sometimes you just need a [expletive] sundress


[ hat optional]

One of the best sewing decisions I’ve ever made was to spend three or four hours on a weekend afternoon fitting the bodice of Simplicity 1873. That was about a year ago, and I’ve thanked Yesterday Sarah many times since.

The phrase TNT gets thrown around a lot — including by me, often erroneously — but this is one case where it really applies. Going through the boring part of fitting has paid off with, essentially, a sloper for a sleeveless bodice. I can play around with variations (like wrap-back and scoop-back) without worrying about making adjustments for my narrow back or deep armscye or whatever.

So when I need a quick win in the sewing category to make myself feel better about a recent failure, I went straight to Old Faithful. Because sometimes you just need a f–king sundress.

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the ‘black tie requested’ dress


Well, it’s been an adventure getting here.

A persistent streak of wadders led to everyone’s least favorite task — deadline sewing. Nothing to fuel the creativity like a ticking clock!

The deadline in this case was my dear friend’s wedding this month. Like lots of others who sew, I’ve lost my taste for buying clothes, and after enough time spent at the sewing machine, I’ve lost my taste for sewing frosting.

So what do you do when faced with the words “black tie requested” on a wedding invitation? Buy a formal dress that costs a lot and doesn’t really fit? Or spend hours working on a formal garment I won’t often wear?

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the 1 oz. dress


As aforementioned, I’m no fan of synthetic fabrics in summer. Give me woven cottons any time.

But cotton is crisp! Cotton wrinkles! Lightweight cottons are sheer and need to be lined and by the time you’re done, your lightweight, floaty cotton dress is stiff and heavy. (Case in point: The yellow voile Lonsdale I made that needed to be underlined and lined for opacity. Yeah.)

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the cotton forever dress

batik voile 1

I got into sewing mainly because of polyester. In the summer, I can’t deal with it. I see women floating around in these chiffon day dresses, and they look so pretty and effortless, but I KNOW what kind of sweaty mess I would be if I were wrapped in layers of poly and acetate.

(Side note: Who are these women? How do they do it? Teach me your secrets, people.) Here’s the thing: Have you tried to buy an all-cotton dress recently? They’re damn hard to find. Continue reading