The One Year Later Dress

Life is funny. That might not be the most original statement ever to be made, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!

You may or may not have noticed some radio silence on my end in the past few days. Sorry about that, folks, I just had to take a bit of a break in the post-me-made madness and deal with my life. Like this benefit I was working on for the theater company for which I work. It’s interesting, a little over a year ago I was working on a benefit as well, but I was in a completely different place in my life, different job, different immediate goals, different stresses, different concerns. Now I’m about to leave my full-time theater job for a summer renting apartments (I’ve already started on that score, for the record) and anticipating, in the not-so-distant future,ย  a completely different existence then the one I’ve been living for the last few years. Uprooting my life, moving myself and my cat to New York, it’s all a lot, and it’s all coming. However, it’s not coming TOO soon, and for the present, I’m just going to concentrate on the here and now. Sure. Because that’s my style. Living in the present.

Still, I’m going to try, and if I can’t focus on the present, at least I can consider the past. And so, in celebration of the past year and all that has happened, and in celebration of my final event at work, I made this dress:

These photos are a touch yellowy. What can you do, I had my lovely friend Katie take them on the fly in the stairwell outside of the performance venue.

The fabric is yet another piece from my grandmother’s attic. I think my aunt must have bought it in her youth, at least, that’s my mother’s theory, it seems rather 1960’s, don’t you think? Hippie-dippy, as my mother says. Still, I had what seemed like half of a table-cloth or something, and it seemed like enough to make a dress. I used my trusty Burda Dress with Cap Sleeves. I know this pattern gets a lot of hate on the internets, but I have to say, it works for me! Yes, the neckline is a bit wide, but I’m into it, what can I say.The issue really is the waist, it’s a bit low andย  it doesn’t fit as snugly as one might hope, but I just belt my many incarnations of this pattern and call it a day.

Part of the fabric had a border, so I cut the bodice carefully from the non-border parts (well, the front, anyway) and then cut the skirt on the border. I folded the skirt into large soft pleats. I like pleats more than gathers these days, because gathers make my hips look huge, and my hips don’t need any aid doing that…

I totally adore this dress. Not every pattern works for every person but this bodice is one of my go-tos and I have to say I wear the hell out of every garment I’ve made with it.

Again, pleats are awesome. See, my not-un-sizable rear looks not-horrible with these pleats!

I hand picked the zipper. Fun fact: I hand-pick all non-invisible zippers. I have a zipper foot. It’s just what I do. I know it’s weird. Don’t judge me.

Katie really liked the idea of me posing seated on the stairs. I can refuse Katie nothing. This looks like I’m posing for a debutant ball. Yeah. Like Puerto Rican Jewish girls become Debs.

Can you guess what my favorite part of this dress is? Can you? CAN YOU?

It’s fo sho the pockets. FO. SHO.

Glamour shot!


Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Fabric, Sewing, Vintage

29 responses to “The One Year Later Dress

  1. You look soooo pretty in your new dress! I do love your ‘voice’ in your blog posts! Life sounds very exciting right now. Hope you’re getting some down time, also.

    • Oh, thank you, Karen! I’m so thrilled you like my writing style. Life IS exciting right now, stressful, painful, but exciting. There is, of course, that Chinese curse, may you live in interesting times…

  2. What a great dress and you look really lovely! I think how comfortable you are in the dress shows in the great photos.

  3. I love it- what theatre are you based at?

  4. What a fantastic dress! It looks so pretty on you!

  5. I looooooooooove this dress! I still want to sort out the issues with mine because it looks so cute on everyone out there on the internets! I think this is the nicest version I’ve seen! Love that border print!

  6. Amazing dress Leah! It looks fantastic and I love the way that border looks!

  7. Amazing dress Leah!! The fabric in fantastic and I love how you took advantage of the border.

  8. dixiediy

    That dress is adorable FO. SHO.

  9. Love the use of the border print! Every time I see the cap sleeve dress made up, it looks awesome; yours is no exception.

  10. I LOVE pockets in dresses!! They are probably the best thing about sewing your own clothes.
    That looks like a really great pattern, I can imagine it is so nice and effortless to throw on in summer.
    p.s. you are one of my new favourite bloggers – your posts are always so fun and smiley ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Right? Pockets for all! I like this pattern quite a bit, but the internets seems pretty divided about it. Hey, one man’s trash…

      Thank you so much! That’s so sweet, I’m so thrilled you like my blog!

  11. I made a muslin for this top (which I’ve decided I really do need an FBA for) and had decided to throw an A-line skirt on it (tried a dirndl skirt once – so not good) – you’ve convinced me to try the pleats. Yup, ok, I’ll do the pleats.

  12. aliesje

    I handpick all of my zippers too… I love it! I even handpick the invisible ones – I stitch them to the seam allowance.
    Beautiful dress! I’m surprised this pattern gets lots of hate… the bodice is gorgeous.

    • I tried to pick an invisible zipper but it was an utter failure, how did you do it?

      Yeah, it doesn’t work for everyone. but I’m the kind of person who likes the fact that this bodice slightly compresses my chest. Go figure.

  13. isabel

    I got here trough Burdastyle and I just wanted to say, you look gorgeous in that dress! And I have to agree with Karen, your “voice” is great, I like the way you tell things and your open smile in your pictures. Very inspirational!

  14. This dress looks awesome on you, and if I was you I would make a lot of dresses from this pattern! You’re not crazy because of your handpicked zippers, I like them a lot too and put them in quite often (or maybe we are both weird). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Lena

    What a beautiful fabric, gorgeous dress, and you look great in it. I stumbled across this by accident as I’m about to take a foray into sewing a dress for the first time. Very inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚

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