October 19, 2014
When Rebecca and I had our first “Ah ha! Someone should make that kind of clothing!” conversation, one of the things she mentioned was a dress with a road on it. We thought it would be fun to be able to play on the dress - just like my kids drive their trucks all over that Ikea rug.
A few days later, we picked up some supplies for dressmaking at my favorite store, the Value Village, including a little blue jersey tank dress, and various other sundries (old drapes, some leotards, assorted ladies’ blouses with sequins, a fabulous blue tutu - typical costuming stuff. Hey, you never know when you’ll need a blue tutu).
Meanwhile, we both started looking for fabric that would work as a road.
Nothing. NOTHING!!! Hours and hours online we looked for some print with a road on it, or a road ribbon, or even just some black and white dashed-line something, and there was absolutely nothing that would work. I headed over toG Street Fabrics, and finally found a heavy duty material that is usually used to make straps for bags or backpacks.
Home I went to my 1948 Singer*
and I came up with this dress:
Rebecca’s daughter LOVED it, which was a good sign, so we decided to try to make a few from scratch. We chose a pattern close to the dress we had used, and continued looking for road fabric. At long last, we found it. Our second incarnation looked like this:
The only problem was that this dress took forever to make, and my poor old machine was solidly opposed to stitching on jersey.
Luckily, right about that time, American Apparel had a sale on full-skirted blue dresses. We bought a few and came up with the current design for our dress:
which sold out in just a couple weeks.
Sadly, the busy road fabric is now out of print, and the beloved road dress will have to wait until our designer can come up with a new pattern for us. Until then, maybe you have a little girl who is interested in trains or airplanes?
*This sewing machine was the most useful purchase I have ever made. I bought it in 1989 for $50 at Goodwill. It has never broken down or tangled or needed repair. It does only one stitch with one kind of thread, but so far that’s been good enough for Halloween costumes, quilting, minor repairs to beloved clothes, and starting a children’s clothing company.