Since the Kluge Job was a dud, today I'll highlight one of my favorite early successes! I made it from an embroidered yellow cotton I bought at the Mill End Store and a salvaged white cotton skirt with lace insertions and ruffles which I bought at the Goodwill Bins. (The skirt had two layers: the outer layer was stained, but I used the inner layer for this project.) I call this dress my highlighter dress because of its color scheme, like a yellow highlighter used on white paper.
In 2015, I started trying to make a pattern for a bodice block to fit myself. I started with a boxy RTW shirt, then added vertical darts to make it fit my front, and tapered the Center Back to make it fit my back. Not the correct method, perhaps, but I tend to learn best by attempting something beyond my skill, then doing a bunch of research into how to fix my mistakes. Other people (and how-to guides) usually advise starting with a simple project and working through a tutorial to learn the techniques, but that bores me, and if I've never made the mistakes I have no idea what value those techniques actually have. So I advance like a backstitch: big leap ahead into the open, then back to fill in the gaps, then another big leap. The bodice block I developed in this way served as the template for three dresses: the hand-sewn gray dress, the salmon striped dress, and this highlighter dress (with gathers under the bust instead of darts). I'll talk at a later date about the flaws and problems with the pattern, but for this post, I want to celebrate what I love!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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