Bright happy dress – finished!

Bright happy dress - vintage Vogue 7298 - Boston harbor

The Bright Happy dress is complete, modeled with the scenic Boston waterfront in the background.  After so much saddening news coming out of Boston recently, I was happy to show off such a cheerful new dress on a beautiful spring day in the city.  What better way to bounce back than to frolic in the warmth and sunshine in a new handmade garment?  : )

Project stats:

Pattern: Vogue 7298 (vintage from the 1960s; now out of print) — same as my Mad Men dress

Fabric: Fiesta Firecracker by Alexander Henry; sash and lining are Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman

Modifications: Same as the Mad Men dress, omitted the white stripe, and added a sash at the waist

Level of crafty satisfaction:  Love it!  So bright and happy!! : )

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So close to a finished dress…

Bright happy dress - hem complete

Tonight I finished off the final details of the bright happy dress: hemming the dress and the lining, and making a quick blue sash.  Technically the dress is finished at this point, so look for the photo shoot coming soon!  : )  You can see the finished hem in the photo above – just a simple machine hem for each layer.  Below are a few photos of the belt, which is fabulously turquoise.  Love it!

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Bright happy dress: lining complete

Bright happy dress - lining finished

I only managed to squeeze in 30 minutes of (hand) sewing yesterday, but at least it was productive!  The lining of my bright happy dress is now complete, and I’m pretty happy with how neat and clean everything looks on the inside of the dress.  I mattress-stitched the bodice lining to the zipper tape, and it blends in quite well with the skirt portion below.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I love the finished look of attaching a lining by hand.  : )

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The Mad Men dress goes to work

Mad Men dress styled 1 - Vogue 7298

I wore my beloved Mad Men dress (vintage Vogue 7298) to work yesterday – styled with a cute floral cardigan from Ann Taylor.  Hooray for wearing handmade garments to work!  : )  Problem: when you work in a lab with hazardous chemicals that you might spill on yourself (ahem), wearing precious garments might not be such a good idea.  I’m pretty sure I spilled acid on the skirt at one point and almost had a heart attack.  Argh!!  So far I don’t see the characteristic acid stain (ask me how I know what an acid stain looks like), but we’ll see.  Crossing my fingers that disaster has been averted here.  Such drama!

Mad Men dress styled 2 - Vogue 7298           Mad Men dress styled 3 - Vogue 7298

I did enjoy wearing a fabulous handmade garment for the rest of the day though, despite the acid splatter in the morning.  I got a few nice compliments from labmates who know that I sew, and I do feel  kind of fancy prancing around the lab in a nice dress.  Haha, am I crazy?  I dress like such a slob for the lab everyday, so once in a while I have to remind myself that I am, in fact, a woman.  : )  I used to wear nice clothes and heels to work everyday (when I had an office job), and I miss it!  Oh well, it’s one of the many sacrifices I make to do the work that I love.  Go science!

Can you picture me wearing safety goggles and latex gloves in this outfit?  Ha!

Do you wear your handmade creations to work?  : )

Peacefully hand sewing the lining into place

Bright happy dress - lining progress 1 back

More progress on the bright happy dress: hand sewing the bodice lining into the dress.  I’m using the same technique as I did for the Mad Men dress – see these two posts – essentially pinning the lining into place (with a million pins, you know me!) and using a simple mattress stitch to attach it.  I’ve quite enjoyed the process of hand sewing this time around, really embracing the peaceful repetition with some good music playing in the background.  Perfect for a relaxing evening!

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A full day of sewing!

Bright happy dress - sneak peek

I got a ton of sewing done on my bright happy dress yesterday – see how cute it’s looking so far?  : )  The photo above is just a little sneak peak… because you *know* I had to try it on as soon as the zipper went in, haha.  Lots of in-progress photos below – enjoy!

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Bright happy skirt assembled

Bright happy dress - skirt construction

Sewing continues on the bright happy dress!  After stitching the bodice pieces together on Thursday night, last night I tackled skirt construction.  One would think that sewing the skirt pieces together would go quickly… but one would be sadly mistaken!  This was quite the odyssey.  Then again, it’s sewing, so it was a pretty enjoyable odyssey.  : )  The reason it took forever is that I used French seams for everything, including topstitching the side seams to keep the seam allowances permanently in place.  It’s time consuming, but I love the finished look and think it’s totally worth it.  Right??  : )

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Sewing begins on the bright happy dress

Bright Happy Dress - bodices pieces sewn

Darts, shoulder seams, and side seams – woo hoo!  The bright happy dress is starting to come together, and I have to say, I’m really digging this crazy bright fabric.  People will be able to see me coming from a mile away!   I managed to squeeze in a little sewing time after work yesterday, which resulted in two completed bodice shells – the outer fabric and the cream lining.  Progress is slow but steady.  : )

Bright Happy Dress - close up of bodiceHere I am modeling the shell over a stripey shirt – not exactly a great combination, huh?  : )  But just imagine an entire dress full of bright circles, with bare arms in the warm summer sun.  Can’t wait!

Next up: putting the skirt pieces together.  French seams, baby!!

Dress cutting complete, tote bags in the works

Bright happy dress - pile of pieces

Behold: a pile of very bright dress pieces (and not-so-bright lining pieces) for the Bright Happy Dress.  Step 1 complete!  Many, many more steps to go!  Gotta celebrate each little step along the way, right?  : )  It *is* pretty satisfying to look at this neat pile of garment pieces on my sewing table… so I guess that’s a good reason as any to celebrate.

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Let the healing (and crafting) begin

Fabric for bright happy dress

After an extremely long and tense day here in Boston yesterday, I’m very eager to let the healing — and the crafting — begin.  : )  In light of the saddening events both in Boston and Texas this week, I decided to make my next sewing project as happy and uplifting as possible.  Enter the “Bright Happy Dress,” as I’ve decided to call it, featuring the extremely colorful and bright print you see here.  In addition to helping me focus on something cheerful, I think the print will be great for spring and summer.  Yay for warm weather!  (Now when will it actually arrive?)

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