Let's take a little detour into ready-to-wear, shall we? I've happily been avoiding store fitting rooms lately. As you can imagine, I have quite a sufficient wardrobe, aside from the fact that I'm always adding new handmade items to it. (Plus no clothes shopping frees up funds for fabric and sewing machine feet! Yay!) But then I saw the above Tracy Reese dress in the latest Anthropologie catalog, and I was immediately drawn to it. I've never owned anything like it, really. The bodice shape, color, texture, and overall length are very different from anything I own. I was suddenly struck with the idea to make a dress like this someday. But how to know if this sort of thing would even suit me? Well, I supposed I could walk the block and a half to my local Anthro and try it on! And that's just what I did.
The first thing I did was to track down the dress. The second thing I did was to get honest about my size. (My recent remeasuring has certainly given me some new insights about my body.) I grabbed a 10.
So I took it to the dressing room (I actually picked up a few other items on my way - more on that soon). I pulled it over my head and it zipped up easily, but not too easily. I suppose that means it fit. But that's in the most generous sense of the word possible, because what I saw in the mirror does not describe "fit" to me. The draped top bodice hung sloppily. The bust did not flatter. The midsection was weirdly bumpy. And the length! Good god, are they really calling these things dresses?! (Yes, I know how old I sound right now.) Let's just say that bending over even slightly in this would be quite scandalous.
So obviously I wouldn't be tempted to spend $298 on this dress. I tried to focus solely on color and fabric. This creamy beige is not a color I would usually choose, but I thought it was a nice change, especially in a textured fabric like this. And the skirt/bodice fabric was divine - I believe it was an embroidered silk organza. So something in this vein might be in my future, but you have no idea how glad I am I can fit and sew it myself! (Actually, yes, you probably do.)
The other dress I tried on was the Traced Twirls dress. Isn't it adorable?
This fit in an 8 since the sides are shirred with elastic. And it is SO cute! The skirt has six gores, and I think it's actually fuller than a circle and the shape is super flattering. It has a cotton lining with a pink ruffle at the bottom that helps it stand out just perfectly. The bust has very cool petal-like folds. I love the 50s, Alfred Shaheen vibe of this. I will definitely be stealing some ideas from this number!
Next I tried on a couple pairs of pants. (DOUBLE SIGH.) Oh, pants. How I despise thee sometimes.
These are the Widest Leg Pants, and what I didn't realize when I picked them up is that they have a LARGE INVERTED PLEAT right smack on top of the thigh. In case you're wondering what this might look like (on me anyway), it is horrific. I think I'm going to have nightmares.
I also tried the Smooth Sailing pants, which won't give me nightmares, but they weren't anything to write home about either. They were a bit low-rise, making me appear quite wide in the middle. Taken in conjunction with the wide legs, there was a lot of wideness going on.
Anyway, the whole dressing room experience didn't do much for my self-esteem but it did make me awfully glad I can sew. Though, I must say, I'm mystified by pants fitting. I noticed recently that Sew Fast Sew Easy will be hosting a pant moulage class with Kenneth D. King. I'm tempted - anyone else?