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A few months ago, I chanced upon some pictures of the Melissa plaid shirtdress by Milly, and I wanted it. I wanted it the way a toddler wants a gummi bear. I wanted it the way that annoying guy in your office wants the new iPhone and won’t shut up about it. I wanted it the way Dan wants out of the domestic prison in which I have ensnared him (just kidding, Dan’s not allowed to want things.) Basically, I wanted it the way that only the Selfish Seamstress could want something – violently and aggressively. After all, just look how cute:
So after seeing it, I trolled the web hunting for any plaid fabric with a similar feel and colorway to make my own shirtdress and found nothing. I’m fond of plaid in general, but once I had this particular plaid in mind, every other plaid just looked comparatively dorky. I did have a moment of hope when I discovered Cidell’s plaid silk knit tunic, which was in the right plaid flavor category, and super cute on its own merit. But of course, the fabric was already sold out, which leads me to think that she planned the whole thing to get a rise out of me. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s bested poor Selfish.
So I did what any rational person would do in a state of despair – I threw myself down on the floor and pounded at it with fists and feet, screaming at a high pitch, “I hate you I hate you I hate you” at no one in particular. As usual, it worked. My efforts were rewarded when a few yards of the exact Milly silk (a plain woven with nice body to it, and minimal sheen and slipperiness – perfect!) appeared magically on Gorgeous Fabrics, almost certainly because of my temper tantrum.* I immediately snapped up three yards of it to make sure that none of you would get to it first, backstabbing vultures that you are.
Next up was finding the right shirtdress pattern. Given the huge scale of the plaid, I wanted to avoid piecing to the extent possible. None of the current Big 4 patterns, nor anything in my stash of Burdas had quite what I was going for, so it was off to Etsy, where I found a vintage Simplicity 8294:
(This actually isn’t my copy- mine is a size 6P with a *sigh* 30.5″ bust, but I forgot to take a photo of it.) The pattern was missing the sleeve (and it wasn’t really the kind of sleeve I wanted anyway) so I drafted my own. No princess seams or waist seam on this pattern. The only places I had to worry about matching were at the side seams, across the chest and onto the sleeve, and the center front, so my three yards was more than enough. A bit of taking in through the torso and waist and ta-da! Once again, Selfish gets everything she wanted. (Excuse the photos- the light was fading outside and it was freeeeezing.)
I realize that the navy of my shoes is not the same as the navy of my dress, but I still have every intention of wearing the two together.
Hmm. There seems to be a little wrinkling across the bust near the bottom of the armscye that I didn’t notice during fitting. I’m going to have to check that out. Also, I think I need to wear the sash a little looser (the way the Milly model is wearing it) so as to give it less of an Urkel-y effect.
The dress isn’t an exact copy of the Milly version, as I made mine a more work-wearable slightly-above-the-knee length, and it’s got a different placket and sleeve. Incidentally, I wasn’t too impressed with the RTW version’s placket stitching (you can learn a lot from the zoomable views on department store websites!):
Fortunately it’s not my problem now that I’ve got my own. By the way, you may be wondering more generally how it is that Selfish always gets exactly what she wants, despite being a person with no redeeming qualities, one who contributes little to the world while simultaneously exploiting it and everything in it for her own purposes. Is there a trick or magical secret, you might ask, to continually evading the karma police while managing to end up with everything one desires and never giving anyone anything? The answer is yes. Yes, there is. Have a good day, y’all.
*Okay, perhaps I should acknowledge the the amazing Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics for having procured this wonderful fabric, rather than attributing it solely to my impressive and highly effective tantrums. But you know how I am loath to give credit where it is due unless it’s to myself.
Simplicity 7715 has got to be the cutest pattern that I own. Look at that ruffle version in pink- isn’t that the greatest Carol Brady dress ever? I bought this pattern thinking that I would make it up in a brown menswear fabric for work to wear with a great pair of slingbacks. Sophisticated! It would be a great spring dress in bright yellow doubleknit. Or wedding guest ready in emerald or turquoise dupioni. Or a go-anywhere-and-look-great dress in black wool crepe. How many of these have I made? None. The pattern is just way too big for me (hello, 29″ bust in the house!) and I’ve decided it would be easier for me to draft this in my size from scratch than try to grade down that crossover top. So I want to give this to you.
The Selfish Seamstress, however, is not one of those gentle souls who will request that you leave a comment such that she can pick one lucky person at random. Nor is she interested in banal popularity metrics like getting you to become her Facebook friend or follower. No. She wants to incite cutthroat competition and dirty infighting in which she will be the sole judge using unfair and inconsistent criteria.
So if you want this adorable dress pattern (vintage size 10, bust 32.5, partially cut, complete, envelope in unfortunate condition, instructions intact), I want to see an essay of no more than 100 words. Tell me why I should give it to you. Dirty tactics such as sucking up, snarking, backstabbing, brainwashing, flattery, and lying are strongly encouraged. I’ll give you until Thursday at 11:59PM Pacific time. Make sure you include you indicate how I can contact you for your mailing address if I pick your essay.
And oh yeah, here’s the super cute second prize: