the sew weekly “on holiday”: because a normal housedress would be completely boring

image from alabama studio website

The Facts:

Fabric: tie-dye souvenir t-shirt circa 1996; extra tie-dye fabric, hand-dyed by me circa 2011
Pattern: alabama studio fitted dress pattern (available in alabama studio + design)
Year: 2012
Notions: none
Time to Complete: 1 hour, for preliminary work.  embellishment & handstitching TBD.
First Worn: first weekend of the summer, 2012:  june 23
Wear Again: yes
Total Price: priceless.
Challenge Theme:  “on holiday”

my blog friends know that i’ve had the pleasure of kitting out and enjoying a new vacation house this year, which my mom and i bought together while she undergoes treatment for cervical cancer.

as i am sure you can imagine, it’s become an incredibly special place.  every moment there, even when i am all over dirt and sleeping 15 hours because i overdid it in the garden, is like being on holiday.  so i ditched my plan to make a bathing suit or beach dress to indulge in making the ultimate house dress for my new vacation house.

if you haven’t yet checked out natalie chanin’s “alabama studio sewing + design,” and you like sewing with knits, refashioning old knits, or just innovative ways of turning simple fabrics into the ultimate in DIY couture, you are doing yourself a serious disservice.  her earlier books were cute and quirky, with a decent pattern or two–this one is practically a bible for wonderful, innovative garments that can be as cookie-cutter or unique as you have the patience for.

for now i’ve skipped most of the elaborate, hand-bound seam finishes, only because i haven’t decided if i want or need them.  also, my 15-year-old t-shirt didn’t exactly provide enough fabric for an interesting neck binding.

i love this shirt and decided it was the perfect base to try the fitted dress pattern in the book.  when i bought this shirt, and then decided to tie-dye it, i was just entering high school and spending the summer at sleepaway camp.  it was the first chance i had to truly express myself and do something weird.  i loved the message of the shirt:  normal is boring.  and i loved it even more when i got such a great spiral pattern on tie-dye day.

my house is in woodstock, NY, tie-dye capital of the world.  marriage made in heaven, no?

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