The Back to Black Dress

There were SO many things I could have named this garment. The, I Promise I’m Still Alive Even Though My Life Has Been Eaten By Writing, Dress! The, Three Needles Down, Dress (this stretchy soft sweater knit broke three sewing machine needles. I don’t even know…). The, Miss Me?, Dress, because I’ve been out of commission for SO. LONG. But I’m going with the Back to Black Dress because I like alliteration and I like Amy Winehouse and I like black.

So, you might ask, where the hell have I BEEN all this time? Again, I refer you to “my life has been eaten by writing”. The end of my first semester of graduate school got a little crazy, guys. There was writing. There was whiskey. It did not help the writing, but I enjoyed it anyway. There were nights hunched over my laptop furiously typing. There were nights hunched over my laptop furiously NOT writing, and those nights are the WORST. My lovely and amazing roommate Emily (who, along with my equally lovely and amazing roommate Jenny who are both saints to put up with all on my nonsense and mishagas) is also a writer, and we were talking with my friend Emilie (it got confusing, I can tell you) about writing and how when it’s bad, it’s horrible, and when it’s good, it’s amazing, and you live for the times when the writing just comes because there is nothing like it, it’s what I imagine a runner’s high is like. Oh, I run, a couple of times a week these days, but I never get a high, I just sort of collapse at the end which is embarrassing, but hey, it’s New York.

But now I have emerged into a warm pillow of time, i.e. my vacation, which is six weeks long. As I write this I’m sitting in Philadelphia, typing away in my parent’s office, waiting to set up my new laptop (THANK YOU PAPI!). And I have to tell you, it’s not that I haven’t been sewing, or knitting (lots of knitting for lots of holiday gifts). I just haven’t had the time to DOCUMENT any of it! ‘Tis a hard life. Cue the violins. In three days I’m off to Holland for a family vacation, and then I’m back, and then going to San Juan, and then back in the New York, it’s crazy! And what will Brother Cadfael be doing this whole time?

Sew On 016Yep. Did you expect anything less?

Onto the dress. I made this thing in a feverish rush a week and a half ago because I had run out of homework. I was so used to having a lot to do, and then I had finished my screenplay and my play and all the essays and scenes and I was sitting at home on a Wednesday evening after Zumba and I thought, well, I have some time….

Sew On 002So I pulled out this fabric which came from the hoarder stash of which I have oft spoke, and grabbed my trusty Renfrew pattern, and did a bit of lengthening a la Andrea (p.s. I was trolling through her project gallery, she is so impressive, I want to make everything she’s made) and here I have a dress!

Back to Black 1And wore it to the department holiday party that evening. And then out, for more whiskey. Which did not make my Friday morning an easy or a pleasant one, but the life of a writer is one of hardship and sadness, so I’m chalking that up to a good source of material. Sometimes you need to dominate on 99 problems in some random bar, it HAS to happen, the evening wants what it wants!

Back to Black 2Contemplating the beauty and grace of Jay-Z’s poetry.

Back to Black 3This fabric, which, as I said, came from that giant pile saved from the hoarder, is a really cool fuzzy sweater knit with these little speckles of color in it. I have no idea what it’s made of, probably something highly flammable, but it’s warm and cozy and I’ve been wearing this dress with alarming regularity since I made it.

Back to Black 4My mother said the neckline is a little wonky. That might be because the first thing I made her do when I came home was take photos of me…

Or it might be because it’s a knit and stretchy and yes fine okay it’s a little wonky I’m a human sue me!

Back to Black 5Side view!

Back to Black 6Back view! With flash, it started getting dark. You can see the seam down the back, which is my new favorite thing for knits because A. its efficient, fabric-use-wise, and B. I kind of really like the way it looks.

So if you asked me how I felt about this stretchy comfy easy to wear warm and to my mind, quite cute, garment, I would show you this picture:

Back to Black 7


Now, I’m off to run errands and deal with my existence which is sad, because all I want to do is this:

Sew On 043I hope that you are all having a perfectly lovely holiday season! My hanukkah was excellent, and I will be celebrating what’s-its-name tomorrow with Asian food and a movie, but I promise to post again before I go to Holland, and I will do my very best to not fall off the face of the earth any time soon!






Filed under Clothing, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing

11 responses to “The Back to Black Dress

  1. Ahh! You’re back! I’ve missed you, but figured you were busy Learning and Getting Wise and other such Graduate-Level Things. Glad to hear you’ve got lots of fun vacation time ahead of you– enjoy! Oh, and the dress is cute! šŸ™‚

  2. i was wondering where the hell you disappeared šŸ™‚ good to know you’re doing fine, and have some great trips ahead of you..

  3. Nice to see you pop back up in my reader! You don’t know me, but I’ve missed you (not nearly as creepy in my head as it appears now)! Have a fantastic vacation!

  4. Have a wonderful (and well earned) downtime! I really love this frock- that fabric is fab!

  5. Ahh, I figured grad school had eaten you alive, but it’s good to know you’ve been regurgitated at the end of the semester! You look so cozy and warm in your sweater dress (those colorful specks!) and BroCad is as good-looking as ever.

    I also love CB seams in knits in theory, because I can correct for swayback issues, but I somehow never get around to actually doing an extra seam. I get lazy and just deal with the pooling.

    • Oh, how I have missed you! I’ve been so bad at commenting on all of your gorgeous and amazing creations, your put a cat on it week, your hobbit gear, I’m horrible. HORRIBLE. I promise to be better, I do! I’m sorry, Cindy! I think I’ve missed YOU most of all….

      See, it’s all about fabric efficiency for me, that is, you can use less fabric if you do the center back seam, plus all the fit issues lalalalalala but less fabric? I’m sold. Hope your holiday has been splendid!

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