Peg’s Dress – Alternative Sewing Finale

If you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll remember that I’ve been working on a dress for a friend who is wheelchair bound with MS.  Her name is Peg, and she just celebrated 40 years being married to her best friend, Joe.  She’d wanted something really special to wear to her anniversary party, and so hired me to make her an outfit.  I’d talked about the beginning of the process in the post, “Sewing Adaptive Patterns.”  An adaptive pattern is one that is altered so that a person with limited mobility can have clothes that are easy to put on, and yet attractive.

I’d made a necktie for Joe, and it wasn’t easy to sell him on a flowered pattern!  Peggy can be a stinker, and up to the day before the party, she was telling Joe that I’d sewn a bow tie for him.  I think he tried to hide his disappointment at that news, so he was a little surprised when I delivered a standard tie.   He looked really good in black pants, a black button-down oxford shirt, and his flowered tie.  Of course the tie didn’t last long, and we didn’t get a picture of him wearing it.  But here it is, draped over Peg’s dress.

So the dress:  I loved how it looked on her once we got it all tailored.  But let me say that the dress that we finished with looks only vaguely like the flannel mock-up I made.  So from the starting point, I had altered a Chinese-style shirt pattern, so that the hem was long enough and wide enough to turn it into a dress.  Then I made the mock-up, which we further altered to add in princess seams and a back zipper.  From there we cut the actual dress cloth, which was further altered to lower the collar, narrow the cuffs, add mock sleeve buttons, etc.

What this means is that I can’t go back to my flannel mock-up to create another dress for her.  Too much altering has happened to it.  On the other hand, this was a great learning experience that stretched both of us!  We had to get out of our comfort zones and we didn’t know what would be the result when we were done.

We were both pleasantly surprised with how well the dress came out.  She looked beautiful in it (but then, I think she’s beautiful anyway).  We had a wonderful time at their anniversary party.  Joe was so funny as he gave a monologue roast of some of his family and friends.  It was neat that he introduced us to the people who have shaped his and Peggy’s lives.  It helps newer friends like us to get a taste of the breadth and scope of who they are.

In other news…

I’m nearly done with taking the Acai Berry… the bottle is almost empty.  I’ve updated my “Acai Berry Craze” post to add in my latest findings with this experiment.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trina Williams
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 11:37:42

    The dress turned out great. I am more of a pattern sewer but my daughter designed her wedding gown out of several patterns. She also used to make all of her husband’s magician jackets, pants and assorted illusions. For awhile they had a business where her husband manufactured electric balloon pumps and she designed and made all of the pouches for them. It kind of took the fun out of sewing for her. Since they lost their house and business and moved in with us she has no time to sew. She drives a school bus and hubby goes to school. But, I digress. If you have been following my Facebook posts you know I am selling off 6 crates of
    fabric at $3/yard. After that sale I am putting the fabric up on Crafters Flea Mkt. The darn stuff is heavy so I don’t know how shipping will be.


  2. Charlene
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 11:42:51

    Aww Trina, I’m sorry to hear about your daughter and son-in-law’s troubles. It’s a sign of the economic times, isn’t it. I hope you’re able to sell your fabric (have you tried Craigslist and Vegsource? has swapping sections – ty the homeschoolers!) Hmmm…. in fact, I would try your local Christan Homeschool Association. Alot of us are Frugal Frannies who do a lot of sewing. Your fabrics just might make a homeschool family really happy.


  3. Trina Williams
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 11:53:40

    Good idea! My grandson is home schooled (between bus runs. Works great) I think shipping will make putting it on the Flea Mkt prohibitive. On the other hand some of the denims and heavier cottons just can’t be found anymore and it might work.


  4. Charlene
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 11:56:34

    Well in that case, yeah there’s a good chance your local homeschoolers might like to look through the fabrics – if not for clothes, then for Christmas projects. See if you can put a notice in their next newsletter or email blast. That way they can avoid the shipping costs, too.


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