Over the weekend my husband and I bumped into a couple of friends. I happened to be wearing Vogue 8648, and the male half of the couple told me how nice I looked in my shift. Before I could politely thank him, my husband took over the conversation.
“That is no shift. Sarah is wearing a couture dress that she made. The dress has 21 pieces that are lined and underlined. She did a lot of the work by hand and it took her a very long time to make it.”
Had I recently accused him of not paying attention to me or something?
As soon as we were alone I told my husband his comments embarrassed me. This man was just trying to pay me a compliment and didn’t need to be corrected or receive detailed information about the construction of my dress.
“I’m not going to let someone call your nice dress a shift,” he replied.
That man may never pay another woman a compliment again.
I decided to make Vogue 8648 again using this Oscar de la Renta fabric which I ordered from Mood Fabrics in March.
Upon receiving the fabric, I thought the huge scale of the print would overwhelm 5’2” me, but I eventually overcame my fear and began sewing…….. q u i e t l y.
This time I decided to omit the silk organza underlining. I’m not sure what Oscar de la Renta used this fabric for, but it is fairly heavy and I thought would work well for a structured dress.
“Isn’t that like the dress you just made?” my loyal husband asked.
I explained that this dress was semi-couture and much easier this time around. As I began to describe my construction changes I realized he was far more interested in the golf tournament on television – a complete relief I might add.
There is a distinct difference in the first dress with underlining and my latest “semi-couture” dress. In addition to the softer hand found in the couture dress, I realized many techniques are not applicable once the underlining is omitted.
I seem to learn something from each project and this time I learned there is always a trade-off. I saved time in exchange for permanent tracing marks on my fashion fabric, “unattached” seam allowances and a visible hem since I could not attach the seams or hem to underlining. On a positive note I’m finally realizing lots of pattern pieces = more control for a better fit.
Call it a shift, call it a jumper, call it whatever strikes your fancy and I’ll take it as a compliment, but after watching this large floral print bloom into a cute garment, I’m calling this dress The Orange Blossom Special :)