Wednesday, April 12, 2017

1975, Tiny Foxes, and a Stash-Busting Dress

My unofficial New Year's resolution was to use fabric and sewing supplies that I already had and not buy any more unless it is absolutely necessary and it had an end project in sight. No buying for potential projects. No buying because it's pretty. Only if it is needed for a current project. It's high time for some serious stash-busting. 

This project took care of one of the many fabrics that I've had on the shelf. :chuckles: Only one. 

A few years ago, a friend and I were wandering around the local quilt shop just visiting and hanging out. I wasn't looking for any material in particular. Just browsing. This is the sort of outing that is most dangerous for the bank account. Then I spied it: a gorgeous grey with tiny foxes and vines scattered all over it. In a heart beat, three yards became mine.
And on my fabric shelf it sat (sound familiar?). Waiting for the perfect pattern to make it become the perfect dress. Somehow some vintage patterns came into my possession (either given to me or I found it antiquing). I didn't really put two and two together until I was cleaning out my pattern collection, and then the inspiration struck.  
I was :really: hoping that this pattern would work. It certainly would fit me, but someone in its past cut the pieces to the shirt length. I didn't have it in me to draw out the missing skirt, so back to the pattern collection I went finding this 1975 Simplicity gem. Similar, but this one is a button up front. Oh well. That's no biggie. 
 Looking at the measurements, I wasn't sure how things would fit, so a mock-up was made. In all of it's funky glory. I had an old flannel sheet that had started to shred for the material. It all went together rather swimmingly. Almost too easily. Since when does that happen with a new-to-me pattern? Once 'finished,' I showed my mom saying that I had finished the project. She turned around expecting the tiny foxes and instead there was this snazzy flannel shirt. 
Lousy selfie skills
Since there weren't any alterations needing to be made to the dress (yay for loose fitting clothes!), I was able to jump right into cutting the adorable fox fabric. The only cinch? The pattern calls for almost 4 yards of fabric and I only had three. And it has a nap (directional print). Each piece was carefully laid out and pinned to ensure that the essentials would be able to fit. The only things that I had to sacrifice was the matching belt and the 3/4 sleeves that I was wanting (short sleeves are fine by me). Not bad for cutting that much yardage from a pattern. 

Everything was sewing together just fine. Until I got to the pockets. For some reason I had to pick those seams several times before my brain could wrap around the concept (and these aren't my first pockets either). I'm going to blame spring fever for this one. The garden was beckoning, but it was raining. Again. 
Not how a pocket is supposed to look
Then I finished it! Well, almost. I still needed to do the button holes and sew on the buttons, but I didn't have enough of the same kinds of buttons for this project. So Lady Catherine modeled the dress until I was able to get to the craft store. 
 Once at the craft store, I was very underwhelmed with their selection. I'm not sure if it's because I went to a different store or if they were changing out the product. Either way... I wasn't ecstatic about what I found, but they sufficed.  

Now it was finished. And it looked like a mumu. A very comfy mumu, but a mumu nonetheless.
Selfie skillz I haz not
 But it's nothing that a belt can't fix! 
I'm a dork. 
 To finish my 1970's librarian look, I added a sweater and some vintage-inspired shoes that I found at the thrift store. 
I hope to get better pictures once the weather plays a little nicer. 

I still can't get over how adorable the tiny foxes are. 
The lo-down:
  • Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 7050
  • Fabric: 3 yards of OOP - Probably $10/yard
  • Notions: 9-3/4" light grey buttons from Joann's - $6
  • Time - Could easily have been a day project if I had all the supplies on hand

Until next time!
SG