Long lost UFO

Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, a teenage girl liked her friends button up, sleevless, princessline dress and kept borrowing it. So she decided to make one for herself. She bought some green floral fabric, found some little white pearly buttons (that legend has it came from her grandmothers stash) and set to work. But the sewing machine was playing up and chewed up her attempts to finish the seam allowance and there was something wrong with the armhole facings and she needed help getting the hem straight so she put it one side for later.

Eventually the dress got put in a box with some other things and forgotten about. It moved around the country with her several times. It sat there through her university days. It was there lurking in the corner of her house when she got married. It was on top of a set of shelves when she had children. Everyone had forgotten about the dress.

Then one day the woman who had once been a teenager noticed the dress in one of boxes of sewing stuff and decided to try it on. It had a scruffy ragged unfinished hem and the inside was such a mess it didn’t bear thinking about, but miraculously it fit. (This was probably more to bad initial fitting than anything else as in those 20 years she had eaten many bars of chololate and pies and the like and had had two children).

As I found it (not sure why I'm looking so worriedly at next doors roof)

As I found it (not sure why I’m looking so worriedly at next doors roof)

So she spent an evening tidying it up, constantly having to remind herself that it didn’t need to be perfect, just wearable.

Aarghh, raggedy seam finishes (the new seam finishes were about as bad as the old, this fabric resents being finished)

Aarghh, raggedy seam finishes (the new seam finishes were about as bad as the old, this fabric resents being finished)

She let the princess seam out a little around the bust to stop gaping in that area of the button band, took it in a little around the shoulder to stop bagging, let it out a bit again on the shoulder as it was now too tight in the arms, finsihed off some of the seams on the inside, lengthened some of the seams (as her idea of a suitable length had grown over time), steamed the shit out of it, got her husband to pin a hemline, hemmed it, fudged the armhole finishes (differntly as they were at different stages of distress to start with, but the differences are on the inside so hopefully noone will ever know), resolved to NEVER look at the awful finishing on the inside and lo and behold she had a new dress that had only taken approximately 21 years to make.

So I present to you the Grunge/Skater/You Haven’t Changed a Bit Dress….

fds

The finished article – worth the wait?

Pattern lost in the mists of time (but it won’t have been self drafted)
Fabric Feels like a synthetic/cotton mix, twill, a little thicker than the orignal dress that inspired it, lovely and soft, very flowey (is that even a word?), gorgeous shade of green with subtle purple white and orangey-red flowers. Subtly girly with attitude.
Buttons I vaguely remember these were on a card and possibly came from one of my grandmothers. Pearly effect white plastic. I love them. I think they may be why I never threw the dress away so I love them twice.
Fit Wearable – but still a little tight on the armholes.
Make again? Hmm, not sure I’ll still want to be wearing things like this when I’m 60, so maybe not.

The very next day she wore it for the whole day as it was Me Made May and the sun was out. As she no longer wears sleeveless dresses she mended her purple frilly jacket (bought from Zara) at breakfast time to wear with it. They looked good together, but was really sunny and by the end of the day the jacket was a little too hot. However, she has plans for another garment to accessorise it with and thereby sheild her upper arms from the world….

9 thoughts on “Long lost UFO

  1. That is an amazing story! Thank you for making me smile. Also that cut and colour really do suit you!

  2. Adorable! And totally worth the wait.

  3. cool story – and it is still in style.

  4. You sound like a kindred spirit. I am a great project starter, but only a mediocre to poor project completer. But I don’t quit – I just pack it away for “later.” I sure appreciate not feeling so alone! Thanks for sharing. And you were right. It looks great, completely worth the wait.

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