First Day of School and an Alfred Shaheen Inspired Dress

Posted by Kristin on Tuesday, August 27, 2013.

Today was the first day of school and I always like to start the year with a new dress.  Only instead of buying something from Macy's, I made one to wear.  Ok, that's a lie.  I made SIX to wear!  My first day dress is a mash up of Simplicity 2217 and a self drafted skirt.

Remember my vintage Alfred Shaheen fabric I found on vacation this past June?  If not, I was rambling around in a little fabric shop while on vacation in Emerald Isle, NC when I found just over two yards of fabric by Alfred Shaheen.  Shaheen was the pioneer behind the iconic Hawaiian shirt.  He also designed fabrics and women's dresses. He is considered a pioneer in the textile industry.  Sorry, that kind of reads like a middle school book report.  At least I didn't tack on "The End" or end my paragraph with "And that is the history of Alfred Shaheen." 

Blue Velvet Vintage



Posh Girl Vintage

I considered my fabric find to be a treasure that I couldn't ruin.  I agonized for weeks trying to decide how to best use it.  Then one of my readers, Danielle, suggested using Simplicity 2217 as my bodice.  Simplicity 2217 is from their "Amazing Fit" collection, which I think translates to "ginormous amount of ease added."  I liked that the pattern had varying cup sizes so that saved me from having to do an FBA.  Again, my measurements placed me in a solid 22, but after making up the muslin, it was obvious that taking a few seams wouldn't work and I sized down to a 20.  When I looked at the measurements for the finished garment, the bodice allowed for 3+ inches of wearing ease!  Since I wanted my bodice to be fitted and not hanging open in the front (which would be oh so appropriate for a middle school teacher to wear to work), I went down a size and still had to take in some along the front princess seams and the top of the side seams.  I also added an invisible zip instead of a lapped zip.  I did that for no real reason other than I know how to do invisible zips.  My bodice fabric is a basic black cotton that collects Phoebe hair faster than honey attracts flies.  I think I sewed up the equivalent of a whole cat in this since she likes to lay on whatever fabric I am working with.  Um, hope none of my students are allergic to cats...  I also put the bodice together in a little different order than what the instructions stated because I was adding my own skirt and I made a muslin instead of fitting as I went. 

2217 has a more fitted skirt with a couple of pleats at the top but I opted to do a self drafted gathered skirt for fullness.  It is a basic dirndl (you know, two hard can it be?).  I did not gather it in the front or the back because I imagine it makes me look slimmer.  Or at least not the size of a water buffalo.  I also lined it in a light blue lining from JoAnn's.  I have no idea what it is made out of but I do know it was next to impossible to work with and feels hotter than summer in Hades.  Or I'm having hot flashes.  But I'm still blaming the lining.  So I'm assuming it is polyester.  On the bright side, it is a pretty color.

I took these pictures after the first day of school and after meeting with our HOA's accountant I've hired to straighten out my mess I created while pretending I know what I am doing as Treasurer.  Apparently there was some money missing.  Don't worry, I don't have some elaborate scheme to collect HOA fees for my own bank account...I'm not smart enough to figure that out.  I just applied some stuff in weird places.  Oops. Wait, my point was that I'm tired.  Exhausted, actually.  Hence the unruly hair and sleepy look.

When I first took these pics the first few had a bunch of orbs in them.  I guess my place is now haunted.  All of those noises I blame on Phoebe must be due to spirits moving about.  Ok, ok, the orbs disappeared once I cleaned the lens of my camera.  But I'm checking into blessing the house just in case.  They may have just been hiding for the second round of pics....

See the cat hair?  And the cat?  She's pissed that I picked her up and since I was trying not to be clawed to death (and having my own spirit join my orbs) I forgot to set the auto timer and took a picture of my chest instead.  Sadly, this is after I went over it with a lint roller. 

On a completely unrelated note, this green is the for real color of my living room.  All of my other pictures seem to wash it out.  I keep thinking if I make my house look like it belongs at the beach, I'll fool myself into believing I actually live there and not in the mountains of SW Virginia.  A girl can dream, right?

In conclusion, my dress is very comfortable to wear and I love it.  And that is my blog about my dress.  The End. 

3 Responses to First Day of School and an Alfred Shaheen Inspired Dress

  1. Anonymous

    Great dress! Sorry to hear about your HOA oopsies -- I've been on our HOA for about 5 years now and am MORE than ready to step down and let someone else {anyone else} step up!

  2. Kristin

    I keep hoping my mistakes and lack of accounting skills will be the end of my reign as treasurer. No such luck....

  3. Nothy Lane

    Really nice. I like the different fabrics for the bodice and skirt. And i like the changes youmade to the skirt.

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