What Long Strange Trip It’s Been.

I can’t even remember when I started this dress. It was summer, and it was before we had a baby, or even a thought of one, so that places it at least 10 years ago. A friend convinced me to make myself a dress out of Liberty of London fabric. And since we had no kids, I had plenty of time and we were a full time double income couple, it seemed reasonable. I bought a pattern and without double checking any measurements on the sizing, jumped headfirst into the project.
After I finished what was hands down the best zipper job I’d ever done, I finally stopped to try the dress on for size. All that was left was the hem and the shoulder seams.

It didn’t fit.

IT DIDN’T FIT. The best damn zipper I’ve ever done in my life – and I avoid them like the plague, a small fortune spent on fabric and the most careful sewing I’ve ever done in my life and IT DOESN’T FIT.

It was too small in the chest, I couldn’t get the zipper to close. Frustrated, I threw the unfinished dress in a bag in a closet, that got moved upstairs when we built out the attic and I moved my sewing area to a corner in our new master suite. It sat there until earlier this spring, when I went looking in that crawl space for something and found this bag of forgotten fabric. And apparently projects. Having just lost a good 30 pounds thanks to the removal of my stomach tumor (and part of my stomach with it) and knowing I was thinner than I had ever been in my life, I decided to try on the dress, just to see….

It fit.


I managed to find the original pattern and the directions I needed to finish it. I realized that I was going to have to finish the shoulder seams by hand, in a blind stitch – definitely not my strong point. So, it sat some more. Until the other day, when I was procrastinating on some other projects and decided to just give it a whirl. The shoulder seams didn’t look too shabby, so onto the hem.
I will admit, I do have fabulous legs, but there wasn’t much room for a hem and still leave the dress at a respectable length. After all, I probably cut this dress out when I was in my 20’s and now that I’m in my 40’s, I do like my skirts just a little bit longer. (But not much. Did I mention I have good legs?). I played around with different ideas and then noticed a long hunk of scrap fabric from this dress in a box of scraps I’d given Edie to play around with. I’ve been digging some unfinished ruffled edges lately, in fact, I just finished a skirt with one, so I thought I’d give that a try.

I vaguely measured the strips of fabric, didn’t even make sure the gathering stitch was evenly in the center, just ran it through the machine and went with it. I did finish all my edges, so I have that going for me, and then I simply tried to make sure the gathering stitch was at the edge of skirt fabric. I really like it. The skirt hits just at my knee – perfect.

I still have to wash it, tack down the facing in the back around the zipper, but it’s done. And it fits. I do believe a celebration is in order.

2 thoughts on “What Long Strange Trip It’s Been.

  1. Michele says:

    Absolutely stunning, Beck. I love it. And…yes. Your legs are hot. Show them off, honey. You have earned that right! One of these days, don't be surprised if I show up on your door step with fabric, two bottles of really great red wine, and my sewing machine. Seriously! You are my hero. Keep on keepin' on, Beck. I always knew you had this in you…even way back in Sister Beaker's class. You could have taught that class…xoxo

  2. me says:

    UGH I am so jealous. I hate to admit this but I so wish I had spent my time in Beaker's class actually listening instead of ..well we won't go there. Anyway, awesome Beck, really awesome. And ain't it grand to be 40…me 41,,, and be thinner than ever?! I am not thin but I am thinner!! and yes your legs rock. maybe one day I will graduate from sewing blankets and plain pillows and move to a pattern….ooooo..prob not.
    xoxo K

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s