A few weeks ago, I went out to dinner with just my girlfriends. And while I was getting ready, simultaneously tearing apart my closet to find something decent that didn’t involve wearing a nursing bra or purse large enough to carry around Will’s junk, I realized I have a closet full of crap and nothing to wear. All of my ready-to-wear clothes are either out dated, too “junior” looking, too tight, or too short. And much of my handmade clothing just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Sewing, for me, began as a hobby. Something to fill my time in between when I got home from work and when Will got home from work. I was sewing garments simply because I saw a fabric that I really liked, or I wanted to practice sewing a different type of pattern, or I was sewing just to have something to share on the blog. And now, as anyone who has a one and a half year-old knows, ain’t nobody got time for hobbies.
All that being said, it doesn’t change the fact that I still love fashion. And I still love the idea of creating and evolving my handmade wardrobe. And plus I still need to get dressed every morning. (Well that last one’s negotiable. I guess I could just hang out in pajamas all week long. Been there, done that. #postpartum). So I’ve decided I’m going back to the basics. I’m throwing out/selling /donating about 75% of my closet. And I’m only going to be sewing pieces that I will really wear over and over again. Shirts, dresses, and pants that I know would look good on my body type. And I’m going to take the time to research the fabrics that I buy to figure out which fabrics are going to be best for which sewing pattern, instead of just buying yards and yards of pretty fabric and hoarding it away while deep down knowing that if I saw a dress in the store out of that fabric, I would never look twice at it. Let that be a lesson. Just because the fabrics looks pretty in the store, that does not mean it was destined to be on your body. So alas, here we are now. I tossed out about 8 dresses that were falling apart, sent 10 to GoodWill, and listed a few to sell on Poshmark. And in their place I added this little black dress. My first “basic” piece of clothing for Priscilla’s new and improved less-is-more closet.
These photos were taken over the weekend on a walk through downtown Charleston. And now I can’t stop thinking about how I need marble front steps in my next house. I think I want blue shutters too.Okay, actually I want a pink door. Yep definitely want a pink door. Back on James Island, just a bunch of rain puddles. Nothing to see here folks.
The Fabric: black rayon from Five Eighth Seams
My Alterations: This pattern is designed to be sewn with knits, and although I loooooove the silhouette of this dress, I already made one in knit and I instead really wanted to try this same pattern in a lightweight rayon, something that I can transition from day to night. So after making a few different muslins, I determined that with the low scoop neck, I could totally make this out of a rayon with just a few modifications and still not have to add a zipper or buttons. So I modified the pattern to account for the lack of stretch in the rayon fabric by adding an extra inch to the shoulder height, and 2 extra inches to the sides of the bodice (and the same for the lining pieces), so there was extra room for my mom boobs to fit in there, but without changing the overall shape of the dress. I also added an extra inch of length due to my height.
Final Thoughts: I know there is nothing impressive about simple A-line solid black dress. But this dress can be worn as a cover up with sandals to the beach, sneakers and a diaper bag on my shoulder for running errands, and heels and tassel earrings for a night out. It was a sad day when I dropped that hot pink tube top dress from Forever 21 to Good Will but it was time people. It was time.
Until next time, may your walks be sunny and your closets be uncluttered! xxoo Priscilla