Friday, July 15, 2011

The Green Dress

I've never been a fan of Walmart. The one nearest us is one of those "super" ones, where they have everything from shoelaces and handguns to Rice-a-Roni and home pregnancy tests, all in one enormous, sprawling building with a five-acre parking lot. They have a fabric and notions department, too, as I found out when we went there in search of a specific set of earbuds for my husband. I ditched him in electronics, and went to see exactly what Walmart was trying to sell in the way of cheap fabric.
And oh man, was it cheap. They had the expected bolts of brightly-colored cotton prints and baby flannels, and a wide selection of polar fleece -- but they also had a huge sale table, heaped up with oddball stuff. Like rubberized auto upholstery. Or that grey fuzzy webbing you find inside stereo speakers. There was a stack of somber-hued cotton calicos that made me want to buy them up and make simple, decent, matching shirts and skirts for an imaginary polygamist family.

And there was a full bolt of green bottom-weight linen.

For a buck-fifty a yard.

Let me repeat that price, 'cause it's insane: One Dollar and Fifty Cents a Yard.

There were almost sixteen yards of linen on that bolt. I bought it all. They gave me a deal and I paid just over twenty dollars plus tax.

I brought it home and made a dress. This dress!

It's so wrinkly! That's 'cause i just pulled it out of the dryer and was in a hurry to take the pictures before all the daylight was gone. Patience is something I just do not have...

I'll admit this one time I was in a hurry to get done and I machine stitched the long side seams, but the rest is by hand. It's just that the Oregon Country Fair was in two weeks and I wanted to have a new dress to show off, plus Dave wanted a shirt made and pants, too. I bet you're not a bit surprised to hear he got green linen pants.

Here you can see the side spiral lacing. Yeah, those are metal grommets. No way I had time to hand-stitch four dozen eyelets with OCF only a week and a half away!

Here's the complete outfit, with partlet and apron. Dig those crazy sleeves, eh? Once I'd machine-sewn the long seams and set metal grommets, I kinda threw the whole "historical accuracy" thing to the wind, and had a little fun with what I thought would be the sleeve lining. But then I put the sleeves on and oh my god it looked so boring and plain! So I turned them inside out and let the lining's freak flag fly: blue, olive and gold paisley! .. lemme see if I can find a close-up.

 we go: That lace holding on the sleeve? Fingerbraid by me. I love fingerbraiding. It's so fast and looks so cool as you do it.

I set the sleeve grommet under that little cap, so it wouldn't be all "look at me I'm a metal grommet!" I do have a little bit of shame, see?

All in all, I'm pleased with the look of this outfit. I love the color, (which isn't coming through in these pictures because of the indoor lighting) and the fit and weight of the fabric was perfect.

The only problem I had was the front panel (of course) which --even though I took care to cut on-grain -- rearranged itself and developed a slight pull to the right at the waistline. But for a buck-fiddy a yard, I think we did alright. And I have enough of this fabric that I can always re-cut that front panel, if I want to.

Here's a pic of me in the dress, where the true pale olive color shows better. And I'm wearing my super-sexy linen coif. Woot!

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