10 June 2010

Fantasy Seamstress

My best friend lives in LA, so we very rarely get to go shopping together. Instead of giving up on it entirely, we sometimes play fantasy wardrobe and send each other things through iChat or email. Recently my friend got engaged and was stressing out about finding a dress. In comes fantasy wardrobe to the rescue!

Disclaimer: I'm not a big super girly, wedding-planned-since-I-was-5 kind of girl. It's taken nearly 20 years for me to get back into wearing dresses voluntarily since my pink lace pinafore ridden childhood. My dad was a sucker for pink. And lace. And cute dresses. I still can't stand any kind of barrette or headband in my hair and regularly cut my own bangs.

But to my surprise, it's super fun to pick out wedding dresses—for someone else—online. Lisa's a good sport and didn't seem to mind that I kept emailing her all these dresses that I found for her, including potential bridesmaids dresses. I even spent some of my lunches at work on the hunt. Then I realised this might not be the best of ideas. I could be starting some interesting rumours as everyone can see my computer screen as they walk down the hallway. Either I'm getting married and am an insta-bridezilla, or that I've snapped and started planning a fantasy wedding to an imaginary groom to keep from feeling sad and alone. So I decided to keep this activity at home.

At some point, my fantasy-wedding-dress search turned into a fantasy-I-have-a-wedding-to-go-to dress search. I found some very lovely dresses in the not-so-lovely $300 range and I suddenly recalled the difficulty I had finding a dress for the last wedding I went to. It was expensive, took 5 hours of shopping to find and still needed a safety pin to keep from showing my bra. Then it occurred to me, I could MAKE a dress.

So Fantasy Wardrobe turned into Fantasy Seamstress. All the fun and excitement of Fantasy Wardrobe, yet with the added super fun benefit of being closer to becoming reality. Pair this up with my recent discovery of A Dress a Day and I've got a new mission: convert my wardrobe of jeans + t-shirts into an army dresses!


I scoured the McCalls/Butterick/Vogue Pattern sites for stuff I liked/would suit me and have started accumulating patterns. Right now I'm working on a Scissors dress. A scissor dress (in this context) is a shirt dress made from Momo Wonderland Snip Snip in blue. Daniel from Effiloché has been helping me fit the pattern and teaching me some proper garment making tricks. In exchange, I have been knitting a dress for a project of his.


A trip to an amazing vintage shop has jump started my vintage pattern collection. But that's a post all in it's own.


Waiting in the wings are some pretty fantastic patterns and fabrics.

3 comments:

Snarsh said...

If your friend is looking for something a little more vintage for her dress, there's an amazing dressmaker based just outside of LA who does 50s style dresses. Her site: www.dollycouture.com she even has a boutique opened now. I was going to go with her but I decided to go with a Montreal designer instead for the same style.

Ali P said...

I want to join the army with dresses!! How do I sign up. I LOVE Dress A Day blog and wish I was a slim attractive girl to wear some of what she comes up with. So inspiring.

jane said...

Snarsh – Thanks for the heads up but she found her dress. Not really what she originally had in mind (Austen-era Empire waist dress) but it's super pretty.

Ali P – The army is ALWAYS recruiting. I really love Erin's attitude of dresses: wear what makes you happy. And I've been finding that fitting the pattern well makes all the difference. Even if I'm not a super skinny girl, I can wear the kinds of dresses that make me happy and don't have to resign myself to mumu's or empire waisted everything.