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Tuesday, March 24th 2009

sew well dressed

A couple of weekends ago, I got it in my head to make a dress—yes, a dress that I would be able to wear. Let me share with you my history of sewing so you might better understand why this is so unbelievable. I was shopping for a desk at a hidden-gem consignment shop in my hometown and fell in love with a tiny table. Only when the sales woman came over to help me remove the books and doilies on top of it did I find out it was not a desk but a sewing table with a hidden sewing machine. Flat surface for my laptop and the future source of many crafting hours? I was sold. Never mind that I’d never sewn a thing in my life—I love a value.

I got the table home, loaded its surface with my own books, and forgot about the machine nestled within. Until the other weekend. Maybe it was the fresh spring air or my sudden spurt of free weekends after a winter of traveling, but I got bit by the DIY bug. Off to the fabric store I went, and two yards of floral-print cotton and a spool of white thread later, I was ready to sew (sans pattern—who needs ’em?). To make a long story short, my floral-print fabric will make lovely pillow covers, but a fabulous frock it will never be.

So I’ll leave the dressmaking to the professionals and instead concentrate on my strengths: finding the ready-made frocks that fit my spring dress mood. In honor of my vintage sewing machine and my own inability to finesse it, I browsed dresses with a bit of an old-time flair. LaROK’s layered, ruffled number feels like a vintage-store find that’s been updated by more sewing-adept hands than mine, and Twenty8Twelve’s Dorris Dress is girly sweetness with a dash of sophistication. For a classic angle that still feels rooted in the past, there’s nothing quite like Theory dresses (their petal-adorned white shift is precisely the dress I’d hoped to make) and Elie Tahari dresses (whose floral-print long dress has a late-’60s, early-’70s feel).

The lesson here? My little desk is a sewing table in name only, and I have an even deeper respect for the designers who grace our website with their gorgeous creations.


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