I found out about the October Dress Project from my friend Amie and it took me some serious soul-searching to finally make the decision to participate. I don’t own many dresses that aren’t formal or three sizes too small, so I knew I couldn’t use anything I already have. The logical solution would have been to make one with fabric from my stash. I would have had to excavate my sewing machine, find a pattern, and actually have time to sew a dress, though. And that wasn’t going to happen.
Goodwill was the answer.
I had a lot of ideas about the kind of dress that I wanted:
- Solid-colored, preferably a muted tone
- No longer than shin-length
- Capped or sleeveless
- (most importantly) Easy access for Timothy to nurse
After perusing the racks at the Goodwill, I narrowed my choices down to two dresses. One was a green dress in a knit fabric that would have satisfied all of the criteria. The nursing aspect, however, would have only worked if I pulled the front down. After a month of pulling down the front, I think I would wreck the dress. So that was out.
The dress I ultimately chose is a linen/rayon dress that buttons up the front. The tag says “Dry Clean Only” which means it was dirty! I’ll be handwashing the dress in Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and hanging it to dry after rolling it in a towel–much like I wash Timothy’s woolies. Pictures will be taken soon, I promise! Since the dress is missing the bottom button, I’ll be putting new buttons on the entire dress. I like the ones on it, but they’re tortoise-shell and won’t lend well to playing with color. My mother has a wonderful stash of vintage white buttons that I’ll be rummaging through tomorrow (thanks in advance, mom!).
So, for all of you reading this who will be joining me on Choir Retreat this weekend, I hope you like my new dress. After all, you’ll be seeing it every day! I have a rainbow collection of tights to wear with it.
The biggest challenge I think will come from this project will be accessories. I’m not one for scarves, wide belts, and whatever else one would use to accentuate an outfit. Any suggestions/support will be appreciated. This project makes me nervous but excited.
Why am I doing this?
I want to step out of my comfort zone. I just got rid of a HUGE bag full of clothes that don’t fit and never will. I’m coming to the point in my life (AHEM TURNING THIRTY) where whatever today’s “fashion” is…well, it baffles me. I don’t know what’s “hip” anymore. I’ve been wearing whatever fits and smells clean for I don’t even know how long. I no longer want to be depressed when I try to get dressed in the morning because I’m still in between some sizes of jeans or when I discover that the shirt I loved to wear two years ago has a giant stain right on the boob. What I hope to gain from this experience is an appreciation for what I have. I don’t have a lot in my wardrobe that works right now. But by golly, this dress project is going to make me work my wardrobe. If I run out of accessories, I have fabric and yarn enough to make myself something.
Really, I don’t have any specific agenda except to prove to myself that I can do this. And I think I can.