Time passed, but the idea hadn't. It helped that Facebook bombarded me daily with pictures of lovely white dresses - HOW DO THEY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING!! I pictured the sheet, the tucking, the lace!! Finally, one day, I pulled it out of the bottom drawer. I was amazed, I had actually washed it sometime ago. No more excuses - today was the day.

4. In fact, a week or so before I decided to start the dress, I had actually ordered some easy sewing patterns on line. Since, I haven't used my machine in a while and haven't actually sewn a garment in decades!! I knew I needed some simple patterns and there they were.

5. Next, I ironed the sheet, laid it out on the dining room table, pinned on the  pattern pieces, with adjustments (I have trouble following rules) and began to cut and sew.

6. With much ripping out and re-sewing - maybe I should follow the rules - I had a dress with tucking and lace trim at the hem, an over-top that needs some tucking and lace trim to finish and cap sleeves made entirely from the original trim.

7. Fate also sent me an on-line video of someone making a dress from a vintage pattern using Victorian sewing methods. This meant a lot of hand sewing, hemming seams and meticulous attention to detail. I decided that what would raise my common sheet dress to the next level would be "fine sewing."

8. I have, therefore, hemmed every seam, buried the sleeve seams in the sides of the double top and basted for my own tucking at the bottom of the "over top," if that makes sense.

9. I'll be finished soon. I need to mend where I opened a seam to adjust a dart, then decide if the skirt needs a slip. Finally, after ironing, the dress will be ready to wear. It does, however, need a necklace of sorts to finish the rather plain bodice. Hmm, maybe something in knitted I-cord. I have lots of yarn!

10. In the meantime, I've been gathering for my next project. On another trip to Value Village, I bought 5 or 6 scarves - some were silk. The price at $5.50 per scarf, though, was astronomical!! Now, I know I have to make a real gem of an outfit. Wish me luck!!

Have an awesome day!

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