My newest creation is The Esme Dress. Last week, The Sew Weekly charged its contributors with the task of recreating a look we loved. I didn't even need to look through my inspiration folder. There was one dress I'd been dying to knock off. If you read vintage fashion blogs, you know of Esme and the Laneway, a slice of retro delight from Down Under. A few weeks ago, the lovely Esme modeled her "Grey Buttons Summer Dress," and I fell in love. With its sweetheart bodice detail, that line of tiny buttons, and - oh, heavens! - the piping, the dress was all my retro-fueled daydreams come true.
Of course, this being a dress Esme had picked up in 2006, I couldn't exactly find one of my own. So, I set off into the wild world of pattern drafting to make it myself...
Well, hello piping! You're sure looking fabulous!
Also, check out that invisible side zipper. I do love when they're actually, you know, invisible.
Onto the All-Important Details...
Things I Love:
- The silhouette! It's 1960's dreamy. There's something about the buttons mixed with that A-line skirt that is so mod, don't you think?
- The buttons! Of course. The entire reason I made this dress was for that adorable sweetheart row of buttons. They were totally worth it. I'm in dress love.
- The skirt. I really think this bodice style deserves the full box pleats of Esme's original version. Next time, I will use a 4 yard cut of fabric, instead of a 2.5 yard, so I can fit them in.
- The fit. I wish the bodice were just a hair snugger. Because it's fully lined, altering it at this point would just be headache, but my darts will be wider next time around.
- Piping can be such a bastard, y'all. The best way I've found to do it is to baste the piping in place ahead of time, with your basting line exactly where you want the visible piping to end. Then, when you join the pattern pieces, stitch precisely along your basting line. Voila! Perfect piping!
- Yellow floral stretch cotton - Gorgeous Fabrics - $9/yard
- Brown cotton poplin for lining - Fabric Mart - $1.99/yard
- White 12-inch invisible zipper
- 15 fabric-covered buttons
- 3 yards handmade chocolate piping
- 10 hours, thanks to ye olde buttons and piping
When originally taking photos of this dress, it was raining. So, I hied myself over to my parents' house to make use of their lovely sunroom. Which, incidentally, is also where one of my mother's favorite things dwells...her mummy, Nefret. Never fear, dear readers, the mummy is completely fake and originally bought from The Martha Stewart Catalog, of all places. We are big Halloween fans in my family, so Nefret was originally displayed for that holiday but...my mother and I are also Egyptology geeks. We just couldn't face putting her in the attic. So, she's become a permanent fixture. For each holiday, Nefret is dressed appropriately, whether in a sequined Santa hat or with her very own Easter basket. Yes, we are a bit ghoulish around these parts...
If it's off-putting to you, don't worry, you're not alone. One of my dearest friends from high school used to refuse to sit with her back turned toward Nefret, for fear of what she might do. Personally, she just makes me wish to reread Crocodile on the Sandbank, whenever I see her.
Nefret and I
How does one pose with a mummy? Well, there are options...Postscript: What do y'all think of the new blog look? I've been dissatisfied with my original efforts for some time, so I updated it in my spare time this week. Something a bit more modern was called for, don't you think?