When I saw this eye-popping Tangelo linen on Kelsey, it was love at first sight. My dopamine levels skyrocketed. Bright, bold, and unapologetic- this fabric screamed, “Sew Me!” I planned on making the Romy Top from Tessuti Fabrics into a dress with itty bitty straps, square necklines, and a chic straight-lined skirt.
I am not much of a toile-r in this season of sewing- it’s been too busy to work through adjustments or drafting. But, I needed to do this linen justice. I quickly worked through the bodice adjustments and dived into my first simple dress by extending the hemline and adding a front slit for mobility.
Something wasn’t right. The dress felt…plain. Not that plain is bad! It just didn’t live up to the gorgeous color and soft texture of the linen that I would eventually use.
Back to the drawing board.
I have been an artist for most of my life and have always kept a sketchbook. Sewing is no different! I use my sketchbook for mini drawings and to track my projects, sizing, modifications- everything I can to help me stay organized.
I sketched variations of the skirt and looked to several friends for advice, to solidify a foundation to support the bold Tangelo colored linen. After five toiles, I worked out the design, construction, and teeny adjustments needed. The final dress has a curved waist seam, front middle slit and two skirt panels- a straight hem and a full panel of 1” knife pleats (using this tutorial from FS). I could already see myself strutting down the street and causing a mini fashion revolution with my sartorial genius. (It’s not called aspirational sewing for nothing!)
The all-purpose 5.3 oz linen from FS is my favorite to use. There are so many color options, and its weight is versatile for pants, blouses and dresses! After pre-washing, I had my fresh rotary blade, sharpened chalk, and new machine needles to start working! The transfer of my vision to the linen felt controlled (granted, I had made 5 versions prior, so a little muscle memory helped). The pleats stayed crisp in the linen and I was on cloud nine seeing them come together.
Dopamine sewing is a rollercoaster – with both highs and lows. Emphasis on the lows. I once again, got a little caught up in my frenzy and skipped the interfacing. We all know the ending to this story…When I tried on the dress, it was like the seams grew before my eyes. (Insert crying emoji here.)
However, I couldn’t let a few extra centimeters get in the way- I had a photoshoot to go to!! I ultimately turned the dress around and wore the back as the front. Genius, right?
I constantly need to embrace the imperfections and roll with the punches. Sure, I may have forgotten to reinforce my fabric, and my dress might have ended up 1-2 sizes too big, but that didn’t stop me from owning it (luckily, I know a gal who can alter it *wink*).
If you find yourself in a sewing pickle, remember to laugh it off, flip it around, and embrace the adventure and share your stories!