Saturday, August 02, 2014

Oonapalooza Dress

Hello everyone! Back from the mountain and super refreshed from our six days of enforced internet detox. Easy to forget how life without the internet feels like!

So I made a dress this week! I started working on the second part of the tutorial I promised you last time and decided that I might as well make a second Open Back Dress out of it, since I loved the first one so much. Besides it was Oonapalooza month over at the Sewcialists, and I had just the fabric for it. Boldness and whimsicality embodied -- yes, yes, perfect Oona.

A word about the photos in this post: sorry if you're feeling disoriented!! I'm experimenting a little with backgrounds right now, some being more successful than others. :-) Lots of fun. :-D And a lot more fun than the embarrassment of taking pictures outside, big camera and tripod in front of everyone. Gaah. Last time, cars were literally slowing down in my neighborhood, checking out who that "celebrity" was. Gah. I know I was in a Bollywood movie, but still. I really like the end result of the photos I take outside, as tricky and uncomfortable as the process is, but I need to be in a special kind of mood for it.
Ahem. I may or may not have sewn better zippers before.
SO, things don't always turn out the way we want them to. I don't think I'm going to be wearing this dress very much (like, ever). The craziness and loudness of the fabric is one thing (my partner said the pattern made him dizzy. Call him Swedish -- minimalist -- but I think he is right.) I even used the reverse side of the fabric, to avoid the intense sateen effect, but it could only do some much to tone it down. More than that, I didn't do such a good job technique-wise with this temperamental silk (polyester?) charmeuse. Everything shows with silk charmeuse, as they say on Project Runway. (Speaking of PR, has anyone watched the last season? I'm several seasons behind!)

I liked the fabric a lot when I bought it (with the lovely Pincushion Treats back in the days where we were both living in the UK, I might add.) I still do like it, graphically speaking. But it just doesn't really fit with anything I have in my wardrobe. And somehow doesn't feel quite "me". It happens! :-)

The positive thing that emerged out of this dress is for sure to realize how much my attitude has changed as a dressmaker. In the early days, I used to get SOOO upset when I messed up a project. Difficult to believe now (okay, maybe not so difficult to believe) but I remember throwing myself on my bed, bursting into tears because the Andrew Sweater from Burda Style hadn't work out and ended up in the garbage. In those days I was equating a failure with the statement "I suck at sewing," which is so unfortunate! Because if you're afraid to fail all the time, then where is the experimenting? Where is the risk taking?

Somehow along the way, I learnt to take it easy! It's just sewing! I've accepted that the occasional failed project is bound to happen when you go outside of your comfort zone. "If you're not failing half the time, you're not trying hard enough", as they say. So failure is part of the deal. I know you all were probably a lot faster at learning this lesson than I was, but realizing this, with this project, has been an important moment for me. Along the years, I have been really inspired by how unafraid -- and brave! -- you have been in making mistakes in front of the world on your blog.

On these thoughts, little chickadees, I will leave you to it. Sew, sew, sew! Have a happy, productive weekend!

P.S.: For more technical details about this dress, again, you can check out my first Open Back Dress post, inspired from this dress by Club Monaco. You can see the drafting instructions for it here. And I'll be posting the sewing instructions for the waistband in the next days, so stay tuned! :-)

14 comments:

  1. This is so lovely!!! I LOVE the print, but the back is pretty awesome. I love the way it is open but also covered. I am so tempted to flat out copy this one ;-)

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    1. Hey Debbie. That's exactly what the tutorial is for. :-) I look forward to seeing your version!

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  2. You've got a great attitude towards sewing! I admire the thought and care you put into your makes, and at the same time, enough perspective to know one imperfect dress is not the end of the world! The way I figure it, if you hadn't sewed this dress, then the fabric would have followed you around in your stash for years... bettwe to have it sewn up and out of the way! ;) I think you look great in this dress (I like the idea of backgrounds, too!) so I hope you wear it out for at least one night! :)

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    1. Yes, there is always a relief that comes from getting one fabric out of the stash, that's for sure. Feeling a bit lighter!

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  3. Love the black backgrounds. Had quite the day yesterday trying to take photos in between all the aimless old men in my neighborhood who sit on benches all day. Ahem. This dress is very pretty and very Oona but not very "you" tis true. And you've just confirmed my not so irrational fear of poly charmeuse. But live and learn right? I'm appreciating your thoughts on not taking it so seriously all the time... I failed make is a lesson learned.

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    1. Yeah, poly charmeuse is tricky! But if anyone could make it work it would be you, Heather.

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  4. Personally I think that these colours and this print looks great on you, but I know how it feels to make something that's just not right. Your thoughts on sewing are spot on, without a risk here and there we'd never get anything done!

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    1. Glad you think so. The pictures are EXTREMELY flattering compared to the real-life dress, I must tell you, though. :-)

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  5. well, from the pictures, it looks crazy but with just the right amount of muting to be wearable... but i know what you mean about those projects that are a learning experience. it's so much better to view them as "part of the deal" than be mad at the time spent!

    and, might this be one that looks different with a couple months of time out? sometimes, you just need to rest your eyes on a finished project...like having too much cheese and needing a break from cheese.

    bad example. cheese is never not awesome.

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    1. Good point Oona, maybe it's just a case of too much cheese. :-)

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  6. I'm a little more relaxed about making sewing mistakes nowadays :) I like the whole process and the creativity of making your own clothes. If I wanted perfect clothes then I should have bought them!
    PS Your shoes are adorable!

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  7. Ah yes, I am very familiar with the not quite right project. However, you have inspired me to remake something I didn't like into one of your open back dresses! I really feel that nothing is lost when we're creating, it's all a learning experience. On to the next project with the battle of the poly charmeuse behind you!

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  8. I'm still learning this lesson, or more specifically, imperfect stitching does not ruin a project nor make it unfit for public wearing. I do so appreciate you blogging this topic to remind me I'm not alone! I quite like the pattern, but probably as a blouse, not a whole dress.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are moderated on posts older than 20 days, so they won't appear immediately. :-)

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