Monday, April 25, 2011

Pattern Panic

It's April, and the wedding is in August.  There's plenty of time for me to  make 10 different dresses, if I like. I spent hours poring over online pattern catalogs, and believe me, going to the fabric store and thumbing through pattern books is much quicker. I'm no closer to a decision. Everything for weddings seems to be strapless. No way. I'm 60. I don't do strapless. 

If I start now, I can make something complex. Only thing is, I want to wear a dress, and I haven't sewn any  for years. I fear that I will end up in an A-line  dress with a droopy arty jacket. I like sewing arty.

The bride will be wearing  vintage Jessica McClintock. Do I want to nod to her style and wear a 70's boho dirndl close fitted vest and filmy top? Could I stand to wear pastels? Lavender and mint green are her accent colors. I dunno. I didn't go for ruffles and lace in the 70's.

I have a vast collection of vintage patterns, but I am short. There is no way that I want to wear a poufy skirted 50's dress. I am not a cupcake. My pattern stash turned up variations on the same pattern, from different publishers and different eras. I'm headed toward sheath/shift/A-line, despite my indecent lust for patterns that feature clever cut and drape techniques.

I have a collection of vintage linen tablecloths just waiting to be transformed into something.

I'm leaning toward an a-line sheath with cap sleeves, and a  jacket of some sort.  The bride gave me a lovely vintage dress and jacket pattern for Christmas, but a dress and jacket of precisely the same fabric seems somehow  business like, not really celebratory. Perhaps  cotton lace or eyelet. A suit? Somehow that seems too businesslike. If I'm going to wear a suit, I want it to be Mainbocher. I love high fashion of the 40s and 50s, but  most of the high fashion stuff looks good only on very tall people.

I haven't sewn clothing  for myself for years. I've mended, made do and forced manufactured clothing into submission. I've made hats and vests, and socks, but I  haven't cut a pattern for a dress for years. It ought to be special. It ought to be fun. Fun for me is color, strip quilting, embroidered ribbon, lace.  Mostly, it is color.

Broadcloth large scale print with kimono sleeves and obi belt? Boat neck? Somewhere I have some vintage rayon damask given to me by the bride's mother. Could I dye it? Bead it? 

Panic now. Avoid the wait.