I tossed the dress aside for three weeks while being overwhelmed with end of school year/beginning summer swim team scheduling/picking up saddle time busy-ness, but I finally got back to fixing the dress today. Extra length has been removed from the top of all the midriff pieces and that alone fixed most of the fitting issues. However, the pointy bust darts are no good, so I’ve been working on a good solution to those. I think I almost have it fixed, so hopefully I will have pictures up soon.
I got the bright idea to cut a dress earlier this week based on the fact that the fabric is seven years aged in stash as is the pattern, and I wanted a new dress for summer. However, I didn’t really think through my plan, and so I have this unfinished project.
Mistake number one, not checking what alterations were needed for success. I always have to shorten the bodice, but the bust point matched mine, so I just went ahead with the size 10 through the shoulders out to a 12 under the bust. That’s it. Umm, I know better, I swear, but look at this wreck. The bust dart comes up and over my bust point. How on Earth is that supposed to work for anyone?
Oh, in case it isn’t obvious, this is just basted together for all of the vertical seams to check the fit. I knew that the bodice was wonky, so I figured if I assembled enough I could decide if this is worth salvaging. I have enough fabric to recut a front bodice, but nothing else.
The marked waistline is at my waist here and you can see the extra length present in both the front and back bodice pieces. The front is slightly less terrible as I did not do a full bust adjustment, though a slight one would have helped if nothing else than dropping that bust point as right now there is too much fabric above the waist but instead of the mass of horizontal wrinkles, the fabric has enough body to just lift away from my shoulders.
Ignoring the not great zipper basting job here, look at all of the wrinkles in the small of my back. The back bodice ended up being huge and I really do need a narrow shoulder adjustment going forward. If this were finished properly, my bra straps would definitely be visible. The back neckline gapes by a ton, and the back dart is going too far into my shoulder blade. This would be a total wadder if not for the fact that the color looks fantastic in the pictures. I just don’t know how motivated I am to fix this, though on the plus side, it is another 2.5 yards of material out of stash.
Found these pants today as I was emptying another box. I don’t know when I started them, but based on the size I think about 3 years ago.
These are from one of the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns, and they are straight legged trousers. I made them up in some mystery polyester that may have come from my grandma’s stash, finished everything but the hem, and abandoned them. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was the fact that the fabric feels gross, but I think I remember them being too tight through the hips. I don’t have that problem today.
In the photo I’m bringing the pants up to where they are supposed to sit and wow, they’re big. At least I can chuck these in the trash guilt free. I’ve been reworking through Marie Kondo’s book, especially as I’m finding items like this where the guilt of needing but not wanting to finish them weighs me down. I just wonder how many other surprises are lurking in the remaining craft room boxes.
Fresh from the UFO pile, I bring you Vogue 1020, a knit wardrobe pattern where I made the top. It is gathered on the left side, has three quarter length sleeves, and in the pattern also has an option for a dress length.
I cut out this top five years ago, I think. I remember messing with it, getting upset with the gathering, chucking it in a closet, and finding it only when I was unpacking a moving box. It’s a front, back, and two sleeves, and all of the pieces were together, but the one side was still open and I had no idea how I was going to finish this up as I still hadn’t unpacked my coverstitch machine. The fabric choice for this was unfortunate. I think it’s from Jo-Ann’s, but I don’t remember if I bought it or my mom. It’s pretty beefy for a jersey, and it sewed up fine. However, the print obscures the lines of the design, and honestly, I’m just not loving it. It’s fun, but I feel like the print is wearing me rather than the other way around. Also, I’m not really drawn to yellow or bronze tones these days, so I can already tell that its days in my closet are numbered.
That’s a bit tragic because I like the lines of this and think that it would be really nice in a solid color. The only drawback to the pattern is the gathering is controlled by some sort of stay for the left side as both front and back are gathered, and finding something I liked for that was harder than I would have liked. I used clear elastic this time, and it’s a bit too bulky and it is a total pain to sew with. That’s an understatement. I hate clear elastic all the time, but gathering with clear elastic was a nightmare. Still I think I want to make this again in a hefty knit for winter. I need to take out more length just above the waist, but all in all, not a terrible fit.
All of the edges including the neckline are turned under and hem stitched. Getting my coverstitch to behave for the first time in months was an interesting challenge as the looper thread tension was a mess, but once I fixed that via the third rethreading, hemming was a breeze. So all of the sewing machines have made it back onto the sewing table, and I need to get cracking on some new projects.
This was supposed to be a simple fast cross stitch project, a week max to complete and here I am a month later finally finishing it. I did not realize how much I would slow down with a 4 inch hoop because I could only stitch one handed and I would get a cramp in my left hand and every stitch was twice as long as I was used to. However, I’m thrilled with the final result and cannot wait to see this framed and on the wall.
The pattern is Yellow Bird from La-D-Da. It’s not a large design, something like 60 by 70 stitches on a 32 count Platinum linen. I used the Thread Gatherer’s Silk ‘N Colors in Union Blue and needed just a bit less than the whole skein. I didn’t like the effect with two strands like I would have normally done on this count so I went with three strands instead to eliminate fabric peek through in the individual x’s. Ten years ago you would have never gotten me to do something in this style, but I’m finding that my tastes in cross stitch have been changing and I have some projects picked out a decade ago that I don’t think I will ever do now.
Well, I’m not sewing anything, but that’s not stopping me from buying things. Happily, it’s not fabric or notions so I’m feeling a bit virtuous (but only a little bit). I have really liked the bookcases that my unpacked fabric is hanging out in, but it’s not the easiest to see what I have nor to efficiently use the space because lots of the cuts are slippery, and so they slide right off of each other when stacked. I finally started looking at other sewing blogs again, and I was intrigued by the idea of mini bolts several weeks ago.
Distracted by real life, I pushed the idea to the side and finally got to revisit them today. An image search led to the site for Fabric Organizers by DeNiece which looked promising. First thing, glad I busted out the tape measure because my first inclination would have been way too big for my shelves, which defeats the entire point. I also hit up Amazon because I was curious what I could find that could be in my grubby hands within two days. The pricing on Amazon blows for these things by the way. Looks like if you want the plastic boards, buy direct. Anyway, I was coming up with a price of $1.35 per board and I would need to buy at least a hundred to be able to wind all of my unpacked fabric. I love the idea, but I do not know that I love the idea at $135. Sometimes, you have to make tough calls, folks, and I couldn’t bring myself to fork over that much money. However, someone in one of the reviews mentioned comic book boards. Less elegant with no handy tabs to help you get started winding your fabric, but for $19.71 plus tax, I have 100 American-made, acid free pieces of cardboard in the perfect size arriving Thursday. I’m feeling kind of happy about this right now.
I’m slowly picking through the wayward pattern pile, and the envelope to Vogue 9100 caused me to remember, why yes, I did make that dress something last year.
This is made with a cotton/lycra sateen from Jo-Ann’s bought at some point in the past that I’m too lazy to bother looking up. I posted earlier in this blog’s life about wanting to use this pattern to recreate an old dress that I had loved but shrunk out of. The pattern calls for gathering the skirt, but I changed it into three large pleats that line up with the bodice seams and the centerline of the garment. So far, so good, right?
I ended up disliking this dress, only worn a couple of times, and a year in the closet has only solidified my initial impression. The sateen turned out to be a lighter weight than the original dress and so it feels more insubstantial through the skirt, plus the pleats press mediocrely. The waist seam hits just enough too low to throw off the entire feel of the garment and while fitted through the waist, it’s too big in the bodice, which makes me feel dumpy. It’s a sundress! If it feels dumpy than I’m doing it wrong.
The back is almost okay, but note the bra strap that is playing peekaboo on the right. We’ll be coming back to that.
The side view makes me cry a little inside. The front hem is higher on my body than the back hem. I can’t even blame it on the mild slope of the yard because all of my garments tend to show the side seam swinging forward and if you look through the busy print, that seam line ends up at the front of my knee. Waist seams also do this on me so I need to be more aggressive in taking out back length above the waist and I’m hoping that if I fix it above the waist that it eliminates it at the hem. Speaking of hems, I did this one as a 1/4 rolled hem. I don’t love it. Then again, I’m not sure that the hem is the least of my problems with this dress.
One thing that was never right from the moment I first tried it on for fitting was the angle of the strap. The side back piece extends up to meet the side front piece at the shoulder. The shoulder seam for me is an inch too far back and this was after making the entire strap shorter. The side of the strap closer to center back lies flat on my body. The side closer to my arm likes to make a weird fold that I have never had happen before. This is not the first time I’ve made a bodice like this, but it’s the first time that the strap has looked like this. I could possibly permit this flaw as it is where I cannot see it except for the mess that is the front bodice.
This neckline doesn’t work. At all. I can obviously park the shoulder straps over my bra straps, but this is where they want to be. Drifting out to the far edges of my shoulders so I can spend all day worrying about them, or putting a jacket on so no one can see that it looks like I’ve failed to double check myself in the mirror. I wish I could remember what pattern alterations I did for this project because they weren’t good enough, but I guess I have new things to check for with future makes.
I hesitate to call this a crummy pattern, but in the end, I couldn’t make it work for me. The seaming though the bodice let me get a smooth fit through the bust, but the shoulder straps are just too wide for my frame and I didn’t catch that in the flat pattern stage. Converting gathers to pleats was simple, so I’ll definitely try it again in trying to make my perfect warm weather dress. Alas, this dress is not it.