Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Fever

Last week on the Sew Weekly, our challenge was an outfit inspired by the Olympics. I chose to do a tennis dress recycled from a house dress I made last May, but hated the way it turned out. I love the tennis style much better. Here is the journey.

“If at First You Don’t Succeed” Tennis Dress

The Facts:
Fabric: Inherited Lightweight Cotton
Pattern: Vintage McCall 6009 – Inherited
Year: 1945
Notions: Button’s .99 cents
Time to complete: First time about 10 hours, second time 2 hours
First worn: July 21
Wear again? Already have, many times, I love it!
Total price: .99 Cents

This dress was originally for the 1940′s challenge, but I hated the end result so much I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. The bust was too baggy, the waist to low, and the skirt was just at an awkward length for my petite stature. I tossed is aside to eventually re-work. When I saw the Olympics challenge on the dashboard, I really didn’t know what to do. I only follow the Summer Olympics, and I only pay attention to certain sports such as running, swimming, diving, and gymnastics, both men and women. I wasn’t going to make myself running clothes – I have plenty, the same with swimwear, I have so many that I don’t have a drawer for them. And what am I supposed to do with a leotard? So those Olympic categories were out of the question. Then I looked at my 1940′s house dress again. I thought, this could make a good tennis dress if I shorten it for sport and take up the waist. Is tennis even in the Olympics? No matter, it’s a sport and I have to do something wearable.
So that’s what I did. I cinched the bust a bit more, raised the waist, and shortened the skirt. And I ironed the front placket down to make it look like a collar. When I originally started this dress, the instructions were crumbling in my hands. I pretty much had to make it up as I went along. The pattern asked for shoulder pads, but of course I opted out. I had to re-size this thing so many times, and figure out the shoulder piece with out it being awkward. The buttons on the shoulder don’t work, just decoration.
Now I played tennis back in 6th grade. I was an amazing server, a lot of power came out of my skinny little limbs, but that’s about it. I had no other coordination. But, whatever. I borrowed the vintage racquet from my dad. My main inspiration for this dress was to re-create a dress I used to own when my husband and I were first dating. He bought it for me when we went on a road trip. The fabric and silhouette is similar to the dress I once had. Even down to the tie waist in the front. But once we got married we got a dog together, and that dog found this dress in the laundry and decided to eat it. True story.
We found this awesome wall in a neighborhood as we were driving one morning. I knew i wanted to use it for the Olympic challenge rather than the local tennis courts. So not only is this dress wearable for tennis, but I can wear it anytime. And we don’t have that dog anymore that ate my last one, Rest is soul that crazy Bulldog, Oscar.


Ashley said...

Picture perfect! This looks smashing on you!

-Ash P

M. Prasad said...

I keep coming back to this post because it's awesome! I am a sucker for 1940s dresses and have made a few of my own. I think this might be in my to-do list.