Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend 2008

It was a 4-day holiday weekend. There was a lot of family related running around, the neighborhood picnic, the local swimming pool opened, driving a 13 year old and his girlfriend to a movie "date" etc. I did manage to complete a shirt dress in a springy grass green color. The dress pattern was from Burda WOF July 2001. It is a slightly A line silhouette with a shaped center back seam ending in a vent. It has epaulettes, sleeve taps and flapped pockets. The fabric is a polished cotton blend I picked up from the give away pile at the ASG meeting. Since I am small on top with sloping shoulders, I like details like epaulettes, breast pockets with flaps, and turned up sleeves because they add bulk above the waist, that balance my hips. These design details may not be the best choice for well endowed, square shoulders body types, but there are many styles they can wear that look horrible on me.
I tend to wear garments one way. A jacket with its matching skirt, a blouse with a certain pair of slacks, over and over again. The "maximize your wardrobe" books recommend breaking apart suits and wearing the pieces with other tops or bottoms. And trying different combinations of tops, bottoms and accessories when you have some time and aren’t in rush to get dressed. So I decided to "style" this dress several different ways based on some pictures I had seen in magazines. I may not be original, but I am great at copying.

Look 1, The dress with casual sandals and jewelry

Look 2 - The dress cinched with a belt, with a big brass buckle. I tried to make the belt form a "V" so as not to put a straight horizontal line across my middle.

Look 3. The dress worn under a short sleeve, khaki, belted jacket with dressier, snakeskin, peep toe, wedges.

Look 4. The dress worn as a jacket over a print top and black pant. I have noticed the longer jackets over tops and slacks a lot lately. They are often called “dusters”. Sometimes the “duster” is a structured jacket, in a bold spring print and sometimes it is more casual like a shirt. Of the 4 ways I styled the dress, my favorites are look 1 and look 4, but I am determined to wear all four just to get more use out of it.

Memorial Day Weekend is significant to me for reasons unrelated to the holiday. 29 years ago on this weekend, I married my husband in a short ceremony by a Justice of the Peace in Pittsburgh, PA. I wore a white suit my mother had made for me. It is still in a closet and no, it doesn’t fit me any more. My husband-to-be had only the holiday weekend off , because he still hadn’t been working at his new job long enough to have any vacation time, and I started a summer job in the engineering dept. of the Hershey Chocolate company the following week. We didn’t want to “live in sin” so after 4 years of dating we got married. The honeymoon weekend was spent hiking on Skyline Drive around Front Royal, VA. This weekend, in addition to the normal humorous card and restaurant dinner, my predictable, non spontaneous, thrifty husband surprised the heck out of me by giving me a very unusual, custom designed ring as an anniversary present. I love it!


  1. What a lovely and romantic anniversary gift!

  2. I love the different looks you've shown - what a versatile garment and it suits you well.

    Happy anniversary!

  3. Congratulations! Great ring :)

    Love the styling you have done with the dress. I agree you need to work on it before hand. In the mornings we are in a rush and tend to wear the same old things in the same old ways.

  4. Love the way you styled the dress and really like the dress on you! I agree with your pics 1 & 4 scream you!

    And that is one fantastic anniversary present!!!!

  5. Congratulations on 29 years! And what a beautiful ring - it is gorgeous!

    I really like the dress and all the options you have wearing it. I visit often but don't comment. I really enjoy your blog.

  6. That is a lovely and unique ring. Congratulations on your anniversary!

    The green dress and its many personalities are just wonderful.

  7. I am new to your blog, so let me start by saying your sewing is amazing. Thanks for all the different looks with your dress, a versatile garment. Lovely gift, too.

  8. How sweet!!!! Lovely ring.

    I love your dress. It is so versatile. I like all of the looks.