A Souvenir Fabric = A Dress of Achievenment

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Last year on the way home from Washington DC, I had the chance to stop at G Street Fabrics, a place that had been on my wish list of fabric store shopping destinations for a VERY long time. The stop was one of the requests I had made to Dear Husband many times, but we had never had the opportunity to get there until our bicycle  trip took us close enough to make it happen. So after 8 days of pedaling from Pittsburgh, Pa to Washington DC, we met my nephew with our car, had lunch in DC, and drove 20+ minutes toward home, before finally stopping at G Street Fabrics to fulfill this long held wish. For me it was the perfect finish to my perfect adventure and when I walked in the door the sense of complete accomplishment settled in to my whole being. I know for many of you that last sentence sounds way over dramatized, but for me the sense of well earned achievement was so tangible I can still feel it today as I reminisce.

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G Street Fabrics, Rockville, MD

Well, with all this contentment and satisfaction settling in, I wandered through the wide variety of fabrics without feeling tempted to make many purchases. My project pile and wallet were spared the strain of more fabric projects. I came out with joy in my heart, one small piece of quilting calico and several yards of this printed knit.


my souvenir material from G Street Fabrics

With the anniversary of this life changing trip going by, I wanted to get this fabric off the project pile and into my closet. The choice of patterns had been rolling in my head for a while and I ultimately decided on McCall’s 7046:

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I was a little nervous about this choice because it is a style of dress that I don’t normally wear and I love the memories attached to this piece of fabric, I didn’t want this project to be a flop.

The construction of this dress is relatively simple, the pattern is labeled as EASY and I would agree with that assessment. I took some time to do some pattern measurement to body measurement comparisons, along with comparing some other knit items in my closet to get a better idea which size dress I was going to cut. Knits are very forgiving, but I didn’t want this dress to be uncomfortably body revealing by being too tight, nor did I want it to be too loose making it look frumpy.

I decided to eliminate the neck finish called for by the pattern and line my dress with nude colored spandex knit. I cut the bodice pieces and the single skirt piece from view D as my lining. When cutting the bodice pieces, I eliminated the extra length that was to be gathered when creating the finished dress so that my lining would lay smooth under the dress. Then I attached the lining by sewing right sides together at the neckline, turned the lining into the dress and then top-stitched around the neck to hold the lining in place. This eliminated the neck facings and the need to wear a slip under this dress.

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When laying out the pattern pieces, I took into consideration the stripe patterns of the print. Several questions needed to be addressed: Are my stripes lined up across the dress at side seams and sleeves? Are the stripes lined up vertically from bodice to skirt? What portion of the print do I want at the center front and center back of the dress? This last question can really effect the visual presentation of the finished product. Many great garments are ruined with awkwardly placed stripes or print motifs.

 photo DSC02602 1_zpspursnyqk.jpg photo DSC02599 1_zpsthnpcssb.jpg I love how comfortable this dress is to wear, however I’m still not sure if this style was the best choice for this fabric and/or my body type, but in the end wearing this dress fills me with the same sense of contentment and satisfaction I felt when I purchased the fabric used to make it. And, more importantly, it reminds me of the hard work, joys and blessings that I experienced when I took on the challenges of a new and different adventure.

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