The Pink Dress

I haven't done any sewing in a while. Every time I go over to Lesley's place for our sewing dates we end up laying around watching movies, eating cookies, and talking. (Maybe yoga, if we're lucky.)

But last spring I started this project: The Pink Dress. There used to be this amazing fabric store in an old european style house one block away from my apartment. He was an old school fabric seller. Rooms and rooms of wool and patterned silk and every colour of lining you could think of. And entire room of wedding fabric: silk and taffeta and crinolines and lace. He also had a design studio upstairs. It's since gone away now (sad face), since most clothes made in Canada are considered "over priced" compared to the mass produced clothing market. I had a talk with the store owner before he closed his doors, about the death of the old Edmonton clothing industry, it's a sad story. 



I bought some amazing pink plaid linen there. (Along with many hundreds of dollars of silk and wool and cotton print....) My plan: to make an epic ball gown of epic-ly pink proportions.

I bought a 1957 vogue pattern from fabricland and promptly became to scared to cut the fabric lest I mess it up (since the store was closed and I'd never find more). Eventually Lesley convinced me we should do a sewing weekend out at her family cabin. 

Awesomely teal banquette table.

Awesomely teal banquette table.

The date was set, the food was packed, and the water too. Oh yah. It's an old cabin built in the 1900s. No running water. It does have the electric light though! How modern!

We cut out the biggest of the dress pieces the morning we head out and I cut the rest at the cabin. On the ironing board I brought from home. Mad Skillz. 

It was a lovely weekend. I got the bodice completely finished and Lesley got one side of her tailored bright blue blazer done. (We have wacky ideas about what colour clothing should be.)

I completed the dress over the next couple weeks at my apartment. Vogue patterns are notoriously hard to follow and while I agree they don't give pointers on how to make the seam, this pattern was very straight forward. Bodice = 1) cut out pieces and sew together. 2) Ease in the boob fabric. 3) Sew in the lining; tact. 

Lesley looking out over the lake! The water is so high!

Lesley looking out over the lake! The water is so high!

The most time consuming part was the skirt. The skirt is made up of many many many panels (eight to be exact). The only challenge I had was making sure that the panels were all facing the right way before I sewed them together. Twice I pinned the same wrong sides together before realizing it. But when you have as much fabric as was in that skirt, and only 2 meters of room to work, it's not hard to mess up. Lastly, the hem was at least 5 metres long. It literally took me an hour to do a simple pick up hem. 

The dress was completed that summer though. And looking back, even if there was no running water and we cooked on a camp fire, Lesley's cabin was the perfect place to sew a pink plaid ball gown. 





The Half Assed Hobbyist