Seriously, I am cornering the market on shirtdresses

Butterick 2628

I could barely make out the line drawing on this, and the seller said she had no clue whether or not it was complete … and I bought it anyway. It's a sickness, right?

I am a sucker for these Butterick Four-Yard-Line patterns, though. I love the football reference in something marketed exclusively to women (and supposedly thrifty women at that!) but I liked the open collar with the front band and the full skirt a little more. I think this one will be fun to make.

I'm seriously considering making this shirtdress in a solid color, even. Wouldn't that be a switch? I just can't decide WHICH color. Pale blue and green are too hospitally; yellow shows too much dirt; black is too boring to sew, ditto white; red a little much for all that skirt … I'm bored with pink lately, and orange would just be insane (not that I'm against insane, usually). I don't like brown in summer, and I never wear beige (or purple) if I can help it. What am I forgetting? Ooh, maybe a deep blue?

By the Numbers

Remember those nursery curtains I bought at Target? They turned into this:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

It's Butterick 2626, the same dress as the one in this post. It's not ironed — this is how it looks after being hung up wet from the dryer.

I didn't realize until I took the picture how … prominent … the numbers are on the bodice. In my mind, it's an alphabet dress, not a numbers dress, but I don't mind. (And since I'm going to be wearing this mostly for work, I hope I earworm everyone I meet with Dolly Parton's "9 to 5".)

It took me forever to figure out what buttons to use, until I remembered I bought fifteen packets of covered-button forms at the last Hancock's notions sale:
DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The covered buttons were EASY. There's a template on the back of the package and then all you have to do is get the fabric wet and put it in the mold. It took less time to make the buttons than it did to sew them on. (Just remember to check the orientation of the shanks if your buttons have a definite up-and-down … a couple of mine are sewn on an angle for that reason!)

If I had it to do over again, I would, and with a glad heart, but this time I'd unpick the curtain hems BEFORE washing them; the sizing made the fabric stiff and in my haste I ripped one of the hems along the seamline, which made cutting-out a bit awkward. (If you have rips or stains in your fabric, you can mark them the way I do, with blue painter's tape — it's stiff enough so that you can feel it from the wrong side but it comes off easily without leaving any sticky stuff behind.)

The obligatory "Let me show you where I screwed up" part is here:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The skirt has an interesting slashed/darted opening on the left for the zipper, and the right-hand side is supposed to have just a plain dart. Which I forgot to make. Which means the back skirt is not centered on the back bodice. To which I say: big whoop; I gave up being worried if people were staring at my ass a decade ago.

Here's the full back view:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

Despite that annoyance and assorted others (if you remember, this is the dress where I turned front and back bodice gathers into darts, plus I had to let out the waist an inch, which is irritating on a skirt with side-seam pleats) I will probably make this pattern at least once more. It's so comfortable!

If you're playing "spot the pockets", they're set in the front skirt seam, between the third and fourth outermost pleats. Very convenient!

But *this* one has a zipper!

McCalls 4118

Even though I now probably have enough shirtwaist patterns to paper my sewing room with them (not that I *would*, but I could), this one caught my eye … it has a zipper! A center-front zipper, which you hardly ever see on non-athletic clothing any more.

If I made this I'd do it in some kind of fine black lawn with one of those fancy rhinestone zippers. Which reminds me: I really need to do a big online notions/zippers/etc. order: what sites do you all recommend? I should compile a list …

And speaking of lists, yes, this marks the second Friday that has been bereft of linktasticness, but my wifi connection while traveling has been a bit … unreliable. And linktasticity needs, above all, reliable internet, so I can follow all those links to their stunning conclusions. But keep those links coming; the next one is likely to be overwhelming. You'll need to set aside a whole morning just to click them all …

(Oh, and in this picture, don't you think Flowered Dress has just said something completely inane to Green Dress? I think so, too, but I can't decide what it was. If you know, leave a comment, please!)

Dress A Day Says: Two Thumbs Up!

Joan Bennett in Vogues of 1938

So. Yes. I'm not sure where yesterday went, either — if anyone sees a missing Wednesday (with or without a note pinned to it that says "return to Erin: reward"), would you send it along to me? I'm afraid it's out there somewhere lost and lonely.

But, Lost Wednesday (so much less desperate, thankfully, than a Lost Weekend) aside — I did manage to see this wonderful movie, Vogues of 1938, on the kind recommendation of friend-of-the-blog Deborah.

Vogues of 1938 — and don't let the title fool you, it was made in 1937 — is, as far as I can tell, a movie made solely to put on a fashion show (or two, or three). The plot is as slim as the lead, Joan Bennett (and that's saying something) but there's wonderful repartee — as when Joan, thwarted in her desire for The Guy, hands off her fashion show trophy (fashion show trophy!) to a maid, saying "My hands are full carrying a torch!" Sigh. Why can't you get away with lines like that in real life?

The clothes are sumptuous in that movie-glamour way, and the title card of the designers involved takes up a whole screen, not that I recognized any of their names. The movie also includes significant close-up shots of a lucky thimble, a Russian prince and a petulant titan of industry, truly shocking quantities (to modern eyes) of furs and cigarettes, as well as unintentional humor (at least, I think it was unintentional), when a crooner dedicates a whole song to "Lady of the evening … lady of the night" which is not, in fact, about a prostitute. (Or, if it was, she was way beyond even Spitzer's budget.) And a horse-drawn milk wagon. And a fairly random Cotton Club interlude. And a kind of cut-rate Marx Brothers-ish trio. This movie is PACKED.

Oh — and did I mention? — there's a several-minute interlude of TRICK ROLLER-SKATING. On a raised platform, in evening dress, if you please. (In the movie, the impresario of the failed musical for which the skaters are auditioning tells his would-be ingénue that, in the show, "they'll be dressed as bunnies.")

I recommend watching this movie while doing something else undemanding and just coming to full attention when either Joan Bennett or the roller-skating couple is on the screen, or when you hear the fashion-show music.

So: in short: Dress A Day says "Two Thumbs Up!" Add it to your Netflix queue today!

(The picture of Joan Bennett above is from a total eye-candy wonderland, Evening Gowns Vintage and New, uploaded to some site I've never heard of — does "Webshots" ring a bell for anyone? — but well worth checking out.)

I'll Fly Away

Advance 6254

Check out this great pattern (at Cemetarian). Dawn sent it to me thinking I would enjoy the winglike pockets — and she thought right. Wow. Those are some pockets. They're ideally suited to that awkward moment when you have three children awaiting ice cream cones, but only two hands! You could put a double-scoop strawberry in a sugar cone on the right and a rainbow sherbet on the left, and still have a hand free for napkins.

I do really love this pattern, though, and if only I had a triangular cell phone I would snap it up in a second. Look at that collar! And the pockets that are lined with contrast fabric!

If you want it, click on the image to visit Cemetarian's site. It's only $8 …