5 January 2016

Dress Three in Pinky-Flowered STRETCH, and the WWW is validated

Introducing Project Three on my journey towards Sewing-with-Stretch Enlightenment

Butterick B5950 - greatly modified

After my Doomed Dress Two 
I hadn't intended to buy such slinky, drapey, fine, rebelliously STRETCHY fabric for my next project, but it had caressed my hand so invitingly as I rummaged in the remnants bin at GS Scampoli in Peschiera, and when I pulled it out and it revealed it's floral pinkness, I was smitten.

I must have a romantic, "English Country Garden" sort-of heart because any combination of pink and green gladdens it.

Sorry this is out of focus, but it shows what someone with a "gladdened heart" looks like.

Who can resist a pink rose??? Me actually! and red ones fail to move me either. But pink tulips are another matter altogether...... I digress.

I got Butterick pattern B5950 from Sew Direct UK. It was already out of print; but I always browse the OOP patterns they  have in stock as I hate the idea of missing out on a soon-to-disappear gem. I'm not sure this is quite a "gem", but I think it'll prove itself useful, especially shortened to a top. 

OOP Butterick B5950
This pattern (which calls for stretch fabric) is better adapted to knits with more body and stability than my fabric possessed. At least that would explain the two piece front and four piece back of the design. But it would have been ludicrous to unnecessarily cut into the pattern of my fabric, and also sewist's suicide given its characteristics; and I saw no reason to grapple with zip insertion either, when the dress would just pull-over my head.

My "failure" with my last dress had taught me to question the wisdom of the designer (such a rebel). It had given me the confidence to take a stand for reason and trust my own good sense which, afterall is founded on years of sewing experience (albeit not in knits, AND a good long time ago!).

"Take heart Sal" I encouraged,  "Be CONFIDENT!"   So I did ... and I was!!!

Feeling "Confident"

I "confidently" matched up the top and bottom front pattern pieces and cut them as one

Likewise the back

And rather than faffing with pleats, I gathered it to emphasise the drape. This fabric is dying to drape

A cowl is such a great neckline for a fine, slinky knit such as this, and it requires no finishing as the cut edges don't fray

I hand-finished the hem and the armholes with a narrow rolled hem. I still hadn't realised I could machine hem with my overlocker as long as I disengaged the blade. (I'm proud to announce that I got there eventually, and all by myself  too :D )

Now the photographs so far were taken in September 2015, when I'd already been following my so-called "WIN-WIN-WINE DIET", for about three weeks. I want to be clear that I'm not a nutrition expert/dietitian/or food guru and although I've dubbed this the WWW diet due to my predilection for good red wine, I haven't invented anything. I will soon post details for readers who are interested, but for now I just want to show you some WWW results. Please understand I'm not patting myself on the back here - I'm as surprised as the next person that this has had any effect, but if  these pictures can provide any kind of empowering encouragement for other women, (men too) then GOOD.

So, here's me in the same dress just after I'd made it in April 2015. 

The dress made me very happy, but my post-menopausal fatsuit didn't.The thing is, it had just crept up on me, seemingly without my having done anything to invite it. 

True I'd slowed down; was more tired; my face had started to slip down off the front of my cranium almost overnight (and skin was slipping off of elsewhere too if the truth be told). I took action and ate "Southbeach". Well, it had always worked before!! But no improvement. 

I was resigned. "Oh, bugger it Sal, why the surprise?" I mused, "for the Nth time nature is just having a bit of a laugh with your Woman's Body. After three pregnancies I'd have thought you'd be used to that by now!"

But I didn't want to be "used to it".

There have been other advantages to the effects of the WWW on Dress Three too

My dress can now be an Above-Ankle if it wants to

and it can still be a Mini (ish)

This wasn't a quick make for me, given the modifications I made and my inexpertise, but just creating it made me happy. Whenever I've finished a project I scribble down notes which I keep inside the pattern envelope to help me should I make it again. The note this time ends   "... so GREAT!  :D"  Ah!
And I rifled through my drawers and found some GREAT props for this photoshoot too.

A lusciously gorgeous Hermes scarf, still folded as it was when it was given to me in 1991

If I'm not going to wear it I think I ought to frame it. Better that than leaving it hidden away just because I'm afraid of spilling it with Amarone

And a snakeskin handbag I brought back from Bangkok when I was twenty.
Shoes are from Francesco Biasia, 2006 stamped python sling-backs with gold metallic stiletto heels, and I've got two pairs. TWO! I'm so lucky :) The first ones were a gift, but I loved them so much (they may not look it but they're very comfortable) that when the sales started I hoofed it back down Via Mazzini sharpish and bought another pair.

I'm such a fraud! It's misleading to post these pictures in January. Northern Italy is NOT a land of year round balmy days.

Does anyone remember this?
"The North wind doth blow,  .....

And we shall have snow, And what will the robin do then? Poor thing,
He'll sit in a barn, And keep himself warm, 
And hide his head under his wing, Poor thing"

This Blog is pro-autism,
Thank you, Sallyxx


  1. Hello Sal from Maastricht! Such a lovely post, pretty dress and beautiful You!

  2. Thanks so much Jen. Happy Befana! and all the best to Nicky for the coming term. See you soon,
    Baci Sxx


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