Well, I made it through my week of scoring AP essays! I scored 1,850 essays this year, which is my most ever. I think in prior years I’ve done around 1,700. I won’t go into all the gory details, but there are three questions that students answer on the exam, and each year you get assigned to read one question the whole time you’re there. I got the easiest/quickest to score this year, so I was able to speed through the essays pretty quickly. It doesn’t take long to realize that most 17 year olds have very similar experiences and ideas and say the same exact things in their essays. You quickly start to recognize which essays are saying the same thing that isn’t a very good answer and which essays are saying the same thing that’s a decent answer. There are definitely some phrases I hope to never see again after those 1,850 essays!
This year the scoring took place in Kansas City, MO rather than Louisville, KY as it had in all the prior years I’ve gone. It used to take place in Daytona Beach, FL, but I missed out on that awesome experience! I was concerned about having enough cool, breezy dresses to wear in the June heat of Kansas City, so I went a little berserk and sewed seven dresses in the couple weeks leading up to my trip. Yes, you read that correctly: seven. I’ve gained some weight since last year, so a lot of my summer dresses don’t fit. Some of them still do, but last summer I was sewing everything to be pretty snug because I was hoping to lose weight based on my exercise plans. Those plans didn’t come to fruition, so now most of my summer clothes from last year are really uncomfortable. There’s nothing worse than a tight sausage casing dress in the summer humidity! So I ordered up a bunch of Art Gallery voile based on how much I loved the first of the seven dresses I made, which was my first time sewing with that fabric. I think I like the Art Gallery voile better than Liberty Tana Lawn, and it’s a third of the price! I threw in a Cotton and Steel double gauze for good measure and began on my merry way making seven dresses.
I’ll begin my series of posts about these dresses with some of that Liberty Tana Lawn I just mentioned. Two and a half years after buying my first Liberty fabric, I finally got it sewed up. For a long time, I didn’t see the appeal of Liberty fabrics, but then I saw this one. I fell in love with the colors and the scale of the print, and I had to have it enough that I paid full American price, resulting in the most expensive piece of fabric I’ve ever purchased. And that includes a stash full of silks I keep collecting but not sewing. I really don’t understand the price of Liberty fabric, but when I see a print I like, there’s almost nothing that can stop me. Even with shipping from the UK, you can get Liberty cheaper from Shaukat, so that’s what I’ve done for the most recent two pieces I bought. The full price in America is pretty bonkers.
Can you blame me for being such a spendthrift? Isn’t that print one of the most gorgeous things ever? Don’t worry, I’ll throw a close up at you before I’m done here! This print is called Tresco C, and I paired it up with a Grainline Alder in a modified view B. I am in love with the Alder, but since I’d like all my versions to be slightly different from one another, I decided to even out the hem on this one. The Alder is designed with a shirttail style high-low hem, where the back is longer than the front and the sides are shorter than both the front and back. My other two view B Alders are unaltered, but this one just has a regular hem which is a very easy alteration.
That is a very uninteresting side view of my dress, but you can see my Cotton and Steel kitties dress behind me on top of my serger (not the double gauze; this one’s canvas). I can’t wait to finish up those kitties and wear them!
And the back. Not much to say here except that after three rounds, I think I still need to shorten the bodice in the back a bit. It’s still hanging a little low for me.
That print! Swoon! I’ve worn this dress twice now, and each time I’ve gotten tons of compliments. I wore it on Tuesday and a woman stopped me when I got off the train to tell me she loved my dress. I was wearing headphones so she had to wave her arms to get my attention, and I must have given her a look of utter horror because she first apologized, then told me she loved my dress!
And there are my buttons, which I got from Soutache in Chicago. I was unsure what color to get for this dress, but I think the orange pretty well matches the orange flowers in the print, which you can see between the two buttons. I looked for pink to match the pink flowers you see on the left side, but I couldn’t come up with a good match. I really like these vintage glass buttons; so much so that I bought another color to use on a different dress.
All seven of my dresses were repeat patterns, which is the only way I was able to make so many things in such a short period of time, so my posts about them will probably be short and sweet.