One of the casualties of the last version of this blog was… all the posts that I made before I deleted WordPress and reinstalled it. It’s not that huge of a loss, since I tend to be very verbose about my struggles with mental illness, but I don’t tend to match that when talking about sewing and vintage clothes. I’ve had a very difficult time figuring out how to fit into the mold of a typical, Instagram-worthy fashion “influencer”, when so much of my life is so wildly out of the norm.
…That said. I do feel very strongly about some of the posts I had made in the past, if for no other reason than they were accompanied by the most beautiful of photos. And I think it’s a shame to let those photos essentially go to waste. So I’m going to try to revisit some of my casualties, and maybe work on finding my stride while I’m at it.
This dress. It’s not even a dress, really, it’s a skirt and a… blouse? Bodice? It was the second of my infamous Christmas dresses, and the only one that wasn’t actually finished by Christmas. The pattern is an Ann Adams mail order pattern from the 40’s, and when I pulled it out of its envelope the first time, I might have screamed. All my vintage patterns have come to me in lots, probably estate lots, or just… collections of things people abandon. I usually only have a very vague sense of what’s coming to me, and sometimes no idea at all. But this pattern was beautiful, it was my size, and it was entirely too intimidating to ever possibly tackle.
That changed when I was in school. I went back for my ill-fated attempt at a second Bachelors’ degree, and, at the end of the first semester I decided it was time I took on a project that scared me. This dress is the product of leaning into that fear. The fabric came from Mood, black rayon, gunmetal grey bemberg lining, and beautiful seafoam brocade. Initially, I stitched horsehair braid into the hem of the peplum, but that made it stand out like a cartoonish 80’s pastiche of 40’s fashion, so I ripped it back out again.
I didn’t actually finish it until mid-March of the following year. These photos were taken literally a few days later, and it’s the only time I’ve worn the entire thing, because I need serious shapewear to be able to fit into the bodice. I do wear the skirt sometimes though. It’s actually been so long since I tried it on, that, who knows, the bodice might actually fit me better now than it did then?
Bonus portrait of me in my winter coat, because I’m just too cute.