Saturday, February 10, 2007

Back in the Swing

Last week I completed Beginning Swing Level 2 and went to the Friday Night Swing Club after a long hiatus. I received many complements on my dress (at left*) but not many invitations to dance, unfortunately. I was feeling a little "off" with some lingering back pain so perhaps that was a good thing, although I came away from the evening disappointed. Last night I thought I'd try again. It was Valentine Dress Up (red and white 50's & 60's style) night. I wore a simple red with white dot knit top from Target with a sweetheart neckline and empire waist with some black capri pants. (Comfort was what I was after last night.) It was a much better night. I had many offers to dance, learned a few new moves and met some new people. The band was great, playing all the best swing music from the 50's and 60's.

About the dress:
I started with a very boring straight, short sleeved black dress with white dots that my friend, Tree, had handed down to me a couple years ago. I cut out the back and cut off the sleeves (they were ugly and cumbersome) thinking I would make it a halter style dress. I added the pink godets in a sheer pleated polyester to the fashion fabric and a solid pink to the lining at all the seams. After a fitting I decided to repeat the pink in the cut out back to eliminate neck strain from the halter (halters always pull on my neck) and also because I read that while dancing, it is unpleasant for the man to put his hand on a sweaty back (not that I'm very sweaty when I dance.) I thought creating a pink shrug and then attaching it to the dress would solve the undergarment problem of having to wear a backless bra. I'd still like to edge the collar with pink piping, but I just haven't had the time to do it yet. I replaced all the buttons (original were basic 4-hole black shirt buttons) with smooth 2-hole buttons. After one night of dancing (at my birthday) I discovered that the buttons didn't want to stay closed, so I also stitched the center front closed by hand most of the way, making it a pull-over dress now. I don't want to worry about my clothes staying on when I'm dancing; I want to know they will.

*Apologies for the poor quality photo. I will be photographed modeling my garments in the not so distant future, I hope.