|Not a Member of the Wedding Dress: they are the we of me?|
If trends are about the latest and greatest, what does it mean that I'm busting out my trendy piece two months late? To be fair, I actually finished sewing this dress when that particular challenge was on, but never took pictures or wore it until this past weekend. My husband and I had a packed weekend in LA for two weddings in the same day, along with lots of hanging out with friends, so this dress got to make its rounds. Thankfully, nobody thought it was too Becky Home-Ecky. I always get a little apprehensive when I wear me-mades around people who know I sew; are they asking if I made xyz because it looks home-made, or because they just want to know if I really am capable of making something so fabulous?
|It is kind of fun to have that mullet hem flowing behind me in the wind.|
|Sheer back for a bit of a surprise! Sort of helps to offset the granny-ish length of the back of the dress.|
|When not being lifted by the breeze (which was lovely on such a hot, sticky day), |
the back hem hangs down to right below the bulge of my burly gastrocnemius.
|Side view! You can really see the dramatic slope of the hem here.|
I felt slightly bad sewing this up because the "pattern" is so simple. To counter my feelings of Regressing Seamstressing, I focused on making my seams as nice as possible...unfortunately, I couldn't figure out what to do with the curved front yoke that wouldn't add unnecessary bulk to the seam. I ended up grading the seam and then topstitching the non-fraying netting seam allowance to enclose the fray-happy rayon inside. Sometimes I really, really, really wish I had a serger. Will some serger-owner please tell me that a serger wouldn't have miraculously solved this problem for me?
|See that raw edge on the net there on the left? It bothers me. Even though I know it will be just fine in the wash, it still irks me.|
Fabric: 1.5 yards of this lovely pink and mint floral rayon from SAS, my favorite place place for rayons, and about a quarter yard of white dotted netting from Michael Levine Loft.
Notions: Just a bit of white double-fold bias tape to finish the armholes and neck, and seam binding for the back seam.
Pattern: Self-drafted...if you can even call it drafting, the design is so simple.
|Badly drawn in Paint. Seriously, this was it. Four pattern pieces, no darts or closures of any kind.|
Techniques: A baby hem around the bottom of the skirt, and French seams at the sides
Hours: This was so long ago, I don't really remember...five? Including the planning, cutting, and very careful hemming. Seriously, this is the probably the nicest hem I've ever done.
Will you make this again? Unlikely...how many rayon mullet dresses does one really need?
Total cost: less than $5, especially since the bias tape and seam binding were already in my stash and the amount used was negligible.
Final thoughts: I'm not convinced that a mullet hem is the most flattering frame for my legs, but I love pretty much everything else about the dress -- the colors, the sheer yoke, and how light and airy it is. It was 90-something in Pasadena and I felt a tinge of schadenfreude looking at the groomsmen in their multiple layers of shirt/vest/tie/jacket, while I got to swan about in next to nothing (this thin/hole-y rayon/netting combo hardly counts as wearing clothing; I felt like I was wearing a slip, except that I was also wearing a half slip underneath). I am not a fan of how easily rayon wrinkles, though; I had to sit very carefully during the ceremony so that I could get non-wrinkly pictures afterward.
It's funny how when I'm making a dress for a specific public event, like a wedding, I have a very different mindset than when I'm just sewing for my own pleasure. Obviously, it's still enjoyable to sew attending-a-wedding dresses, or else I wouldn't do it, but when that's the goal, I try to make dresses that err more on the RTW-looking side. Which means choosing fabrics (and patterns) that look like something one might possibly buy. They're usually still unique, but more...subdued...than my usual fabric choices. When I'm sewing purely for fun, I make dresses from crazy prints. Granted, it would be wrong to wear red or advertise superheroes at somebody else's wedding, but still. I think what I'm trying to say is, when I'm dressing for myself (and not dressing to keep from embarrassing my husband), I don't mind looking like I'm wearing a home-made dress. If someone realizes that there's no way I could have bought a Clone Wars dress, and deduces that I made it myself, that's fine. Now, if someone guesses a dress is home-made because it is ill-fitting, frumpy, made from lining fabric/stiff quilting cotton/some other poor fabric choice, the hem is terrible, or there are threads coming out of all the seams, that's another story.
When you sew your own clothes, do you aim to have them look as RTW as possible? Or do you let your own style show through, even when it might brand your garment as me-made?