Hearts and Bones

by Erin on July 28, 2014

I finished this dress up last weekend:

queen of hearts bodice

This here is the part I like best. I was going to do plain red piping, but the reds didn’t match. (And neither did the maroons or blues. I have more piping than a Scottish funeral.)

hearts with striped piping

The striped piping is from Britex. Every time I go in I have this little surge of hope that they’ve decided to carry even more patterned cotton piping, and then I see that the choices are basically pinstripes, leopard, and neon. I’ve bought all the stripey ones; I’m just not really a leopard-print kinda gal; but I’m sure someday I will manage to avoid the gorge-rising nausea upon seeing neon colors that the early 1980s left me with and you will see some fluorescent pink piping here in these pages.

Here’s an off-center and slightly unfocused front view!

queen of hearts

I suppose at this point I should mention that the bodice is Simplicity 2389 (again) and the skirt (for a change) is BurdaStyle Heidi with some alterations.

What alterations? Well, I added 6″ to the skirt center back and front, and lengthened the skirt by about 8″ to ensure a deep, deep hem. I really like this version of the Heidi skirt — it’s very comfortable, and for some reason manages to cohere with the 1940s bodice and feel modern at the same time.

I piped the back yoke seam this time, too:

queen of hearts back bodice

Except I forgot that the yoke has to meet the facing at center back and had to kludge in a little bit more piping. Also, the back facing DID NOT want to turn nicely over that piping bit, so I finally just said “this is a design feature” and left it at that.

queen of hearts back afterthought piping

Here you can see the piping meeting at the underarm (probably another reason that piping the back is not as good an idea as it might seem), as well as the pocket piping and the zipper:

queen of hearts side seam and piped pocket

The whole back view (I’m not sure what was up with the lighting when I took these, weekends have been fairly sunny lately):

queen of hearts back

 

This voile is lighter than I’m used to, so I thought I might have to line it. Instead I settled for a heavier slip than usual and cutting the pocket lining and neck facing from this weird pale pale pink linen/cotton voile I had lying around. Since I’m mostly pale pale pink too, it seems to work. I have another one cut out where the fabric really was translucent, so I ended up underlining it in black voile, which is creating a kind of goth-flavored mallard color effect (that fabric is teal).

I ended up wearing this to a Javascript conference last week — I hesitated a tiny bit about wearing something so flat-out girly, as the gender ratio at these things approaches that of your typical offshore oil rig and/or professional football team (only with more ironically-worn mustaches and skinnier jeans). But it wasn’t as if I was going to magically become any less of an outlier in a plain denim dress (choice #2) than I was in this one, and since I hadn’t really worn it yet (and really wanted to), on it went.

Honestly, since I’m not looking for a job, I have a whole lot less risk in wearing something super-girly at tech conferences. And if I wear something like this, I can set some kind of upper bar and make other people look moderate in comparison, and gradually move the whole bar of “conference wear” further in my direction, right? That’s the plan, anyhow.

It was a total luxury to be able to go to this conference, by the way. I’ve been dabbling in Node.js for a bit and have finally reached the stage where a tiny archipelago of scattered knowledge is emerging from the receding seawaters of my ignorance. However, I am still looking for navigable channels between the islands, and a conference is one of the fastest ways I know of to connect the dots.

There’s something about going into a talk where you know nothing about anything in the description, grabbing onto the first idea tossed out by the presenter that connects to anything you know, and following along, knot by knot and intersection by intersection, until you have a lovely net with which to catch the entire topic.

Usually when I learn anything new it’s like taking the Tube in London: I get on at one subterranean stop and clamber back up the light in a completely different place, and couldn’t for the life of me say how to get back to the first stop overland. Going to a conference is like riding around on the top of a bus: I can finally see how all the different neighborhoods join up and how to walk between them. And coding is such a lovely city …

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn July 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

If you can make conferences more girly you will be doing a service to all womankind!

Reply

Birgit July 30, 2014 at 9:34 am

That bit about the nausea inducing neon colors just about killed me … ditto (and for the very same reason).

Lovely use of a girly fabric – it IS very 1940s. Have you watched Manhattan (new show on A&E)? Feast for the eyes on 40s everyday fashions.

Reply

Birgit July 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

Er… Manhattan is on WGN. Time to go to bed…

Reply

Cel July 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I’ll be coming back to this post often to quote you, especially on learning a new topic and the analogy of the subway vs. bus top.

Reply

LinB August 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

A narrow bow to tack atop the design feature? Some heart-shaped buttons?

Reply

Rosa/yarnivore August 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

What a beautiful post, Erin! I too will want to quote you, and also come back just to enjoy what you wrote. You have my solidarity in working to change “conference wear” — à bas avec chinos and button downs, and even skinny jeans and t-shirts. Up with pretty dresses! In other words…yes, I will join your revolutionary army of dresses. :D

Reply

Lady Runa August 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

I also enjoy showing up at tech conferences in “stunt dresses”. I have one made of circuit board fabric, another of bacon fabric and a third covered in lady ninjas. Needless to say, the other female attendees seem to look forward to the next silly dress I wear. I have plenty in the queue to try out. :)

Reply

Silver August 21, 2014 at 4:16 am

The dress is lovely, the metaphors even more so! Good on you for chosing to wear this to the conference.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: