The February Dress

It’s now apparently March, which I think is a bit of a mistake.  Months shouldn’t fly by that quickly and I’ve said this repeatedly but no-one in the Department of Time Speed seems to listen.  Don’t they realise this just makes it next to impossible to get anything done?  And yet, in spite of my (apparently irrelevant) opinions on the matter, we are now in the third month of the year, which also means I’ve reached the third month of my Delightful Dozen Project and I have been remarkably reticent on the whole matter, possibly in an inadvertent attempt to drum up some mystery.  Have I stuck to my plan?  Have two dresses turned up or am I in possession of a stack of material cut into strange shapes?

The quick and boring answer is: Yes, I have stuck to my plan.

But can I prove it?

Indeed, I believe I can prove it, by starting in illogical fashion with my February dress.  Well, I say ‘illogical’ but I can actually list several highly-justifiable reasons for beginning here instead of with my January dress.  Firstly, I made this dress to wear to a friend’s wedding, which means I have a couple of pictures to hand.  Secondly, I have plans to turn my January dress into a skirt, which means it’s not quite as finished as I want it to be.  Or, in fact, it’s more finished than I want it to be and I need to scale it back a bit.

Let’s leave January where it is and head on to February instead.  This is the dress I mentioned in my last post – the one that wasn’t meant to be the dress for the wedding.

The pattern is Butterick 5982.  It’s a simple dress with pleats and gathers on the waist that give it a lovely shape: flat on the front and back with poofiness on the hips.  It’s all about the poofiness with me.  If I had a poofy petticoat, I’d wear that with it, too, because you can never have too much poofiness.  I’d made this pattern before and had to do some serious tweaking to get it to fit, so I knew straight away I’d be cutting the next size down and making some adjustments for a shallow chest.  It worked pretty well, although there’s still a bit of gaping at the neckline (which is also present in the photo of the dress on the pattern packet, so it should have been a bit of a hint).

On the up side, I didn’t have to take the waist in at all this time and I managed to sew the lining in without anything bunching.  A step or two forward!

I rather like the fact that there’s usually some hand-sewing to do in any given garment.  My cats like it, too, as it gives them an opportunity to curl up and sleep on the garment when it’s vulnerable, thus submitting it to an essential pre-furring process.  This time around, I decided to add an extra element of hand-sewing in the form of a hand-picked zip.  I absolutely detest sewing zips in by machine, if only because I always run out of bobbin thread part-way through.  Always.  There’s nothing better than getting to the end of the zip-sewing process and feeling your elation turn to despair as you realise the bobbin ran out about twenty centimetres ago.  So when I found a tutorial for a hand-picked zip on Sewaholic, I decided it was hand-picked zips all the way for me.  My mum thinks I’m crazy but I love it.  You can hardly see the stitching!  And you can ensure your seams and neckline line up perfectly.  And there are plenty of opportunities for more cat fur to be added, which is just great.

With the zip done, all I had to do was complete the hem and I’d be done.  I did this on the morning we left for the wedding (it was in Canberra, which is around 700kms away from me) and I had a full fifteen minutes to spare in which the dress could be carefully packed away for the trip.  Success!

Finally, this is what we’ve all been waiting for: a little gallery of images, featuring the dress with appropriate commentary.  You can even see the dress in action (with almost invisible zip stitching) towards the end.

So that’s my February dress.  I haven’t decided which dress it will be replacing, but I have a suspicion it might be one with a mad print of palm trees and ukeleles that features sleeves which don’t allow me to raise my arms above roughly waist level.  My next task is to decide on my March dress and soon, because the month will be over some time next week, the rate things are going around here.

7 thoughts on “The February Dress

  1. Totally gorgeous fabric! Very impressed with the hand sewing- I tend to avoid hand sewing on anything other than felt toys ( and then only because I can sort of get away with the whole rustic hand made look!) – because my hand sewing is never neat! Totally with you on the bobbin- running- out thing, soooo annoying. Sewing machines should come with an alarm that says ” purple swirly thing alert – bobbin about to end in 10, 9, 8 etc” or something of that ilk.


  2. Oh that fabric it’s divine! When I grow up (later in the year), I want to be just like you!
    Yes, the months are going well too quickly. I cannot believe we are only 7 days out from the end of the month!


    1. There was no way I could walk past that fabric – I knew it would be perfect the minute I saw it. And thanks! Weirdly, that’s the second time someone’s said that to me this year. It’s certainly something I’ve never expected anyone to say to me at all… 😀


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