Oonapalooza: Tangerine Dream

Oonapalooza Sew AlongI’ve been on a really tight crafting budget lately and am trying soooooo hard to stick to it. When Oonapalooza came around I had just spent a chunk of change on some other projects. Looking at my stash full of solid knits I was bummed out and uninspired.

Then one magical day the San Francisco fog parted, the sky cleared and a beautiful ray of sunlight shone down on me illuminating a forgotten card in my wallet. What’s this?! A full Britex rewards card?! Worth $37 in free fabric?! How could I have forgotten such a thing?!!!!!

Oonapalooza Sew Along

This is the smug smile of a lady who made it work!

Obviously, I had some shopping to do.

I first had it in my mind that I would do a 70’s inspired denim skirt, maybe a Miette or something similar. But for some reason Britex had next to nothing in stock in their denim collection and time was of the essence. And heck, this was my excuse to experiment with color and prints! I kept searching the shelves and kept landing on the same fabric over and over.

Oonapalooza FabricOrange? Oh no, Eileen. You don’t do orange.

So I would go up and down the stairs, exploring the four floors at Britex, messing up the fabric bolts and sighing heavily. Then I’d come back to my tangerine dream.

Orange? Oh no, Eileen. You don’t do orange………but wait, what was Gillian’s advice again? Oh yes, to imagine Oona’s voice urging us on. So when I said “I don’t do orange” I heard a whisper from across the continent….”Oh yes you do!!!”

OonapaloozaI got it home and fretted about what to make. I was shocked that my husband approved of the print but when I told him my ideas of either a skirt or a dress his hat was thrown mightily into the skirt ring. “That would be a little too much on a dress”, he suggested.

Oh. Would it now? Are you sure it wouldn’t be just bold enough for Oonapalooza?!!! And so, a dress was born.

OonapaloozaBelieve it or not, this is actual the same pattern as my tie-dye maxi (a dress that Oona herself had emphatically supported), Vogue 8469. But in the spirit of fearlessness I decided to tackle my first ever major pattern alterations.

I did a full bust adjustment adding 2″ total, then altered the back piece to meet up with the now lengthened front bodice. Since I had the bare minimum amount of fabric to squeak this dress out I made a muslin first and found that the neckline and shoulder straps were a bit heavier than I’d wanted so I narrowed the straps and dropped the neckline by about an inch. I also added a random dart to close up the gaping armscye.

Oonapalooza: Tangerine DreamAnd for some strange reason I decided to lower the back neckline to that exact point on the back that you Just. Can’t. Reach. This dress is nigh impossible for me to zip on and off by myself, folks. Also, it’s not totally evident in this photo but there’s a bit of weird sagging happening on either side of the zipper. I’m thinking about dropping this into a V and lowering it by a couple inches. Especially since I already perfectly placed the neckline so that my big ugly back scar is visible anyway.

Oonapalooza: Tangerine DreamAnd I glossed over it a bit there, kids, but can we just pause for a moment and focus on how proud of myself I am for the bodice alterations! Baby fits like a glove now! As a busty lady, it can be tough to find clothes that fit over the girls but still hug your rib cage where it should and if one isn’t careful, one turns into a bit of a tube. With this dress, there is no mistaking the clear distinction between bust and waist. Heck, with the gathered skirt it even gives me a wee bit o’ hip!

My only regret with the dress that I will have to figure out some way to fix is that I managed to botch attaching the lining on one side of the bodice front, resulting in some serious twisty gapage.

Oonapalooza: Tangerine DreamI hand stitched it down which helped a little but there’s still definitely something wonky happening there. I just don’t, at this moment, have the energy to rip so much out. Especially since I chose the worst ever most slippery scrap bits for the lining.

Oonapalooza: Tangerine DreamSo there you have it kids. My answer to the question; What would Oona do?


13 thoughts on “Oonapalooza: Tangerine Dream

  1. oonaballoona

    oona would toast that tangerine dream and leave it BE! you look radiant and there’s just no way everyone’s seeing anything but that! and can i holler about that print placement?!

    actually i think orange might be your color… is hubs swayed on the dress?

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks Oona!! Hubs is definitely a convert. Though, he’s less interested in the print placement and a lot more enthused about the bust placement on this dress! 😉

  2. Lisa curran

    You are radiant in this dress!! Great fit, love the fabric. You look fab!
    Do you press as you sew? I find that really helps keep the fabric true and prevents the wonkies. I think a V back would be amazing, but really you did a great job…all I see is a beautiful lady in a pretty dress.

    1. Eileen

      Thank you Lisa, you’re so sweet! I do press as I sew, which really tamed the dress fabric but the terrible lining I chose didn’t press well and was just so slippery! Lessons to be learned in every project, I guess. This project: the importance of lining choice.

      1. Lisa curran

        I love to sew! I made my daughter’s formals and her wedding gown. I’m busty also and you have inspired me to try a couple made by me for me projects!! Keep them coming I adore this dress and the children’s dresses you’ve made 🙂

  3. Pingback: Oonapalooza: Final Round-Up! | Sewcialists

  4. ebonyh

    This dress is gorgeous! On first glance I was like, “That fits her great, and the neckline is perfect!” So, saying it here instead of just in my head. 🙂 And I second Oona’s congrats on the pattern placement. All those diamonds and crosses could have gotten crazy, but you nailed it.

    1. missphd Post author

      Thanks so much! I have definitely been guilty in the past of ignoring the grainline markings on a pattern or two. I triple checked the layout before I cut into this fabric – I had just baaaaaaarely enough to eke the dress out.

  5. Ali M

    That’s absolutely fabulous. Only thing I don’t like is it’s not straight from the pattern so I’d have to work to convert Vogue 8469 and I am not as talented as you!

    1. missphd Post author

      Thank you 🙂 The most drastic alteration was the full bust adjustment which might not be necessary for you. If you have a larger bust as well, since the bodice is attached to the waistband with gathers you might be able just cut a bust piece a size larger instead of doing the FBA (wasn’t an option for me since I was cutting the largest size in the envelope). I can’t remember the tutorial I used for the FBA but there are tons online. With any adjustments if you make a muslin first (like I did here), then if it doesn’t work out it’s not harm, no foul!


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