Saturday, April 5, 2008

upside down cupcake wrapper

that's how Cass describes this dress. I'm not sure if it's a travesty or not. After finishing the ruffles, I was very surprised to put it on and discover that I didn't hate it immediately. But, as I said, I haven't decided yet. I am giving it a trial run out in the world and on flickr today and then we'll see. I may put it up in wardrobe_swap_shop on flickr, or I may just offer it up for grabs here if I decide I'm not going to wear it. I'll admit, it's fluffy enough I keep thinking it should go to some girl's prom.

But doubt aside, I should at least describe this experiment in recycling. The dress buttons up the back in self buttons (on the middle pink panel, and smaller white buttons tucked among the top of the ruffled skirt), has a surplice neckline (one side of the navy overlaps the other a bit), and the straps are ties, and therefore adjustable. The skirt has four gores (triangles set into it, to give it lots of volume). And the fabric sources, by identifiable colour/section of the garment:

navy: WAS a beautiful silk twill button-up shirt that was my mother's and became mine. It was too short for my frame, but I loved how soft it was, so I wore it anyway. That's also why I couldn't give it up, even though I hadn't worn it in years. It is lined in silk, a dark tye-dye that was an old shirt of Cassidy's that he relinquished some time ago.

pink: WAS an FCUK shirt that I bought at Buffalo. It was a pullover, rather tight on the shoulders and too loose through the rest of the body, and (of course) too short for my frame. I bought it because I loved the fabric (the grey is delicate webby embroidery), and couldn't get rid of it for the same reason. I had enough fabric to line the back with the same, but in the front, I had to make do with something else. So the front is lined with orange linen, a large scrap left over from last year's Solstice Skirt.

skirt: now, you can't see it, but the structure under all the ruffles is baby-blue 100% cotton jersey, scraps leftover from a blouse I made a couple years ago.The blue ruffles are cotton voile that I dyed blue and used in a costume years ago. I retired the costume (also years ago) and cut the voile off for reuse. I tea-dyed it to tone down the blue. The brown ruffles ARE new fabric: a bit 3 oz thai silk chiffon that I tea-dyed with the blue to soften the colour. (Incidentally, the tea-dying was also a process of recycling/using what you have: I used the last half of a box of tea that I wasn't going to drink because something about it gave me headaches.) The ivory = a bit of nylon stretch mesh. Also new. Pretty much purchased for this kind of play/experimentation.

So that's it. My spring break experiment. If you've time/inclination, weigh in. I can't decide: keep for Fremont solstice festivals and other sillyness? Keep and wear in the summer? Anyone dying for a dress like this that wants it? Or wants to swap something for it? I'd love to hear from you: the only feedback I'm getting at this moment (from Cass) is that I'm a looney.


Chloe said...

(Found your blog through 'bits & bobbins')

I think the dress is AMAZING. I have some cloth I bought ages ago (when I didn't know a lot about cloth or sewing) and I might have a go at a skirt like that.

gilda said...

i love the skirt. love it love it love it wanna copy it. :(

oops, did i just say that out loud?

celia said...

Love that skirt!!!!!
Did you make it yourself? I wanna know how too!!!

fleur_delicious said...

thank you, everyone! The skirt was actually quite simple, just very time consuming. I had several yards' worth of fabric cut into strips with rounded edges. Working from the bottom up, I pinned the ruffles in randomly, overlapping each row as I worked my way in a tight spiral around and up the skirt. Would love to see links if anyone makes something similar!

Wende said...

Oh, I'd love a skirt like that. I couldn't wear the upper part, but the skirt portion is amazing!!