Monday, February 11, 2013

The Gray Dress of Doom

Okay, so that was kind of a dramatic title. It wasn't that bad after the fact. ;)

So I started this dress... about 3 months or more ago. It was one of those times when the pattern was $1, the fabric on sale, and it was just too good to pass up. :) I started with Vogue Pattern #2903

I know - so cute, right?? Sadly, I discovered that (1) I am not a girl from 1957. (2) My body type is not the same as a pencil drawing of a girl from 1957. (3) This pattern in real life is not at cute as it looks. 

I kid you not - it looked like "1950's meets medieval and frump." When I put it on I kind of looked like a big, dark thundercloud. (I liked that description so much, I started calling this "The Thundercloud Dress") The shoulders slid off, the neckline gaped, and the only thing cute about it was the pleats in the skirt.

If you think ^this^ is bad, you should have seen it on me... way way worse.

So that dress went on hold until I could come up with a suitable plan. My first idea was to keep the skirt, but make a new bodice, with a gathered band around the neckline. Sort of like this dress. But I figured that was a little too fancy for the look I wanted, and I'd probably end up chopping the sleeves to be short, and that would defeat the purpose of a winter 1950's dress.

After a few days of no inspiration, I turned to the ever helpful (or not) Pinterest to get ideas. It didn't take me long to see this dress as a possibility!

Things were pretty easy from there! I cut the skirt off at empire waist level, pulled in a few seams, whipped up a new bodice, took the sleeves off and added them back on, put in a band for the neckline, and voila! A dress I would actually wear!

It's still far from perfect, but at least I think it's cute. ;)

Sadly I didn't have enough fabric to cut this on the bias, so it's a little oddly stretched. But it's a bow. and bows are cute.

Skirt pleats. These were VERY time consuming, but I'm pleased with how they came out!

I was freezing in these photos, so we ran inside and got some gloves and fur... which totally hides the dress, but they made for some cute, retro-ish photos! :)

Other news in my life (since I abandoned this blog for over a month):

I rang in the new year with a cold. (talk about optimistic). Actually, I was pretty thankful I got it when I did, since I had a few important events in the next few weeks, so it was good to get it out of my system. Or so I thought...

I got sick two weeks later, right before I had to play music for my friends' wedding. Oops. God was gracious though, and I was able to make it through the entire day of the wedding without feeling too bad! And the music went great! :) I love playing music with a group!!

 Grace and me at the "photo booth" at the wedding. Haha - it doesn't even look like us! 
Thanks Sierra for taking the picture!

Me with my fellow musician, friend, and "twin", Sierra. We look so much like sisters in this picture!

Our family took a vacation to Florida towards the beginning of January. Oh wow, so so so nice!! I seriously had no idea what month it was the whole time I was down there! Tigertail beach is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.l.y. large! I'm quite a fan of Marco Island in January. Plus we got to see our grandparents, who winter down in Florida, which was a HUGE plus for me! Love you, Opa and Oma!!

I got a PIANO!! Not just ANY piano, but my DREAM piano! It's a 1990 6' 10" Schimmel. I never thought I'd get my dream piano at only 19 years old... needless to say, I am incredibly blessed and thankful! I'll try to get some pictures up of it soon - it's amazing.................. (I'm still slightly "in shock" over it all - it happened really fast!)

Just 'cuz he's cute.... He actually fell asleep in this position.

That's pretty much the highlights of my year so far. We just got a huge amount of snow (as you can see in the photos above), and it is SO beautiful! This winter so far has been pretty snow-less (I mean, it was 60ยบ in January, at one point!), so I'm enjoying seeing white everywhere! I need to go sledding and ice skating!!!!!!!

Again, my apologies for neglecting this blog for so long! 

Keep smiling!


  1. Wow, how melodramatic.... lol :-)

    I didn't know my sister had a mustache. Definitely not her style. And the big nose look is just a little too... I don't know.. big for you... ;-)

    It was good seeing ya'll at the wedding!

  2. It's a good thing this dress happened to you instead of me. If I'd gotten it almost finished and hated it I would probably have never done anything else with it.

    Actually, I'd probably have taken 5 years to get it to the point of almost finished, and by then I would want to burn it.

    Nice job on salvaging it! And nice job on being a cute sister. :-)

    That picture of you and Grace is... well, not quite so cute. ;-)

  3. What an adorable dress, Tara! You are such a talented seamstress. =)

  4. Oh Tara, that dress is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love it! I would never have known what to do after the first try. :-) I love how it turned out. You are so gorgeous!!!
    Every time I see your blog I am inspired to make something new! :-)
    Much love,

  5. Your dress turned out really adorable! I'm really loving the bodice. Super cute!

  6. *I* don't think that's "far from perfect." That is about the perfectest dress ever (well, not ever, but it's up there!). The styling is so cute and I LOVE the neckline. Kudos for salvaging what wasn't so great at first! The pictures so so vintage and sweet, too. I know the fur and gloves hid the neck but they made for an epic photoshoot.

    Hope you're getting over from all your colds.

    Your dog is so fluffy!!!! ^_^

  7. Hmm...far from perfect doesn't seem quite right. Maybe not the original dress, but it's perfectly lovely. Reworking it worked well!

  8. Such a cute post! I love the dress and what you did with it. Way to think on your toes :) You amaze me with you well you can sew. I am such a sewing failure but would love to get better at it. Love these pictures!!

  9. Emil - Haha. Yes, I was going a little over the top with the drama of it. :) I don't know - I think Grace looks cute even with a mustache... Good to see ya'll too!!

    Kathryn - Um, yeah, that's kind of how you work, sewing-wise. :) What do you mean? I think the pic of Grace and me is adorable.... just slightly... goofy.

    Samantha - Thank you!!

    Kaila - Well then, my goal in blogging has been achieved - inspiring others to sew! :) Thanks for the sweet comment! *hugs*

    Sereina - Thank you! I rather like the bodice too!

    Shaylynn - Aww - thank you for the nice, encouraging comment! (and yes, we are all over the colds, thankfully!)

    Lisa - Thank you!!

    Joanne - Thanks so much the comment! Well, as with anything, the best way to get better at sewing is just do it! :)

  10. Gorgeous! That dress is absolutely darling, and you did a wonderful job of adapting it from the pattern. I love the gathers under the "empire waist" line. And with the matching shoes and hat, it's an all-around retro outfit.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Hehe... Yes, y'all look cute in the picture... Just a little goofy too. I think Grace had at least a few coffees by then, so I can understand... :)

  12. DARLING dress! What a clever save! I probably would have just left it to molder in a drawer somewhere after being faced with the medieval/50's frump (LOL'ed at that, by the way). You did an amazing job!

  13. Katrina - Thanks so much!! I so admire all the dresses you make, so a compliment from you is treasured very much! :)

    Emil - You can always trust Grace to get goofy when on caffeine.... that or it's just me. Maybe I give her a caffeine high, since we usually get super goofy when we're together. :)

    Miss Dashwood - Thank you!! Glad you laughed at the medieval/50's/frump - I kind of smiled when that description hit me too. :)

  14. Oh girlie, the grey dress of doom turned out beautifully. And YOU look gorgeous.

    Eeep! Your new piano sounds amazing!

  15. *chuckle*. That is very true... But goofy is good... And definitely fun! :)

  16. Robyn - Aww - you're so sweet, darlin'! My new piano Is amazing! You have to come over soon and play it!! (or maybe wait until it gets tuned...) Love ya!!

    Emil - Agreed! :)

  17. Aww, that's a really cute dress. =)

  18. Thanks, Aidyl!! :)

  19. Tara,
    the dress is so cute! You did a great job!!
    I like the vintage photos, the last one is very good!

  20. Your dress turned out amazing ! I love it even more than the pencil drawing of the original drawing ! Maybe you could sell patterns ;-)
    Your pictures are beautiful, and you look...special with a fake nose and mustache !
    Blessings !
    Marie, a reader from France,

  21. Emma - Thanks so much! The last picture was my favorite too. :)

    Marie - Wow! Thanks so much!! I've thought of selling patterns before, but there's SO much involved with that, that I haven't had the time to figure it all out! Haha.... yes, I agree. Quite... "special". :)

  22. I love that hat Tara! It's my favorite part of the outfit. :) You didn't make that too did you?!

  23. Moriah - No, I didn't make the hat - it is a vintage one that I got on Ebay in a HUGE set of vintage hats. I love it too, though I think this is the first time I've worn it! ;) Miss you!!

  24. Your dress turned out really nice in the end. I really like the pleats, which are so hard to sew. Yours turned out lovely though and it is a very cute style.
    I understand what you mean about not having a 1950's body. I've discovered this after I bought a coat from the 50's and had to let out the waist a little bit. Their clothes were so pretty back then though.

    Very glad I found your blog! I'm starting a fashion one of my own and I like looking at other blogs to get ideas.

  25. Heather - Thanks for the comment!!

  26. WE ARE SUCH TWINS!! :) You must send me that picture. LOVE it. And you!

    Oh, and as always...absolutely fabulous job on the dress-goorrgeeeoouuss <3

  27. Sierra - I KNOW! I'll have Kathryn send over the picture for you! :D Love you too!

  28. This dress is absolutely stunning - I love the cut of it. Love your blog too!

  29. I just found this post from your 2013 recap. The dress is LOVELY! You did SUCH an amazing job redoing it so it fit your style!

    the Middle Sister and Singer



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