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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Tale of Two Dresses, Part 1

Nobody's Better Than the Best! (aka Ms BTTB)
Sometimes I think I fret too much – sweat the small stuff. The thought gained momentum recently when I was lucky enough to catch some quality sewing time with my youngest daughter.

An aside: In a past post, I referred to my youngest daughter as DD#3, which, strictly speaking she is, but she is much, much more than that, so I wanted blog-name that would better reflect her wonderfulness. This is a tad difficult, since I already picked the perfect name for her at birth. Then I remembered a handle she gave herself when she was young, said in one long, loud, fast breath, “I’m The Best and Nobody’s Better Than the Best!” (Can you picture her siblings’ reactions?) For brevity’s sake, I’m going to use the initials from the last part of that long-winded moniker, Better Than the Best, so I hereby christen her Ms BTTB. The Best would be a simpler nickname but if I wrote that, her siblings might develop strange notions about our family dynamics that would take years of intense therapy to undo.

A second aside: I am also a DD#3, and I was called The Boss. Hmmmmm.

Anyhoo, back on topic....

Ms BTTB had a fancy function to attend – a masked dance. My poor little Cinderella had a flat wallet. However, in her cupboard, she had a long length of black cotton-spandex knit material (aka t-shirt fabric). With only an idea in her head (no pattern) for a drapey dress, she chopped, chopped, chopped into that fabric and made basically two rectangles. Gathering it on one side about halfway down, she sewed it together, leaving the prerequisite spaces for head and arms and legs. Ms BTTB tried it on, decided it was butt ugly, and tossed the homely thing in the corner.

Time passed. Unfortunately, her wallet didn’t gain any weight. Necessity being the Mother of Invention, she picked it up, dusted it off, and tried it on again. Assessing the design, Ms Better Than The Best decided she liked the cowl neckline, but lumpy, dumpy middle ruined the silhouette. She pinched, she twisted, she created magic. When she was finished, Ms BTTB had an interesting asymmetrical, sleeveless, cowl-neck dress. The addition of a bit of bling on the side twist took the garment up that final notch. Voila! A gorgeous dress!

Button sewn on the edge of cowl
However, don’t focus too closely on the finishing detail. The seams... well, they stayed together. The hem... unfinished is au courant. The super-long facing in the back... turns out it helps smooth bra-band area nicely.

Button creating weight - imagine
it hidden inside
Button hooked on bridge of bra, creating
a stationary, non-risque neckline

One detail was sheer brilliance. On the bottom of the cowl, Ms BTTB sewed on a small clear button. It adds weight, so the cowl hangs nicely. Better still, the button can be tucked into the bridge of the bra, creating a sharp, low V that stays in place and doesn’t show anything. Nada.

Ready to party!
What I love best is the joie de vie that went into this creation. Sure, the dress spent some time balled up in the corner. But enthusiasm started the project, and enthusiasm finished the dress. With the goal firmly in mind, BTTB went at it, full steam ahead. She put her heart in it.

I wanna sew like that.
         - Lady T


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  2. "I'm the best and there's nobody better than the best" didn't just drive her sibs nuts...dress looks fabulous. All she needs is her boa!

    1. Good to know her sphere of wonderfulness included so many. :-) As irritating as that saying could be, I had to admire her spunk!

      You're right about the boa. The red feathers would've looked FAB with this dress.

  3. I LOVE BTTB's dress. She looks so pretty. And ha ha to Kleinelusas! ;)