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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.
I was foiled in my attempt to go get the mulberry sweater knit that I can’t stop thinking about since I left it on the bolt at Mood because as it turns out, Mood was closed on December 24th. (What! Do they not realize how short my time in New York is??) Fortunately, on my way there, I bumped into the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya (more on that expensive and unexpected happening later) and Paron. Having filled up on basics already, I perused their extensive 50% off heaven/annex for things that caught my eye, and fixed on this nerdy-chic chocolate and burnt orange Banana Republic plaid wool:
It’s sort of a shetland weight that would make for a nice substantial pair of pants or fall jacket. My first thought was a high waisted pencil skirt of the sexy-librarian-shakes-out-hair-good-heavens-you’re-beautiful! variety. (I don’t know why I always think I can pull that off when I haven’t got anything in the va-va-voom department.) In particular, I would pair said skirt with my new also nerdy-chic Sweet Pota-toe Heels from ModCloth (believe it or not, my first ever actual ModCloth purchase):
(If these are your style, I should let you know that they are a bargain at $39.99. Grab them while they still have a few pairs left! And I am the reason that they’re sold out of size 5.)
I asked for a yard and a half of the fabric (originally $24/yard, but $12 after the 50% off), but the woman unrolled everything that was left on the bolt and said she’d give me the whole piece for the price of two yards. In the interest of not accumulating too much stash I thought about wisely saying no. After all, it’s not a super basic like black wool gabardine or white cotton poplin. But she was so nice and it was almost Christmas eve and she was really selling hard to the selfish in me. And there went another $6.
I took it home and measured it and found that the entire piece was actually four yards long. Plenty for a pencil skirt and something else (which I would not wear WITH the skirt because I do not want to dress like a crazy lady.) What do you think? Three-quarter length coat with chocolate brown faux fur trim? Trench-style jacket? Trousers? What does one do with so much sweet potato plaid?