For a long time, I’ve made my rejection of sack dresses well known. Heck, I even founded a sewing pattern company in opposition to the idea of sack dresses being the only things available for plus sizes!
Perhaps my aversion to sack dresses was primarily because for a long time it felt like the *only* thing available to me. Now that I can whip up a fitted garment at any time, and am no longer focused on always looking as small as possible, I find myself more attracted back to the silhouette I disdained for so long. Let’s also make no bones about it: Meg’s StyleArc Adelines have also been calling my name.
So I decided to just jump in and give it a go – what’s the worst that could happen? I could sew up the end and use it store potatoes.
Behold, my Art Teacher Approved Sack Dress, a.k.a. the StyleArc Adeline:
There’s no getting around it: it’s a SHOWSTOPPER of a dress. And I’m pretty sure an art teacher literally made that fabric.
When I decided to sew a sack of my very own, I knew I wanted a fabric with a really good drape that didn’t cling. Luckily, last year during my LA fabric buying trip I found this amazing fabric at Rimmon (a rather odd wholesaler who does retail but only after they’re really rude to you). I’m still not 100% sure what it is – rayon, perhaps? It’s mid-weight, twill weave, matte on the outside, slinky on the inside and BLOOMIN’ MARVELOUS to wear. Seriously fantastic. And the perfect fabric for a sack. Thrillingly, I also picked up another 3 yards on my recent LA trip.
Usually I’d have to adjust a StyleArc pattern quite significantly for my bust, but given the ultra unstructured nature of this dress, I cut a straight 20 and crossed my fingers. I think it worked? As much as you can say that you are wearing the “right size” of sack. I do think I should shorten it by 2 or 3 inches (StyleArc drafts for 5’9″ I believe, and I’m 5’6″). The dress has a really delightful V-neck with facing (I topstitched it down to eliminate flippage), a cocoon shape, high-low hem and cut-on sleeves (with rather perplexing sleeve hem instructions, but plus ca change with StyleArc).
So now we get to the elephant in the room. When I first made this and tried it on I LOVED it. I immediately went out to dinner with a friend, shared my latest musings about career choices, and felt like a total fox.
Then I saw these photos. And I’m not so sure.
OBVIOUSLY a sack is not going to make me look smaller, and that is not my primary mission in life: I can take up space, thanks very much. But…. geez. That’s a lot of… dress and fabric. So now I’m a little more on the fence. I wonder if shortening it and potentially taking a bit off the side seams would make me more comfortable.
What do you think, dear readers? Sack dresses, yay or nay? And this *particular* StyleArc Adeline, on me? Should I just accept my fate as an art teacher and get on with it?