Thursday, September 27, 2012

Purpledicular Dress

 {Project Run & Play Season 5 Sew Along ~ Week #3 White Sheet challenge}

For the White Sheet challenge we were invited to take a white sheet (up to king size) and make whatever we wanted out of it by painting it, dyeing it, embellishing it, etc. But the majority of the look had to be from the white sheet. Can I be perfectly honest with you? I know this might come as a shock to you, because I really enjoy repurposing projects, but I started out hating this challenge. What? I am forced to work with boring white cotton??? This was the most difficult of all the challenges, it took me absolutely FOREVER to figure out what I was going to do (let's just say this creation was plan Z & if it didn't work out there would be nothing after that since there is no other letter after Z). I had decided what I was going to create for all the other challenges before this one. I really didn't want it to turn out looking like it was a craft project which is exactly what happened with my first attempt with this challenge. After that catastrophe I then decided to go a completely different route and this is what I ended up creating.
 So as I already mentioned for this challenge we were allowed to use a king size sheet, so I thought it would be fun to play with volume (this is Project Run & Play after all and it's fun to have fun, right? also my daughter absolutely loves dresses). But this look could easily be translated into a more wearable everyday clothing item, just take the idea and make a skirt at knee length, for example or let the bold stripes & long length inspire you, take some striped knit fabric, & sew a maxi dress like this awesome one.
 The lines on this dress are not painted on, nor are they wide ribbons sewn on, it is all piecing. It was painstakingly pieced together out of solid purple and white strips, so that every seam and angle would match perfectly. I took part of the white sheet and dyed it with half a bottle of purple liquid dye. I cut 3 inch strips out of the white sheet and 2 inch strips out of the purple. The strips were sewn together, cut at 45 degree angles, then sewn back together to form 90 degree angles, then the modified circle skirt was cut out. From the remaining fabric I cut out the bodice pieces.
 The skirt part of the dress has 60 pieces of fabric, arranged into perfectly perpendicular (90 degree) angled stripes, done in a half circle skirt (two quarter circle skirt sections where the front and back pieces are exactly the same) so that the lines go straight down on the sides (more perpendicular lines are found on both sides of the dress where the skirt lines hit the bottom bodice line). I even took extra care to make sure the width of the white strip was the same on the side seams as it was throughout the whole dress. Speaking of the side seams I added nice deep on seam side pockets. The entire dress is fully lined with white sheet fabric to hide all those carefully pressed open seams and to make it nice against the skin. Also, it has an invisible zipper in the back (that I had to shorten from the bottom as it was too long, why don't they sell invisible zippers that are about 16" or 18" long??).
 When PR&P season 5 is completed I will be back to share how I constructed this dress.
 Be sure to check out all the white sheet challenge sew along creations in the flickr pool.
Some quick notes/thoughts
:: All I used: a white sheet, half bottle of purple liquid dye, one white invisible zipper and white thread, that's it !
:: Purpledicular Dress = Purple Perpendicular Dress... the other names that didn't make the cut: Purple Zebra Dress, I Love Geometry Dress, Look What I Made Out of a White Sheet Dress, Plan Z Dress.
:: I'm thrilled how it fits my daughter absolutely perfectly.
:: Looking back at my goals for Project Run & Play Season 5, I wanted to push myself and try new things. I'm not a quilter. I've just sewn a few simple quilting projects which have included: a beach blanket, patchwork pillow, doll quilt, skirt. Trying this piecing technique has given me the courage to do more piecing in the future… watch out quilting here I come !
:: There sure was a lot of ironing with this creation, I've never gone through so much distilled water with my iron before.
:: I enjoyed using my High School geometry and number crunching with this one.
:: Photo shoot location: Frank Gehry's Standing Glass Fish located in the Palm Room of the Cowles Conservatory at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden