Friday, June 3, 2011

Sari Dress: Completion (Part III)

While it only took a little longer than a week to make the sari dress, this final post about the dress ended up procrastinated.  I'd like to blame this delay on photography and finicky sunlight, but honestly I'm hesitant to be the model showing this dress.  My doctors assure me the recent weight gain is healthy--so much so I should keep gaining for a few more months.  Still, I'm finding myself a little camera shy as this "plump is pretty" phase continues.

The sari dress: from inception through creation toward completion!

After a few days of sewing recovery, I spent one morning eliminating the bulk of the original tube dress.  I ripped out some seams; I hacked off another foot or so of the sari.  No measuring, but I did iron before sewing a seam to keep the fabric from fraying.  By hand, I whip-stitched the inner side of the green edge to the plum wine edge to close the tube.

Another "fitting" in front of my bedroom mirror.  I couldn't get over how the ribbon (originally intended for straps) still created such a perfect empire waist by simply tying it around me.  With the extra fabric gone the potato sack look disappeared and a flattering dress emerged.  The forest green material, however, limply cascaded to the floor.  The sari dress still needed a little more flare, and I didn't need a tripping hazard.

So far, no dress pattern meant infinite possibilities, but now I grew uncertain about what to do with the forest green flap hanging down my right side.  The evolvement of the ribbon-cinched empire waist nixed my previous ideas of turning the green section into an apron-like overlay, a twisted bust-line, or an over-the-shoulder drape.  Husband grew quiet as I rambled awkward solutions.

It was time to risk some help.  

A few days later I donned the unfinished dress, along with fancy jewelry and gold shoes, for Mom's critical eye.  Despite her original hesitancy about taking scissors to such a exquisite piece of fabric, Mom instantly wanted to help design the in-process sari dress.  I posed in front of the mirror; Mom moved the fabric around.  When she folded up the top of the green end under my arm, the angled fabric gracefully fell around my figure.  We both knew the next design phase: a pleat at the top of the forest green swag.

Excited to implement this pleat, Mom saved me from laboring through more sewing by efficiently zipping the sari through her modern sewing machine (one with electricity and a foot pedal).  When I tried the dress on again she suggested adding a little more practicality: straps.  We pulled out the leftover sari and snipped off a bit of the plum wine, past the gold embroidery.  After a game of fabric pinching and pinning, Mom designed straps that mimicked the soft gathered look of the dress.

While I enjoyed sole designer status as I conceptualized and began the sari dress, finishing the dress with Mom's creative input and sewing expertise actualized a vivid sari into a one-of-a-kind special occasion gown.

The front of the dress: plum wine and gold.

The back of the dress: plum wine meets forest green.

Beautiful gown with room to grow.

PS.  I left the antique sewing machine at Mom's....


  1. I love it! You're beautiful! And I'm jealous; I have two saris sitting on a shelf in my closet. You're inspiring me to make a dress out of it. I need to invite your mom over.

  2. Fabulous! I'm really impressed and slightly envious. Now, where will you wear it?
    You also (apart from the dress) look amazing.

  3. I've already worn the sari dress once--my birthday celebration! Future events where the dress may make a statement include a date night with Husband and a wedding in July.