this is the story of a dress. a year or two ago i saw an image of a dress that i thought i could recreate. i started with sew liberated's schoolhouse tunic pattern and some ivory brussels washer linen/rayon fabric. (i've gotten quite a bit of use out of that pattern over the years, and i love the drape of brussels washer for clothing…though i'm not too enamored with the color palette personally.) with some pattern modifications and a bit of sewing, i ended up with a dress that looked a lot like the picture + i liked it. :)
this spring i hemmed the dress to just above the knee rather than just below the knee. i really like wearing my dress in the spring, but i felt like i could get more wear out of it if it wasn't such a light color. i'd always had in mind that i could dye the dress if i spilled something on it or sat in something. yup, that's how i think…it alleviates the fear that might keep me from wearing it otherwise. :)
indigo has become one of my favorite colors...not original, i know...but it was what i wanted for this dress. the jacquard kit wasn't really my first choice, because i don't think it gets the same depth or quite the same color as natural indigo. after looking around, however, it just felt right for this project considering amount of supplies and price.
a few other items were gathered in order to make good use of the vat and then i went for it. this is not the most zero waste endeavor, honestly. there is a bit of plastic in the packaging...i was not able to find the kit locally, so had to have it mailed...and it's not exactly all natural. i do feel like it was a good way to get more use out of my simple wardrobe though.
slowly fashioning this dress from concept to pattern tweaking to sewing to altering to dyeing has been spread over a couple of years. that time has allowed me to get to know this piece of clothing and feel that it is totally "me". time doesn't always accomplish that, because sometimes the vision doesn't become reality. i don't honestly feel more attached to this piece of clothing because of the time spent with it... i've become somewhat unattached to material things over the years of simplifying. what has happened is that i have come to value what i have more...and i want to make what i have work for me…for longer…because i know that material things have an impact on the earth. that fabric, thread, and dye took resources to make. the dress is a useful object and one that i feel quite good wearing. i want to keep it in use for as long as possible, because it displaces the need for more…more resources, more pollution, more production, more transport, more consumption, more waste. it is a dress. it is useful. i like it and will wear it. there is value in what it is…and what it is not…and that, for me, is something to love.
daring to choose fair one choice at a time