Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Navy Dress

At a bargain fabric store, I spied this polka-dotted navy cotton.  It has a gorgeous weight and feel.  It was $2.50 a yard.  I bought everything they had - a little over 2 yards, I think - and much less than most of my dress patterns required.  I could not find any more of the fabric online and I had no interest in a skirt, a blouse, or another navy dress for Genevieve.  No, I must have a sleeveless dress, and I must have it now, even though I'm getting my cold-weather clothes out.





I love his sandals and socks - like a little vintage boy.

So I cut a dress on the fabric width, instead of length, and sewed on a few inches to make the dress long enough.  The vision I had in mind was a simple, almost elegant dress, that could be dressed up or down.  However, the panel did not lay right with the dress (I knew it was going to be a challenge), so I squeezed out a few more inches of the scraps and turned the bottom panel into a ruffle.  Sure, it's cute, but it's not my original vision and I'm still disappointed.


My favorite detail of the dress is the button.  I could only easily get a 22" zipper instead of the 24" zipper that the pattern specified, so I kept the extra 2" and turned it into a keyhole and put in a tiny elastic loop and a sweet vintage button.


The dress can be worn unbelted because it doesn't have belt loops, but I much prefer the waist definition from a belt.  Rebecca gave me the idea to use nice ribbon, but then I couldn't decide between two in my stash, so I sewed them together!  A reversible belt on D-rings.  My husband also helped me drill holes in some other belt options (fuschia! mustard! red!), because most of the time, my belted waistlines are not at my true waist, so my belts were too big.



But I think this dress will be a real workhorse in my wardrobe. I wore it Sunday like a summer dress, and put tights and a cardi with it Monday to the office.

Thanks to my husband for most of the photos on this post.
 

15 comments:

johnnyjumpsup said...

I love this dress it is beautiful. I particularly like the ruffle at the hem, a lovely feminine touch.

m. said...

It looks very nice Margo. The fabric is quite pretty...yes, I see it been worn quite a bit :) m.

Sew Blessed Maw said...

This dress is adorable...[love the pattern too]. I love the different things you have done with it.
I had never thought about making belts from ribbon..such a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing.

BLD in MT said...

A ribbon belt! Super!

And I quite like this dress...even if it didn't turn out at planned.

Rose said...

It looks good, I especially like it with your denim jacket.

Anonymous said...

Very cute! You did a great job!


Coleen

Lisa said...

A new dress! And it looks very nice on you! It seems every time I sew clothing it takes another turn, and never comes out as I imagined. This is good for the learning/growing process. :D

I like your keyhole opening better than a zipper, but I don't think you would have had a problem with a 22". Considering the dress is roomy, as long as the zipper goes below your waist, it should be long enough, don't you think?

I've been in the middle of a sleeveless dress, but just put it away to finish next warm season. Yours looks cute esp. with the red sweater. Good job.

Tracy said...

I do understand being disappointed when a project doesn't turn out as one had planned, but Margo, that dress is fabulous! I love the "Monday" look, especially.

Leila said...

Well done! I really like how it looks, and the ruffle is fabulous -- it might feel like a bit of a concession to you, but it makes the dress, really.

And I love your shoes :)

Mother B said...

What a nice dress! The ruffle at the bottom adds the perfect feminine touch!

Shauna said...

Your dress really is lovely! I love the ruffle. Great job!

jenny_o said...

You did a great job - it looks so nice on you. Count me as another who likes the ruffle and thinks it's just right. Very versatile piece and wow - can't beat the price for the material!

I so need to make some time for sewing.

sk said...

What's your rule, Margo? Is it ironclad? How short? Doesn't anybody else here think our ingenious Margo could've skipped the extra few inches? Is she a ruffle girl or isn't she?

Polly said...

I love it. Actually when I saw the first photo, having not read the text, I thought "that ruffle just makes the dress!" WELL DONE!

Hazel said...

Another vote for Monday's look especially- it looks great with the red cardigan.

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