So I assembled, and almost finished, the Non-Congressional Dress last week.
I made a few modifications. I have had good luck using bias tape instead of facings for neckline and armhole finishing, especially when I want an unstructured look, so I did that.
And I added side-seam pockets. Because if you have a nice, loose dress, why wouldn’t you want pockets? (And besides, if you REALLY want it to be non-Congressional, pockets are handy for supporting the sticks of any placards you may happen to be carrying, if you cut the stick the right length. It’s possible that I may have learned this bit of countercultural practicality on a “Take a Little Tea with Goldie” lifestyle segment of the old Smothers Brothers Show. But you never know when ancient life skills may come in handy again.)
So last Wednesday, when I left my sewing room to go to a meeting of my spinning group (the yarn kind, not the exercise kind), all that remained to do was to finish the side slits and the hem. But it’s a good thing I didn’t, because serendipity happened.
Thursday morning, my friend Debbie called and asked if I wanted to go shopping and do lunch–and obviously there is only one answer to that question. So we shopped, and we lunched, and as we were heading back to the car, we decided to stick our noses into J. Jill, like you do.
Hanging on the back wall was a dress very like the one I was making, only shorter and in Tencel. But it seemed to have a foofy hem. Upon investigation, the only difference was that, instead of discreet side slits, a whole wedge was cut out of the side of the skirt, which created more motion and drapy goodness.
In short, it was even less congressional than my dress. (Paul Ryan is probably opposed to drapy goodness. If women aren’t barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, they should at least be stuffed into business suits with pencil skirts.)
BUT I hadn’t finished my hem and side slits! I got this!
So I came home and measured two inches down on the side seam and eight inches in on the bottom of the skirt, and cut it like so:
So to recap: I changed the whole upper part of the bodice. I changed the finishing on the neck and armhole. I added pockets. And I added a foofy hem. So the only thing that’s the same about this dress is the shape and the length.
So here I am, having a wonderful time striding around Santa Fe with my hands in my pockets. Because Santa Fe is totally OK with this dress.