Monday, October 25, 2010

Chic and Simple Sewing Fall Dress = Easy Holiday Dress to Sew

I made this dress to wear for Thanksgiving:

I made this easy dress to sew by following the "back to school shift dress" pattern in Christine Haynes book, Chic and Simple Sewing.

I already said a lot about this awesome book when I showed ya'll my little black dress.  I will say again that this book is PERFECT for a beginner who has never made clothes before.  Because of the fact that it includes a whole wardrobe of patterns, and because every single one of the patterns are easy to sew.  There must be at least half a dozen different dress patterns you could choose from to make a holiday dress.  I will soon try to make "the opera dress," and  I am about to make one of the jackets from this book tonight.

But this post is about this dress.  I wish I knew what fabric it is made from!

The other night I was watching Project Runway, where Christian Siriano was the guest judge, and he commented about how Michael Costello did not know what fabric he made his BEAUTIFUL black dress from (speaking of chic and simple; it was inspired by the statue of liberty).  But Michael Kors said, basically, -it doesn't matter, he knew what to do with it!  And Michael Costello certainly DOES know what to do with fabric; even though he wasn't chosen as the winner, I predict he will be the stand out success story from this challenge.  I hope Mondo goes far as well.

-I mentioned that story as an aside to soften my stupidity, because the fact is that I made a really dumb mistake (never to be repeated) in the fabric store. What happened is that I made a rare shopping trip on an occasion when I had plenty of discretionary money to spend.  lol  And there was an unannounced 50% off sale, as well as rows of bolts for ridiculously low prices.  I did exercise restraint and I thought I was being careful, but WRONG.  lol  I should have looked at the bolt ends!

Always pay careful attention to what you are buying, people, when you are in the fabric store!

When I cut out the dress, I set the iron on low and pressed the backside.  But my iron leaked some water and put a (nearly invisible round) spot on my fabric and there is another place where if you look closely there is an iron mark.   

This fabric (my baby's favorite color now: "puh pul") is plush with a nap, velvety, lovely, and must be DRY CLEAN ONLY which is something I should not buy (unless I know for sure what I am doing.  :)  lol

So today I decided to finish the dress, and I like it a lot.  It is perfect for Thanksgiving; the loose fit means I can get full and fat.  And the color is a good one for this season, according to Vogue Patterns (fall issue 2010).  I didn't put the pockets on this dress to save enough fabric to make a fabulous structured handbag.

So, I am wondering if I can wash this dress made from unknown fabric in my new front loading washer (oooh I LOVE it, and the dryer; they are Frigidaire Affinity).

Thanks, Mr. Green!  Let's let them show their affinity and remove the space between them

Search for frigidaire affinity

A front loading washer washes TWICE as many clothes so you use half the soap in half the time, AND it makes almost no noise....not to mention saving tons of water.

Maybe it could fix the spotting and not ruin the dress.  I am also tempted to cut this off to a tunic length top (the affected area is lower on the dress).  and I am wondering about pairing it with some champagne colored yardage I have, for slacks or a skirt.   I would rather just leave this a finished dress and make this pattern again as a top, though, maybe with the champagne.

If I actually take it to the dry cleaners can they fix the spotting, or could that make it show worse?  As it is now, you really can barely see the spot unless you are looking for it.  Have you ever washed a dry clean only fabric and had it work out?  I would love to know!

handmade projects


janimal said...

I've washed lots of dry clean clothing by mistake! Sometimes it's been fine, and I have washed it going forward. Other times - disaster!
When I buy fabric now, I bring it home and immediately throw it in the wash. That way all shrinkage or other affects of the wash are taken care of before I start sewing.
Anyway - the dress looks great! I'm going to go check out that book!

CK said...

Great job on the dress, it looks really comfortable and is so cute!

I recently washed my "dry clean only" bedspread by mistake (didn't think to look at the washing instructions until AFTER it was done) and it just came out super wrinkled. I usually do wash the few dry cleaning items I have (except really formal things), and haven't had any huge disasters yet... but now that I said that, I bet the next thing I wash will turn out bad!

I don't use the dryer on those items though.

Jill said...

Dress looks great! Thanks for linking to A Round Tuit this week!
As for washing dry clean only fabric? I do it all the time. I have always had a front loader and really hate handwashing, and am too mean to pay for dry cleaning! Good luck with your fabric - hope it washes ok!!
Have a lovely weekend!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success