This dress grew on me. When I finished it on a Friday night that had me up past my bedtime, I hung it up and stepped back to take a look at the completed piece. I loved the fabric, a sturdy cotton twill that was a vintage find I snagged for $4 at The Resource Exchange in North Philly, and the fit was spot on (it made a muslin), but it was just… eh. There wasn’t much going on, you know? Rather than muling over what lace trim to add to it, I went to bed, which also prevented some serious under eye bags that would have resulted if I stayed up any later. As I was getting dressed the next day, I spotted an V neck t-shirt and thought, “Oh, this would look good with the jumper!” I tried both on and what do you know? It worked! Looking at myself in the mirror, the only thing that I thought was missing was some color (and maybe some paint brushes – this dress is so artsy!). Grabbing a coveted pair of orange Jeffrey Campbell wedges, I looked in the mirror again and said out loud, “Now this is an outfit.”
Just like my first Japanese dress, this dress was from Stylish Dress Books and is a simple jumper dress. Patterns for all the styles in the book are printed on one page (front and back), which makes it a challenge to copy and cut the pattern. Again, the front and back are a printed cotton twill that I bought at The Resource Exchange (link above). All seams are bound with ¼” polka dotted bias binding as well as the bottom edge of the neck facing, which is a contrast printed cotton I bought in NYC. The bottom is finished with is 2″ facing and made with the same contrast printed cotton as the neck facing. The patch pocket is 1 ply and top applied (I used this tutorial to apply).
As opposed to my former sewing self, I’ve been attracted to more wearable me-made garments, which has made the grand finale of completing a project, well, less grand. There’s still a sense of accomplishment, but it’s less than the high I feel when I sew the last stitch of a ball gown type garment. That’s okay though because what I’ve found is that my feelings for the simpler garments grow as time passes. Once I realize the other clothes in my wardrobe I can pair it with and how it will transition from season to season, I like the garment more and more. While my grand statement pieces sit unworn in my closet, my simpler pieces like this one are showing their capabilities and receiving comments like, “Oh you made that? How awesome!” That’s the best feeling ever.