Monday, July 13, 2015

Changing Keys

Every once in a while, something comes along that causes you to break one of your own fashion rules. One of the things that I've learned about my style is that I'm not a huge fan of all over prints on myself. Separates, sure. An entire dress, not so much. And today I've gone and proven myself wrong. I'm changing the musical key of my wardrobe, so to speak.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I adore singing and have always wanted to live in a musical. I played flute for 8 years. I've taken music theory, philosophy of music, and piano classes. While I don't get the chance to play or compose much anymore, I do sing in the shower and rock out to music in the car. This print would also be great for swing dancers.

So when Wearing History offered it's melody print in one of my favorite fabrics, rayon, I knew I had to have some.

My original plan for this fabric was very different from what it ended up as. First, I envisioned a 1940s evening gown in this drapey rayon. But when the fabric got here, I changed my mind. It's a lovely rayon with a great drape. It's not too wrinkly or slippery to work with like some other rayons I've used.

And while this fabric would have been fabulous for an evening gown, when the fabric got here, I knew I had to make it up into something that I would wear more often. And when fabric speaks to you, it's a good idea to listen to it.

So I dug through my pattern stash and after a quick shout out to Facebook, I decided on Anne Adams 4832. I've made it before in a mid-weight linen which I wore on the 4th of July but I decided to make a few changes in this version.

I decided to bind the neckline instead of face it with a casing. I also moved the gathers from the center to off to the sides which gives more of a square-ish neckline. And I went with the optional patch pocket. The only other change I made was a narrow shoulder adjustment.

Between these changes and the difference in the behavior of the linen and rayon, these two dresses feel completely different! The rayon sewed up beautifully. Sometimes rayon can be super slippery and difficult to work with but this one behaved.

Something to consider when sewing with this pattern is that it is large and busy. It is best suited for a pattern with a simple design and not too many seam lines. A design with lots of crazy seam lines would get lost in the print and the print would get chopped up by the seam lines.

 On the up side, the print is so cute and would work for a wide variety of decades including modern styles. And the color palette is great-navy, pink, green, blue and white. It's got great potential for accessorizing in any of these colors. I also think it would be super cute in a color blocked dress.

Since I had originally planned on making an evening gown, I have some extra fabric. I really want to make up some coordinating accessories. I really want a navy jacket or bolero lined in this fabric to wear with this dress in the winter. And I'm saving all my scraps to trim a hat to match.

Love that music print so much!

 I finished this dress just a week ago and I've already worn it twice! So, overall, I give this fabric a thumbs up! If you'd like to have some of your own, you can find it here.

 Disclaimer: Fabric provided c/o Wearing History for review.


  1. That print is well worth singing about! Sorry, couldn't resist a wee pun, but jokes aside, it is glorious and I always adore seeing where and how it will show up next in our vintage community,

    What a fantastic dress you've made here. I really like the neckline and shape of the sleeves. It's beautiful, too, that this pattern mirrors your own deeply rooted passion for music. I love it when our fashion choices can reflect our interests like that.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. That dress is such a great shape on you Stephanie. The fabric is fantastic and you wear it well. Nicely done!

  3. Gorgeous dress and I'm glad to hear the fabric behaves -- that's always the hardest part to tell before starting.

    So something that might work for you re: music is finding a music buddy. I started doing chamber music sight reading on a mostly weekly basis last summer. It's honestly the best decision I've ever made. It keeps my chops in practice, I play with whoever is free that day, and we scour IMSLP for things that might work for our ensemble du jour. (Today's was oboe, violin and cello, for example, so we read a bunch of Telemann flute/violin + continuo pieces.) But there are no stakes, we don't ever play out anywhere, it's just for the fun of playing music. And of course we grab coffee beforehand and have a leisurely lunch midway through -- we are all some variation of "casually employed", so we meet during the week, but this could be a weekend thing too. The thing that makes this work is that it really is almost every single week -- so it doesn't matter if one person can't make it that week, we play with whoever shows up. And if you're planning enough in advance, you can put those theory skills to use and arrange something for your ensemble.

    Being a musician and a music teacher, I think everyone should have more music in their life, and I very much think that chamber music is the highest art form of music. You get a strong bond between players, it forces every player to listen and follow carefully and/or passing off the lead, the music is often easily understood and read, and it's very flexible in terms of instrumentation. It was a joy to play a flute part today, as I'm normally playing violin parts on my oboe, and there are minor differences in terms of playability.

    But even if it's finding a friend with a guitar and singing through folk songs (or art songs or pop or broadway etc), I think you'd find chamber music rewarding.

    ... I could continue to argue my case, but that's a little inappropriate for a blog comment. :-P Once a music teacher, always a music teacher.

    -- Tegan

  4. I just realized I've done nothing but lecture at you lately! I"m so sorry about that -- I think I just mostly don't comment on outfit posts, for all that I love them and they brighten my day. I really do love this dress and I think it has some of the best fitting-work you've done yet.

    -- Tegan

  5. Wow! She can sew, she can play piano and flute, she can even split an atom!

    I knew you sew, but was not aware what an accomplished seamstress you are. I have been known to sew from vintage patterns myself. Come visit me at if you would like to see what I've been up to. You look beautiful as always!

  6. SO beautiful! I absolutely love the fabric, and the pattern you chose is just gorgeous. It looks like the perfect summer dress! Beautiful job!!!

  7. I think you picked the best pattern/fabric combination! The simple lines of this dress really are perfect for show casing the gorgeous print. It'll be fun to see what other ways you style this dress Stephanie ~ I bet you have so many pretty hats that you could wear with this one. ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  8. That fabric is to die for, and I'm so happy to see how it works up! I too have been wanting to buy some (also a musician here) and was wondering whether it was worth taking the plunge.