Monday, March 23, 2009

Holy Cow I Made a Dress!

But not without some issues (read: gritted teeth, stomping feet, and a near tantrum!).

Here is Simplicity 2694, a simple Project Runway dress.

Simple? Yes.

Flattering? I don't think so!

Let's face it, I'm not the greatest sewist in the world when it comes to clothing.

I know that and I accept it.

But, I want to know how someone who can insert an invisible zipper with no pins (ME!!) can manage to screw up a stinking EASY dress pattern!!!!

I had to calm down (and managed to keep my language at a PG rating) before I added this to Pattern Review.

So what was the issue?

The back pleat that's what.

It's an exact replica of the front pleat.

Now the front pleat works just fine. But then, why wouldn't it when it falls down a basically flat surface.

But put the same pleat in the back. Guess what happens when it has to go over a butt, because gee whiz I think most of us have one (a butt that is!)?

That damned pleat opened up all the way and then curved over my butt like a swag curtain. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture, it was that bad. It didn't slide down my back and then flow outward in a sexy curvaceous way, NO! it went in a straight line from my shoulder blades to way out over my behind and I swear it looked liked I'd stuffed a sofa pillow in there.

I had checked pattern review previous to this, and the one review that was written looked ok, although she did mention that she wasn't real sure about that stupid pleat.

So I ripped my pleat out and made 3 small ones.

Same ugly results.

Had the brainstorm to gather the skirt instead, and since I have many cute little sundresses with gathers I knew it would work.


It was at this point that I nearly had a tantrum. I bought this fabric when I was in Paris and not only was it not cheap it was just too pretty to ruin.

I threw it down and went for a run.

It was during my run that I had an idea (I get many of my ideas during my runs) to try darts.

What the hell, I didn't have much to lose (except my mind!).

I dug out favorite Burda dress and checked out the darts which were about 10 inches long, down either side of the center back.

I added the darts, tried it on, and when it seemed like it might be ok, I put in the zipper (invisible, side seam).

Well folks, it will work but I will never make this dress again.

Here is the infamous back view with darts.

Ignore Sally Stitch's bra and adjustment openings.

Sally wants everyone to know that she doesn't have a butt and that the dress looked just fine on her.


And she wonders why her new 'home' is right beside the litter box.

Just in case you think I'm a total idiot when it comes to sewing, here is my invisible zipper.

I used the Islander method and was thrilled to pieces when I found it in Sew News Magazine (my library carries it!). You can bet I copied it for future reference and by the way, who the hell names their child 'Rosebud' (that's the lady that demonstrates this method)?

I added the front overlay option to the bodice as I thought it dressed it up.

It called for the overlay to have a 3/8th inch hem but that would mean that when it was knotted, you'd see the hem and the wrong side of the fabric.

I just lined it in the same fabric (cheap JoAnn satin) as the bodice and it really does make a difference.

This is just a close up of the front 'pleat'.

Imagine that, spread out over your butt!

I don't think so!

What's kind of funny about this is the fact that I used a stretchy jersey for this dress and in the past I couldn't sew more than a few inches without my thread breaking.
But now that I used a 'stretch' needle (and why on earth does everything I read say I should use a ball point needle???) I didn't have any of those problems.
It just goes to show; It's always something!


Gay McDonell said...

Holy Cow - it looks alright to me, well on Sally ... hey you'll wear it and look at everything you've learnt along the way - you don't get that life experience with store bought clothes (hmmm - feel better now?)

Anonymous said...

I am totally impressed how you figured out how to get rid of that silly back pleat. And how you went for a run to vent the frustration. Me, I might have had a bowl of popcorn instead. LOL. And that fabric is beautiful. You did a great job - don't underestimate yourself!

Cindy said...

Nice work on getting the back to work. You're right, that fabric is pretty! Note to self: Must.Start.Running.Again. (I just looked at MY butt in a full length mirror)