Once I got the idea into my head to sew this fabric into a 70’s wrap dress (when I was talking about it in my Sunday Stash post) I had to drop everything and make it happen. I rushed to get it done in time for Thanksgiving and used all my free time the week before (including a bit of my work time. Shhh. Don’t tell.) and I’m glad I did. It was comfy and cute and felt nice to wear something festive that actually fit and was nursing friendly.
The fabric is from Girl Charlee and is a hacci knit (so very lightweight, drapey, and stretchy). I don’t know quite what I pictured when I ordered it (because it was the middle of the night and I was making an I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself purchase), but this wasn’t quite it. I guess I pictured it being brighter – more like funfetti cake. It’s a lovely fabric but the tones ended are quite muted.
The problem is that I really want to love this outfit and I just don’t. I can’t figure out why I don’t. Perhaps it’s that the colors are really muted and I’m just plain happier in darks and brights? Maybe it’s because it adds thickness onto my middle so it camouflages the waist I’ve been working hard at getting back? The two factors combined? It’s seems to be meeting with mixed reactions – Adam doesn’t like it at all (though he was graceful about telling me) and Evelyn’s nanny raved about when she saw me wearing it. What do y’all think?
I dug through my stash of vintage patterns thinking that I would make a classic DVF style wrap dress out of it. Which would have been great out of Simplicity 7705 from 1976. Though I also stumbled across Simplicity 6659 from 1974 and got hung up on the idea of separates so that I could have more utility out of the outfit since my wardrobe is slim at the moment. Both of the patterns are designed for wovens and neither are in my size, so I just took the idea and drafted my own from the knit bodice block I’ve been using recently.
For the sleeves, I belled them out at the bottom and gathered them into a wide elastic cuff. So easy and so fun. Of course they’re not quite long enough (don’t know how I managed that one as I’m obsessed with making my sleeves too long simply because I can) and I would be happier if they were even more dramatic. But I do think this sleeve treatment is worth repeating and since it’s a knit they were so so so easy. The top is a basic wrap shape with the side gathered into long ties that tie in a bow in the back. I added a hem band to the bottom to give the shirt the ability to gather a bunch into the sides but also have length to cover my belly.
I fully lined the bodice of the shirt. I used a swimsuit lining since it’s all I had in my stash that worked as a lining (though I wish I would have had something less slippery). It makes for pretty insides and the lining was very necessary to keep the shirt from being totally sheer (I still have to wear a white bra). I think part of the problem is that lining held its shape well while the outer fabric drooped quite dramatically so they work against each other, making the outfit neither drapey nor fitted. Oh well. Live and learn.
The skirt is a simple A-line 4 panel skirt with a half lining gathered into an elastic waistband. I would have liked to make the skirt a maxi (since I adore maxi skirts and they look pretty glamorous in the pattern illustrations) but I didn’t have enough fabric since I bought it with something else entirely in mind. Oh well.
The one thing that does actively drive me crazy about the top is the neckline. I understitched it but the lining still peaks out along the neckline. This is another issue with the lining and fashion fabric not playing nicely together. On the plus side, it does nicely show off a pretty little 1970’s enamel necklace that Adam bought for me.
I tried wearing the top with skinny jeans to see if it was just an imbalance of proportions that I wasn’t liking or if the dark bottom would anchor the outfit. Still not enamored. It was a great thing to wear to a holiday party and, again, I wanted to love it. But, again, I just didn’t. Oh well.