When I was still working my day job, I had dreams of an 'artist wardrobe' of simple, comfortable clothes I could work in, but still pretty enough to wear to town with a simple change of shoes. I reached out to Tracy McElfresh (Tracy's Sewing Studio) to design a custom dress for me and cannot say enough about how fun it was to work with her.
I had pulled together some photos of linen dresses I liked and had a phone consultation with Tracy to begin. A few days later, she provided some design options and walked through them with me. I really liked the idea of pintucks on a loose flowing dress because it reminded me of something Elizabeth Bennet might have worn AND would be super comfy for days in the studio. We talked through options and decided to add some deep pockets inside the dress for my phone, tools and whatnot.
After I selected the dress style, we talked through fabric options - in this case, my options were linen, chambray and light cotton. She took my measurements that day as well. Tracy finalized the details after our conversation and reached out to me with the amount of fabric I would need to buy. I was super busy at the time working a full time job and running my business on the side, so I bought my fabric at Fabric.com. I selected a linen blend chambray in black by Kaufmann called 'Essex' and it is perfect for the dress. It is heavier than linen which is what I needed for heavy duty work with kiln firing. I would love to have this dress made again in a lighter weight linen or cotton for more relaxing days :)
I washed the fabric and delivered it to Tracy at her sewing studio at Rosewood Art Center in Kettering, Ohio. She promptly began working on my dress and sent this sweet photo along the way. I remember getting the biggest smile on my face when I opened her text and imagining wearing this dress in my studio. I loved it!
I love the big pockets in this dress. They are extra deep so I can put my phone, Square and cash in them for local markets or my tools when I'm working in the studio. The pintucks add a ladylike touch to the dress and add shaping. I can easily add a belt to the dress to add more shaping, but honestly, I see myself wearing it loose and comfy most days!
One of my favorite parts that I wasn't expecting was a little bit of extra fabric tucked into the sides of the bottom of the dress. They are super sweet and add fullness and swing. With a belt on, I feel like I stepped out of the 1950s and LOVE it!!!
One of the things I wanted for this dress was adequate coverage for my bra straps and a higher scoop neck. I love how Tracy designed the top on this dress because it keeps everything in place ;) It feels good under a jacket or sweater and is just as comfy on its own.
Thank you so much, Tracy McElfresh, for my functionally beautiful artist dress!!!