The “At least it’s Red” dress

Hallelujah for the car : )

Fabric: Red Rayon gabardine from stash, print rayon challis from Stone Mountain Daughter
Pattern: Butterick 7239
Year: 1955-ish
Notions: 2 buttons from stash, belting from Stone Mountain daughter, buckle & zipper from stash and one brand-new-just-built petticoat!
Time to complete:  A million years (probably somewhere around 15 or so including the petticoat
First worn: For this photoshoot
Wear again? Probably not
Total price: Dress ~ $10 (including pattern from flea market), Petticoat ~ $31

I don’t even know where to start with this one! Had this pattern not had serious charm I wouldn’t have considered it but start it I did and boy oh boy…

I’ve made hundreds of vintage-style dresses from vintage patterns, they aren’t rocket science : ) The rocket-science part comes when you try to dress a 20 year old who is used to wearing jeans with zippers that are six teeth long, tank tops and hoodies into something where nylons and a bra are mandatory and the belt goes AT the waist, not eight inches south…

So the fact that the pattern was complete as in all the pieces were there was fine, there were just no directions. And really, there are SEVEN pattern pieces, including the belt, how hard can it be?

Seriously? I decided to make the two unfunctional buttonholes bound. Took me three tries to get the first one where I liked it. That would probably account for 2 hours worth of “Seriously?”. The second took less than 10 minutes. Then the fake bolero top looked like it should just line up so easily…and that was probably 3+ hours of “Seriously?”. I ended up taking the whole top apart twice and finally re-draped it on my mannequin and then we were as good as it was going to get. By this time I had come down with a nasty cold that s l o w l y makes its way from your sinus’s to your throat to your lungs and I felt like serious crap and more than once I thought about just throwing this into a bag, into a box and taking a break.

But no! This isn’t what the Suburban Sewing Dominatrix would do!! This dress was NOT going to win! I figured I had an hour or so left to finish it and then it occurred to me I was going to need the proper undergarments. Out to the boxes of old costume parts and pieces and TWO, count them two, hours later…no petticoats. At one point I had about 16 and knew I had sold most of them but thought for sure I’d kept my vintage turquoise silk petticoat. Apparently not, so off to Joann’s to buy parts and pieces. Can I make this any more tedious? Seriously.

The time I thought I was going to spend coughing and napping on the couch was spent gathering layer after layer of stiff petticoat tulle. The cats thought they had a new toy, I thought I had lost my mind. I figured once it was sewn I’d have it for other fabulous outfits so I kept going. Finally it came time to try it all on and …Oh My Goodness! The ^%$* thing is TOO BIG! I cut it out a month ago so back to the sewing machine. I was SO NOT feeling the love about this red wonder : (

The only thing that saved the day was the last-minute inspiration of the cars. The ladies on the pattern look like they’re going to church or a social (why else wear gloves?) so I thought, in which would I go visiting? The truck?

Fab truck : )

I’m loving the truck, but is it fancy enough for the dress?

Oh the car …

In between the coughing and the blowing of the nose I was able to finally see the dress doesn’t totally suck but if it was a piece of sand and I was an oyster we’d have a pearl by now…that’s all I’m sayin’.

Top close-up

It’s been a while since I was this happy at completing something that made me so unhappy. I’m still not convinced I’ll ever wear this again but by the end of the day I found a smile : )

Sort of a smile

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