Three cheers for boring!!!


Before I began to sew clothing for myself, I owned a large wardrobe of simply cut clothing in black. I used to spice up my wardrobe with fun sweaters, jackets and scarves. Since I have begun making my own clothing I find that I get seduced by fabric. I now own dresses in all sorts of colors.  The bright orange paisley that reminded me of a dress my sister wore in seventh grade is now a dress. The silly cotton sateen print of abstract cocktail glasses is now both a skirt and a dress.  The giant floral print, that too is a dress, as is the green and magenta scarf print and the giant blue circles. As I write I’m wearing a skirt made out a a magenta Marimekko floral mixed with a quilting cotton of pink and orange concentric circles. You can’t live only wearing amusing prints in outrageous colors. A girl needs some basics in her closet.

I had made a batch of dark knit delightfully boring dresses four years ago, but they are getting tired. So here is a completely boring dress  that I made today. You can’t get much more boring than this dress. 

But a girl needs some work horses in her closet, and this is my newest one.When my older sister took a sewingclass in the 1970's her first dress was a band-air colored sheath dress. The end of her sewing class was celebrated with a fashion show at the local VFW hall. The fashion show was narrated by one of the sewing instructors. Frankly, there was very little that could be said about that dress. It was beige. It had darts and short sleeves. It was made out of cotton boradcloth.  It was the color of a band-aid. The instructor announced my sister's dress " Dress it up, dress it down, wear it to church or to school."

We began calling any plain garment " Dress it up, dress it down, wear it to church or to school." I guess this dark dress falls into that same category.

I did just fill a Trader Joe’s bag with seven dresses and five skirts that I no longer love. I plan to donate them to one of the local thrifts. There is no reason to keep things around that I no longer wear.
The dress is actually a deep midnight blue, nearly black but it reads as a lighter blue on my computer screen. Adjust your eyes accordingly.

To make such a dress:
dress diagram 001
This is for a knit dress.
Put a dress that more or less fits on the fold of two layers of fabric.  Cut around dress, adjusting and editing as needed.  think about how the starting dress fits, and cut so that it fits you better. this is not particularly scientific, but it works. Remember that the bust line needs to be roughly 1/4 of your bust measurement and the hips need to be at least as big as 1/4 of your hip measurement.
If you are a high hipped girl like I am , cut the dress to reflect that.

Once the two layers of the dress are cut out, sew, or better yet, serge them together. Serge around the neckline and the armholes. Try the dress on. look in the mirror and see what needs to be changed. I needed to lower the neckline and adjust the armholes in this case. ( I ran the neckline and armholes through the serger one more time.) then I turned the serged edge twice and stitched with a straight stich.  I simply zigzagged over the hem as I pulled to get a slightly lettuced edge. It looks pretty and takes no brains. My dress is done, ready to be worn until it falls apart.

I also made Shabbat dinner, there will be twelve at the table an interesting collection of shul friends, friends from long ago, and family. My husband is concerned about how this evening is going to work. I think that because we love all of our guests, it will work, even if it does not quite seem like it on paper.

What am I serving you ask??? I baked challah today, and also cooked up four fat chickens. I put a fairly European mix of spices on the chicken, sage, fennel, black pepper and “ seeds of Paradise’ a pepper variant, and balsamic vinegar. I also made rice with dried mushrooms and chestnuts. One of our guest is bringing a vegetable, I am also making a cucumber salad. Another guest is making dessert and I’m serving berries. If people don’t like the meal they can snack when they get home.


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