The Sphere of Influence Dress

Happy Independence Day! If you, like me, adore the musical 1776, you have enjoyed this day for that reason alone. Because the parades are deeply annoying, given that I can’t get around them even on a bike, and people injure themselves yearly with homemade fireworks and barbeques are full of PEOPLE and I certainly don’t like that….I do like real, non-homemade fireworks, but I never get the chance to see them, though as I type this, thunder and lightning split the sky, giving us here in the great city of Philadelphia, home of the Declaration of Independence (seriously, go rent the film version of 1776, it stars Mr. Feeny as John Adams and it’s just the best), some real artisanal fireworks courtesy of nature herself.

I wore this dress which I actually made for an event for Jenny’s wedding, but didn’t get a chance to photograph, to a very relaxed evening with my parents at their house. At any rate, I don’t know how festive this thing actually is, it’s really more vaguely Ming Vase themed then anything else. So that’s why I’ve deemed it the sphere of influence dress, to symbolize our complicated relationship with China which dates back to the 1800s, and to pay tribute to the famous “spheres of influence” which caught the Chinese Empire in a world of colonialism under the guide of benevolent imperialism. I know, not a day goes by you don’t sew a garment and dedicate it to fighting the patriarchy, any way you can….

I think it’s pretty darn cute, honestly. The bodice is Dixie DIY‘s ballet dress bodice, with a few modifications. I took it in on the sides (from a size medium, and honestly I could probably go to a small with no fitting issues), and re-drafted it a bit to be less of a “bodice” shape and more of a “tank top” shape. I also lengthened it by 2 inches, so I could be sure it would fall at my natural waist, which it does. I lowered the neckline by about 1 inch and a half, and I narrowed the straps, That ultimately proved useless, as the finishing binding is rather thick, and honestly I should have narrowed the straps more, really, they aren’t what I had in mind, but I like this, nonetheless!

The skirt is Vivat Veritas’ half-circle skirt, as I wanted something a bit fuller than Dixie’s (wonderful) design. I have made that skirt three times now, but of course some how I cut this one out on a bit of an asymmetric angle. I DO NOT KNOW HOW. But it was totally unintentional intentional. I honestly didn’t notice it until I tried it on for the first time and then I tried to convince myself I was just seeing things. However, my ever observant Mamala commented on it today, so I had to just own up to it and go with lalalalala design choice asymmetric hems are in this year lalalalalalalala.

The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I can’t talk enough about how much I love Girl Charlee.

Here it is from the back. I would still like the bodice to be a bit tighter but honestly it’s SO COMFORTABLE so how can I really complain?

Side view. Thanks for taking these photos, Mamala! I’m getting a tripod soon, for my birthday (WHICH IS MONDAY) so I wont have to torture my relatives and friends for much longer.

Now, as I made this dinner and we ate it in our garden, I thought you might like to see A. what was served and B. the garden, as the fruits of the labors I mentioned back in May. Oh, you have no interest in any of that? Suck it up.

Turkey and Beef Burgers from Whole Foods with baked fries (so…are they bakes? Whatever, they are potatoes which I peeled, sliced and baked, okay? We also had a capresse salad.)

Me with wine.

A white eggplant, on the stalk, growing…

A cantaloupe! This is what they look like, as babies. Later their skin does that wrinkly thing.

Tomatoes, ripening on the vine.

Beans, which we really plant because they add nitrogen to the soil, but their fruits are a delicious bonus.

Chard! How pretty is chard? It’s a very dramatic plant, if you ask me.

There are also flowers.

So there you go. Vegetables, flowers, a cute and easy knit dress. Is there any other way to enjoy our nation’s freedom? (And of course in point of fact the 4th wasn’t the celebration of the freedom of the United States, it just celebrates the day a small group of white men wrote an angry bitchy letter to the UK and signed it in fancy ways. It’s the Colonial equivalent of singing “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Still, it’s fun to grill things.)

A parting shot of me, my dress, and an awkward smile. Enjoy!

And don’t forget about the giveaway! And look for a new one for Friday!

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20 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Sewing

20 responses to “The Sphere of Influence Dress

  1. Very cute! I love the fabric and the fit. The dress looks so flattering on you.

  2. Great dress! It’s a lovely fit on you and you look great – even with the awkward smile šŸ™‚

  3. this looks like the most comfortable dress everrrrr x

  4. What a perfect little summer frock- too cute!!

  5. So cute! This looks so sweet and easy to wear! OBSESSED with Girl Charlee. Can’t stop.

  6. Cuckoo Chanel

    Adorable dress and great garden pics. Mega Like.

  7. Njeri

    A fabulous dress, the color is great on you.

  8. that colonial equivalent is comic genius.

    i looooove this dress, and i think the fit is perfect!

  9. Another perfect summer dress for you! It looks so comfy but chic, especially with the skinny belt! Also, I’m loving the bakes (totally stealing that name) and nitrogen-adding bean plants. And leave it to mothers to point out garment issues!

    • Oh, thanks! The belt is new, an Anthropologie on-sale treat for myself. Please steal bakes, let’s make that a thing. My mother, lord love her, is critical as hell, but it’s with love!

  10. Pingback: Fighting and Scrapping | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

  11. Pingback: The American Apparel Knock Off Dress | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

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