The Don’t Ask Me Why Dress

While I make every effort to know myself as well as possible, getting to know the me in me, as it were, there are times when I am inexplicable even to myself. I think most of what I do is ruled by logic, reason, hunger and the desire for a nice glass of wine, you know, the standard reasons people do what they do. But every once in a while I just make weird choices. Like when I moved to Madrid and used non-roller suitcases. This was a poor choice. Or when I recently threw a party and didn’t include potato salad. That was a questionable choice. Or when I fed my cat to the point of fatness. That was an interesting choice that has led to adorableness, but also poor health (I assume). I’m a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, with layers like an onion. I’m a metaphor spliced with a simile. What are you going to do.

So recently,Ā  I went out of my way to buy a pattern that I knew, I just knew, wasn’t anything all that special. I don’t know why I did that. I first encountered this pattern, Simplicity 4977, in an Ebay lot, which I actually lost out on. I don’t know about you guys, but I hit a limit with Ebay sometimes, I just can’t justify going beyond a certain price point. Sigh. My ebay habits aside (I….need to get off Ebay. It’s a problem) I just really liked this pattern for some reason. I. DON’T. KNOW. WHY. Check it out:

This pattern is nothing special. It is a muu-muu. With a dart. COME on. Why did this pattern attract me so deeply that IĀ  sought it out on Etsy and paid, like 7 dollars for it!?! What happened here? I just don’t know. Don’t ask me why. Still, I think I made something pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself, and it wasn’t hard, I just had to change everything about it….

Okay, so this thing looks MUCH better with a belt, but whenever I say that people are like, no, its fine, so I wanted to SHOW it to you without a belt, to PROVE to you that I’m RIGHT. I inserted elastic at the waistline, a big thick piece which I had gotten as part of a grab bag of lace and stuff for 2.99 at the PA Fabric Outlet. God I love it there. I will miss that….

See? Isn’t that better? Yes, it is, elastic or no the belt helps. I just need to resign myself to the fact that belts and I are BFFS.

The fabric is from Spool a quilters cotton that I just fell madly in love with and had to buy, despite the fact that I’m trying not to buy any fabric, let alone of the quilters cotton variety. That being said, Tilly just wrote a very interesting post about sewing with this controversial stuff. I sew with quilters cotton all the damn time, let’s be real about life.Ā  She mentions that sleeves should be avoided with this fabric, but this pattern has kimono sleeves, so I think it’s pretty good.

What else did I change? I shorted it a few (8) inches and I inserted pockets. Like I do.

GOD I love pockets. Fun fact, these don’t even fit my whole hands. Yeah, there were some struggles with this project. Aren’t there always?

I also tried to lower the neckline. I did lower it slightly, but it really just made it a boatneck. Struggle. It’s everywhere.

Yeah, I photo edited this. Deal with it. But how cute is this fabric? The pheasants. They just got me.

A little back shot.

Honestly? I’m going to wear the heck out of this. I wore it last night at the dinner party I threw, it was a hit. (RIGHT, GUYS?) It’s cute, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, but I know it’s not the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s nice on the inside, french seams and bias binding, and I do like it, but I have NO idea why I felt so deeply compelled to make it. What can I say?

As I type this, all I can think about is that Billy Joel song. I don’t even like Billy Joel. Don’t ask me why.

By the by, I took these photos my own self, with my tripod! I even figured out how to do jumping shots! Of course, it took some tries:

But then I figured it out:

It’s not as much fun to jump for a timer, but I bet you I will get over that. Or will I? I don’t know, man, sometimes I don’t know myself at all…


Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

24 responses to “The Don’t Ask Me Why Dress

  1. Kat H

    Haha, brilliant post! You make me smile. šŸ™‚

    I love the dress, and I do agree with you – while it’s fine without a belt, it’s better with one. (I don’t know quite what it is with people protesting belt-wearing. I have a couple of dresses I think look like sacks without a belt, but people try to convince me they’re fine without one…. Hmmmm….. Maybe I’m just deluding myself because I love belts. *shrug*)

    • Oh, glad you liked it! I do adore a belt, but I keep pretending I don’t HAVE to wear one and with this dress I just do, sigh. I don’t know why I have this aversion to doing so…

  2. Gotta love a dress with pockets! And I also always need a belt, I think it makes a dress look ‘finished’ somehow, or maybe it just suits my shape better.
    I also got sleeve fear after reading Tilly’s post as I was about to make a dress from crafting/quilting cotton with sleeves, but mine also turned out fine. I think long sleeves would be a bad idea but short sleeves are fine.

    • I know, I got that same sleeve fear! But I totally have done sleeves in quilters cotton and while they are a bit stiff I can still wear the garments, no problem. To each their own…

  3. i think the dress looks really fun. I read Tilly’s post with interest being a novice and all, but the quilting cotton I have actually turned really soft after washing (and felt really wearable) and not as ‘too stiff’ as everybody else was saying, so I wasn’t sure whether I bought the wrong quilting cotton šŸ™‚

    • Ha, I don’t think that’s the wrong quilting cotton, maybe you got magical quilting cotton! My quilting cottons are all rather stiff but it’s just about picking a shape that looks okay a bit stiff, as Tilly tells us.

  4. I love it- I also love that you saw the ‘you’ in it and made it your style. It’s so funny how we all buy a pattern we like the look of and then make it our look. Do you find yourself buying less clothes, but more belts? I do!

  5. Very cute! I can see why you love the fabric! I still buy patterns from time to time that aren’t really my style and that don’t really suit me. What’s up with that? Like you, I know deep down that it’s kind of silly, but I’m totally swayed by cute cover art or the saucy minx sewists that make the same pattern look awesome!

  6. eheheee.. you crazy thing, made me smile like lunatic, my coworker came from the other room to check out if i’m ok! hehe.. love the fabric and love the dress.. sometimes the simplest things are the best, and why bothering to figure out why šŸ™‚

  7. high-five for being a user of quilting cotton! it’s not all bad, right?
    i think you’ll use that pattern again and again. it’ll totally pay for itself in no time. no guilt.

  8. I would make all my dresses out of quilting cottons with dinosaurs and robots and the like if they didn’t cost an arm and a leg at my local quilting store! So obviously I approve of pheasants. I have quite a few of these shapeless vintage dress patterns in my stash, and yours has given me hope for them. I love belting all my dresses, but it never occurred to me to belt these late 60s numbers. Hmmm…

  9. That’s basically my dress dress for everyday comfort – Which begs the question, why haven’t I made anything remotely similar? I thinks it’s really cute on you, with or without belt… and yeah, i totally use quilting cotton for clothes! I like how sturdy and wearable it feels. Cute AND functional!

  10. I think your jiffy dress is cute! The fabric is awesome, too! I’m always drawn to the “easy wrap dress” patterns from the 60s that look so adorable in the drawings… but are basically just robes when you get down to making them! And yet I keep picking them up at flea markets in the belief that THIS time, it’ll be DIFFERENT! Haha. But your “muu muu with a dart” actually looks like a real dress! And a nice one! So good job!

  11. Njeri

    The dress looks very good on you, no muumuu there!

  12. Leah! I’ve been all MIA and shiz, but you just cracked me the eff up. Ten times. And now there’s a Gotye-Billy Joel medley in my head, and that can’t be right. You take that pattern and make it yours. Stick a belt on it. Also, I totally love the Something Blue dress, and those red shoes & lips.

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  15. I just came across this post googling for something else – as you do!
    I won this pattern in a Pattern Pyramid, made it, love it. It’s a great little pattern!

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