Thursday, July 24, 2008

That's a Ugly Dress!

I've done so much stash confessing lately that you all probably think I've stopped sewing to give myself more time to buy fabric. This is not the case! Though my current stash yardage in/out count on PR is a bruising 88 in/44 out (ouch!), I actually have been sewing up a storm and have many projects backlogged to review and many more in the pipeline. Of course, the pipeline often turns into a pipe dream, but hope springs eternal and all that.

One project up for this weekend is my Ugly Dress (its new official name). In our recent podcast, Cidell asked me about some of the remarks I get on the street about my clothes. I have what might charitably be called a "distinctive" fashion sense (Retro Fantasy, babay!). I think a lot of people enjoy seeing my clothes, but others are not impressed, and because I'm dressed in such a noticeable way what I'm wearing becomes public property for commentary. I accept that.

I am sure, given the size of my stash, that it will shock you to learn I sometimes have a hard time letting go of things. One of the things I haven't let go of was the dress I made for my 21st birthday in *gulp* 1995, and wore to my college graduation in '96. It's a calf length dress, which has been out of fashion for the past 13 years, but now the long dress is back. I busted it out a while back and enjoyed the nostalgia of wearing this dress that has so many memories for me. I called it my "Juliet" dress when I made it, because it made me feel like a romatic heroine. I used to wear it with a straw hat. Anyway, I was walking home from work and a girl on a front stoop yelled at me, "That's a ugly dress!" I yelled back at her, "Thank you" and kept walking.

**UPDATE**Cidell photographed the dress during our photography extravaganza, so here it is:



I went back through my pattern stash and was relieved to find I still have it! Because everything comes back, there's not point in getting rid of any but the really ugly patterns.



I've already got it cut out of some of my G Street bargain fabric, but I screwed up the front bodice a bit. The black stripes are really, really wide so there are only a few areas in the print the bodice could be cut from where it wouldn't just be solid black. I love the left bodice, and how it matches up with the print on the front skirt. This is the original right bodice I cut. I love the motif on this, but I was concentrating so much on placing it so it wouldn't be right at the center of the boob that I didn't pay attention to the angle. So with this combo, rather than coming together in a V (the whole reason I cut the bodice on the bias), the stripes run parallel:



Unfortunately, I didn't have any scraps with that motif left. I cut out a new one. This one has the stripes coming toward each other in a V pattern, but I think the balance of black and white is off. There's too much black for how white the right side of the skirt is. There really aren't any more suitable scraps, though I'll probably look through them one more time.



What do you think?

**Legal Disclaimer**Participation in the solicitation process is for entertainment purposes only. The Slapdash Sewist is not bound by public opinion. The Slapdash Sewist has been known to make up her mind by soliciting opinions and doing the exact opposite. The Slapdash Sewist assumes no liability for suggestions not followed. Void where prohibited. Available only while supplies last. This offer expires in three days. Opinions provided after expiration will be even more irrelevant than opinions provided before expiration, as the dress will should be sewn this weekend. Thank you for playing. Have a nice day.**

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the "back and white" versus the "white and black" look of the bodice. And I can't BELIEVE anyone would actually take the trouble to to tell a stranger their dress is ugly! What a miserable bitch.
-Sandra

Jillian said...

I totally dig the second picture. I like how the stripes come together in a v pattern. Strangers can be awfully forward sometimes!

Lindsay T said...

I don't know why, but that ugly dress remark from a stranger is cracking me up. Maybe because it's such an urban experience kind of thing. I can see that happening in NYC. Did you immediately think of witty comebacks after it happened? Like "Thanks, I got it from your closet!"

cidell said...

This story also cracks me up. Which is why I insist you tell it to me everytime we talk.

While people don't negatively comment on my clothes, I think I get a lot of unsolicited advice on my hair. And my response is like yours, Thank you.

Debbie Cook said...

This whole post cracks me up! I love the ugly dress comment because it obviously didn't phase you one bit. Go you!! I love your style, BTW, and you wear it very well.

The disclaimer is a hoot. Your law degree is now paying off.

As for the dress ... I actually like your recut of the one bodice piece better than I imagine it all symmetrical and such. The abstract-ness is very appealing.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I actually like the first bodice better - call me idiosyncratic. I love that pattern; it's not ugly at all. Since when is it good manners to offer fashion commentary from your porch? I too have had total strangers offer comments, but none like THAT. You WIN :)

Myra said...

I am still surprised by the audacity of some, like the ugly dress comment, or the one I recently received about how a top I made made me look pregnant, which I have a 5 month old and 3 other kids. I did the same, said thank you so much. I love that New Look pattern, I used to wear dresses like that to work, in my previous life, before kids.

Dawn said...

Hee hee, this post cracks me up. I prefer the second dress and its boldness. I like that it doesn't match.

Anonymous said...

The thought that comes to mind first is just consider the source. Why would she think you'd even care what she thought of your dress -- or your hair (Cidell) or your top (Myra)? Congrats to Myra on her four children. Bet she gets unsolicited comments about that too.

Since you ASKED, like the second one

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I think I will try one more time to see if I can find a way to cut a bodice piece where the angle is right and there's more white than black. Otherwise it will probably be the second one. I think. Or maybe not.

As for the comment, I should have noted that the girl was about 14 and I'm sure her comment had everything to do with showing off for her friend and absolutely nothing to do with me, and it amused me more than anything else.

Vicki said...

I am late to the party but I prefer bodice no 1 - but of course it does not matter which I prefer. I do love your story - enjoyed it the first time on the podcast. You guys are fun to listed to!

Teenage girls are funny little creatures....

Meghan said...

That is fantastic fabric. I think it's going to make quite a striking dress!

kasizzle said...

I like the second view. Looks kind of artsy, in a good way.

Emily said...

I honestly like them both! And, I also think your story about the "ugly dress" comment is quite funny. When I was wearing my recently made "saffron dress" to my friend's wedding, I had to go to the bride's house, and her family was there (including her niece, the flower girl). I was with a friend in an equally bright colored dress (pink). The flower girl (I think she is 4 going on 5) came up to us and said, "I like the pink dress better." I just laughed and said thank you. I guess a 4 year-old WOULD like pink better. :)

Lisette M said...

Just got back from vacation and have been catching up with blogs. I had to read your disclaimer to my husband...you had me in tears!
The heaviness of the dark side would bother me but hey it's your dress and everything you make you wear very well. Good luck with your decision!

Sharon said...

The audacity of people! It's funny but it's unbelievable how bold teens can be sometimes. I love your spunk and keep on w/ your own sense of style. Life's too short to worry about pleasing others. I love either bodice, but like number 1. Love your podcasts!

nehmah said...

Good morning, I just read your Ugly Dress comment. I was taught, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything." Big mouth-Little Brain's mama hadn't taught her that social rule. I don't comment on what people wear, but if I see a stranger (female) who is very-well put together, I stop and first tell her I'm a dressmaker, and that it does my heart good to see how nice her appearance is. Then I walk away. No other comment will be needed. Cordially, Nehmah