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Monday, October 22, 2012

Romancing the Dress: Envisioning California Romance

Getting together the goods
For my California Romance Dress
I feel so successful about the black and off-white houndstooth dress I sewed last summer, from Vogue v8810, that I've begun planning my next version of this frock.

What really made this project a success?

1) I liked the look of the completed dress
2) I've actually gotten in quite a lot of wearings.

The newest girl in my wardrobe will be made from this pattern and from this pretty plaid shirting and CA poppies trim (did you clue in on the significance of that California Romance name yet?). Since the fabric is  lighter than what's recommended for the pattern, I plan to interline the bodice to create a heavier fabric. Because I'll be making the fuller skirted version, I'm expecting the skirt zone to hold it's own. I may wear it with a half slip though.

I also plan to add a 3/4 sleeve - based on the full length, a more typical length for me, which makes me feel like I can really move around. I'll also include the inseam pockets - with a waistband leash - that I added to the pattern the last time I made it. I can't stand not having pockets. And, as I did last time, no bow-front casing. I'll wear it belted with a nice wide brown leather belt I already own. I'm going to spend a little time altering the bodice, probably taking it back a little bit at the shoulder seam in the front. I'm hoping to try that out with my buddy Susan in sewing lab this week.

This time I'm trying out the
full-skirted version of v8810
with an elbow, or just past sleeve,
Let's just hope I've got enough
material to match those plaids!
This dress represents my idea of real California Romance, a garment that's both practical and pretty for a life that's lived in the every day, not just in an imaginary no-fuss-minimal-movement environment that often seems to be represented by magazine models in high heels and no bike or public transit in sight. As a matter of fact I thought quite a lot about why dresses are important and what makes them work for me so that they can go beyond special-occasion and into my daily wardrobe, so much in fact that I devoted quite a bit of my October "Enchanted by Sewing" podcast  to the theme of Romancing the Dress. This second show in
this relatively new free podcast show series will be up in the iTunes store before the end of this month. You can search iTunes using the phrase "Enchanted by Sewing", or simply signup to receive email notifications of all new shows (no spam!) at the Show Notes site for Enchanted By Sewing.

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