I desired to make for myself something quick and easy and selfishly frivolous… and a Tshirt dress is very quick and easy, yes? The fabric, a stretchy panne velvet from Fabulous Fabrics, is very lush; smooth and slippery and glides over the skin, the colour has the same gleaming, creamy-milky-white shimmer of moonlight, and the texture is the same choppy and shadowed roughness of the moon’s craters.
I was quite struck with Mary’s post particularly the bit about using fabric from the stash, allowing the fabric within to achieve the potential you saw in it when you purchased it; to let it have its moment in the sun. So often I am intimidated by my lovelier fabrics, and find myself dutifully using the cheaper and lesser fabrics first, not ever rewarding myself by letting myself wallow in the pleasure of the gorgeous ones. I have some very beautiful fabrics. And I want to use them. I want to have the fun of planning something with them, cutting them, draping them, making something fabulous with them, even ruining them maybe but hopefully not!… one thing is for sure I am certainly not enjoying them whilst everything sits folded up neatly in a cupboard. Life is too short, no?
So yeah... I am making a start :D
For this dress, I wanted a winter-y version of my grey stripe dress, a Metalicus kind of a thing. And for the record, this is the exactly the vision, or the "potential" I had in mind for it when I bought it too!
The shoulder seams are stabilised with short strips of bias cut poly-cotton, and the sleeve bands and neckline band are circular bands sewed on using this very simple and easy method. The lower hem is overlocked to finish the raw edge, turned up once, and topstitched using a twin needle. I opted not to turn the lower hem up twice since the fabric has quite a healthy pile to it and is thicker than it looks. Making the dress quite cosy and warm, a good one for winter!
This is the easiest sort of dress to make. I drafted the pattern myself, which is just a fancypants way of saying that I cut pieces for a plain scoop-necked, long sleeved Tshirt, just very slightly gathered-in at the centre front: and then two “cone” shapes for the skirt pieces, just a straight diagonal line from the waistline width out to the selvedge. I really like this A-line style of skirt. It skims the body in a streamlined way and is therefore very figure flattering; far more so than a gathered skirt would be. And so easy.
Anyone can make a dress in exactly the same way using a basic Tshirt pattern. In fact, my honest opinion? save yourself some money, and draft your own Tshirt pattern from a well fitting Tshirt you already have; honestly it is the easiest thing in the world. I’m serious. Even if you do not have much experience at drafting your own patterns, trust me, this is the one you should start with. Get a Tshirt, lay it down and trace around it. Done! That’s free advice :)
So in the final analysis I can see this dress probably going to be a very useful basic building block in my winter wardrobe and not particularly frivolous at all. I guess I failed that part of my assignment. But not to worry, I have also unearthed some awfully frivolous fabric from the stash, which is waiting patiently in the wings to be transformed into something definitely very un-useful and very un-practical; in short horrendously gloriously frivolous! and which I am steeling myself to take the scissors too… hehehe.
Dress; self-drafted, of shimmery oyster-white stretch panne velvet
Scarf; knitted by me to my own design, details here
Boots; Andrea and Joen, from Uggies in Dunsborough, now renamed Eco boutique