DuBarry 5612 (1943) Valentine Dress: Part I

Listening: Dirk Powell mix.

I don't need a Valentine's Day dress.  I don't even like Valentine's Day.  I've only had a date on Valentine's Day once in my life, and it turned into a fiasco of loneliness and food poisoning.  Valentine's Day and I have a pretty rough history.  I'm the kind of person who is likely to spend the evening sipping $4 Champagne and scrolling through Metal Guys with Kitties.

But I found this at Joann's.  It's even decent quality fabric, and it's Valentine's but not overbearingly sugary.  It's not a reprint but it has a slightly 1930's-1940's feel; Valentine's arrows were kind of a thing for a little while.  Ginger Rogers wore a cupid's-arrow sweater in Carefree (1938).

However, it's a lot of red and a busy print so I went with a simple dress.  With a sweetheart neckline, of course:

I'm adding a tiny pocket in the right side seam, of course, and sleeve bands trimmed with eyelet:

I spent yesterday tracing the pattern and doing some minor alterations (it was already my size, for once, so I didn't have to grade it).  I lowered the bust point by 3/4 of an inch, which also lowered the waist (I have a long torso), and let out the hips a little.  I think I made a mistake and added the length below the bust on the center front instead of above it, so I need to go back and fix that; it seemed a little weird when I was sewing the test muslin together.  I might shorten the waist 1/4 inch, too.  I think the shoulder pads will raise the waist back to the right position but it might still be a little bit low.  I'll try it on again tonight and decide.  The test muslin came out really well for a first attempt, though. 

I'm likely not to actually get this done by Friday.  Maybe by Friday evening.  Not that I'm going anywhere in it.  But whatever.  It's supposed to rain this week, though, which would keep me in in the evenings instead of going out walking, and it's a very easy pattern (assembling the test muslin took me about 20 minutes.  Granted, it didn't have sleeves, zipper, seam finishes, or facings, but still).

Later: Fixed the bodice part of the pattern over lunch.  It looked a bit mismatched when I sewed the test together last night but I think it will definitely go together better now.  


Andrea said…

I was never a fan of Valentine's Day until I met my husband, who is kind of into it in a cute way.

Damn I want some holiday-themed dresses now. Maybe come Spring I'll make a few dresses to celebrate weird holidays.
I tried to find something for Mardi Gras but that's still a terrible-print holiday. Fun prints, yes, but not wearable prints.
Andrea said…
I'm not sure where I draw the "wearable" line anymore. Sometime in the past year or so I seem to have transitioned into the "I'll wear what I want" stage of life (perhaps this is a normal part of entering your 40s?) I have always had a corny sense of humor, and I suspect I would wear a kitschy print with pride now provided the garment was comfortable. Look or don't look, world: I no longer care!
I'm not super-selfconscious, either, but electric purple and gold are just not good colors for me, so it's hard to get one that doesn't look like a clown suit. I haven't given up; there will be other years and new prints.

I started to hit that around 30. I struggled with clothes for years--fit issues, style issues, comfort issues, self-image issues. Learning to sew was seriously one of the best things I ever did for my own self-esteem. Being able to make clothes that actually fit? Yes, please!

Now I'm old enough that nobody expects me to be trendy any more and, wow, is that liberating!