uniforms required

I kind of like the idea of uniforms–no muss, no fuss, no brain activity required. My uniform of choice is of the T-shirt and shorts variety, so you can imagine the problems I encounter when I have to dress nicely. Well, I decided I needed a “nice occasion” uniform, so I got some black fabric off of ebay, dug out an old Vogue pattern (Calvin Klein design), and got to work on my new sewing machine. Here’s the result:

black dress.JPG

I wanted a simple black dress that would be easy and relatively comfortable to wear. I’m pretty happy with it, but yes, I ran into a few obstacles, the biggest of which was the installation of the zipper. I think it may have had something to do with how little give there is in the zipper and the rayon fabric. As a result, there is some pooching in the back by the zipper and some very uneven sewing. Maybe I will have to grow my hair down to my butt to conceal it. On second thought, maybe I will just avoid 3-way mirrors and count on long-term loss of short-term memory to forget the problem.
I’ll be able to test out the dress this weekend, since we’re going to a wedding. I can barely walk in those shoes, but that will provide a good excuse for not hitting the dance floor! Also, can you see the severe sock tan line? I had to buy some of that Sally Hansen spray-on pantyhose in hopes of diminishing the line. I suppose I should test it out first …
Oh, my new sewing machine was wonderful, and it does blind hems like there is no tomorrow. I cannot WAIT to try a buttonhole!

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30 Responses to uniforms required

  1. Sonja says:

    You’re so cute you could cut a neckhole in a chicken feed sack and make it look good. But that dress is darling. Great job, you seamstress, you!

  2. Eva says:

    Beautiful dress. That pink ribbon is very cool on it :)

  3. Kerstin says:

    Cute dress! Liv just saw it and asked “Is that the dress you’re going to wear this weekend?” I replied: “No, Liv, I’m a sloth and hit Ann Taylor Loft instead.” Those shoes are perfect! Don’t think that’s gonna get you out of the dancing, though. I’ve been known to kick mine off. :)

  4. Em says:

    That dress is a classic! And those shoes are killer. But what gets me…spray-on pantyhose? For real?

  5. Kate says:

    Those shoes are to die for!! I love them!!! And the dress – so fab!! Great work with the sewing machine… maybe if I learned how to load mine I’d use it!

  6. Ann says:

    Wow! That dress is so sleek and simple and stylish. The ribbon is just right, and gives you a great way to wear fun shoes!

  7. chris says:

    Very chic! As for the zipper thing, just knit yourself a cute shawl or wrap, and nobody will ever see it . . . easier than growing the hair long, too!

  8. Elaine says:

    Very cute uniform. I love the pink bow and the shoes. I, too, like the idea of a uniform and how it makes life easier. Mine is black pants and shoes with a simple top, preferably white. Yes, I dress like a waitress daily.

  9. carolyn says:

    awesome! love the dress, love the shoes, think the new sewing machine is amazing!! :) and the long-term loss of the short-term memory. oh yeah baby i’ve got that working!!

  10. Meg says:

    Gorgeous dress, very Audrey Hepburn! Look at the zip again after a day or two – it’s probably not so bad after all. I know *I’m* hyper-critical of my own work.
    Interesting zip-tips I’ve run into: using tape as a guide as well as basting, also using a quilting guide to guide the stitching.

  11. Silvia says:

    What a hotty! Nice work with the new machine, blind hem mania would overtake me. The buttonhole function is usually the ultimate test of a machine, shows you what it’s made of.
    As far as trying to set a zip into a lightweight fabric, I’ve cut 5/8″ strips of fusible interfacing and set them at the edge where the zipper will be sewn. It gives a bit more stability and is invisible. Of course it’s never perfect since we’re not sweatshop workers, but I’m sure no one will notice the zip. ALSO, I use invisible zips whenever possible since the mess is usually undectable from the right side of the garment. Heh.

  12. Jessica says:

    Perfect. Simple yet elegant. :)

  13. Heidi says:

    That’s adorable, and also very practical! You can accessorize in a million ways.
    I don’t like sewing in zippers much either. I’d like to hope it gets easier with practice. I’m sure a new machine helps too!

  14. Nathania says:

    Throw a black shawl over your shoulders an the zipper issue will be moot. Darling. And the dress is too.

  15. melissa says:

    You look fabulous! I love the pink ribbon and the matching shoes. You can always kick off the shoes to dance though!

  16. schmeebot says:

    woohoo! sexy mama! work it work it! woohoo!

  17. Bruce says:

    Love those shoes. Reminds me of an Eagles song. Nice work on the dress, I don’t think anyone will notice the tan line: time in the pool will take care of that!!!

  18. Mary says:

    love the shoes. who cares if you can’t walk…
    you look great!

  19. maggi says:

    LOVE it! The simplicity is perfect to show off the shoes ~ the pink satin ribbon just brings it all together smashingly.

  20. froggy says:

    love it. that ribbon is a very classy touch. and great shoes!

  21. becky says:

    very cute.
    For dressy dresses I actually prefer a side zip for some reason. I think lapped zippers are pretty darn easy and if there’s a bit of a mess, it’s all under your armpit out of sight.

  22. Leslie says:

    Darling. Those pink shoes are divine!

  23. So chic! Everything about it is perfect; I bow to your sewwomanship!

  24. alison says:

    Great outfit! The black dress is so classic, and the pink ribbon is perfect. Tres jolie!

  25. pj says:

    Looks nice! – A trick I learned from designer Fred Bloeblum – interface the back seam, be sure to preshrink your zipper and if you want to use an invisible zipper, I highly recommend that you purchase one of her patterns as her directions for inserting an invisible zipper are easy and give great results.

  26. Lois says:

    So cute! LOVE the pink ribbon… charming little touch!

  27. Julie says:

    Lovely dress! You really had me laughing with the comment about growing your hair out. I am currently trying to learn to sew, by tackling random projects (the first of which were a couple of totebags based on your tutorial!). Next up is an apron, complete with pockets and ruffle at the edge.
    You continually inspire me with your knitting, sewing, and baking creations! Also, you are a fellow Janome owner… glad to hear you are enjoying your machine. I really like mine.

  28. J Strizzy says:

    Audrey Hepburn indeed! You and the dress both look very cute. And I LOVE the shoes.

  29. Becky says:

    Oh, my. That is the cutest little black dress, EVER. Come over for tea and scones! :-)

  30. Shetha says:

    OMG Mariko — I am about to knit a wrap that matches that dress PERFECTly! I bought some hot pink Berroco Linor (13 50 g balls actually) and I have some sheer black ribbon I was going to use to make it a la Anthropologie’s button bow wrap. I just finished mine yesterday… I could send you a “kit” if you want… let me know! I have enough for 2 so it would not be any inconvenience :-)

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