Okay, this is officially the awesomest thing I have ever made. Alright, alright, I know, I feel that way about each newest creation, but I'll bask in superhero goodness at least until I make something new. This does worry me, though; will I feel that way about my children? I'm going to say no, since I don't feel that way about each successive cat. Walnut > Fenxi > Gummy. Poor Gummy; nobody loves him.
Right. Cat favoritism aside, I really do love this dress. I started it for the Sew Weekly Do Over Challenge, but it ended up taking longer than I expected. But that's okay, because this week's Sew Weekly is all about using fabrics for the home for garment-making instead! Which is really my challenge every week, but hey, if Superman sheets don't scream "children's room," I don't know what does. Anyway. I should really stop being surprised at how long hand-stitching takes. I always find myself thinking "All I have left to do is hand pick the zipper and the lining and attach the hook and eye!" Then I inevitably spend at least 223 minutes doing so. How do I know it was 223 minutes, you ask? It's because I
|Walnut insisted on sitting on my dress. My stitching is pretty uneven.|
|Hook and eye on the top of the cutout.|
|The hand-picking is a little better on the outside. Choosing a thread and zipper color was tricky since this fabric is so many colors.|
Besides modifying the back for the cutout, I also made it a scoop neck in front. I was trying for the look of the ever-popular BurdaStyle 2/2011 magazine dress #101 with its cute cap sleeves. Unfortunately, all my modifications made choosing where on the sheet to place my pattern pieces a little tricky. I wanted to get the Daily Planet building and the large Superman on the bodice, but with the large scoop neck I had to settle for just the "Daily" and a legless Superman. This resulted in two awkward fists coming out of my armpit.
|That building is also not earthquake-safe. Look at how it's sliding.|
I didn't want to do the original slim-cut skirt from McCall's 5845, since I'm much more likely to wear a dress if it has a full skirt. I just did a giant gathered rectangle and attached it to the bodice. I managed to get two of the large Supermen and a smaller flying one more of less centered in front, but that resulted in more headless fists on the side-seams. Surprisingly, they kind of matched each other in their headlessness.
|Also, what have I got in my pocketses? Because yes, this dress has pockets!|
I wore the dress with a red sash I already had to define the waist more (and add a big splashy bow), then proceeded to weird out my apartment complex by taking pictures out on the walkway since it was getting too dark in the apartment and our little landing.
And of course, for my husband's sake, I had to try and look normal by covering it with a black cardigan. But this dress is much more assertive than the Batman dress, so I don't think it works as well.
Fabric: Thrifted 60/40 cotton/poly blend twin size flat Superman bed sheet, muslin for lining (pre-washed, of course!)
Notions: Red 14" zipper, thread
Hours: About six, but three of it was abominably slow hand-sewing. The cutting and sewing went together quite quickly, but figuring out the cutout took some thinking.
Techniques used: Ummm...spatial manipulation? I've hand-picked so many zippers it doesn't really count anymore. If you are interested in making your own cutout back dress, the tutorial is here.
Will you make this again: Probably not. I think there's only figurative room for one such dress in my wardrobe. But butcher McCall's 5845 again? Definitely!
Total cost: My usual, about $5. The sheet was $3, the zipper $2.
Final thoughts: I really, really love the look of this dress. Only downside of the wide shoulders and the cutout back is not being able to wear a normal bra. Also, I need to be careful about gaping in the front when I lean over or hunch my shoulders. At least it encourages good posture? But anyway, I am happy knowing that I was able to realize my vision, a dress whose design elements echo the fabric.