Friday, July 20, 2007

The Dress That Didn't Work Out

So here's a picture of Simplicity 3874, the V neck version. Not so great. I didn't even hem it. I tried it on and hated it immediately. It's been about a week, and I don't hate it so much now, but it's still not doing much for me. Let's just start with the color. I should never have used this fabric to make this dress. It's a gorgeous Asian print cotton, but it's just too close to my skin tone to be flattering. I should have used something more colorful, but it was really just a muslin, so what the heck, right? Next is the dress itself. The drawing on the pattern envelope shows a much deeper V neck. Now, I'm all for modesty, and I certainly don't want all of my cleavage hanging out for the world to see, but the finished neckline is nothing like what the pattern envelope shows. It's almost dowdy looking. Of course, it is a muslin, and the neckline could be easily altered on the next version. If there were to be another version, that is.

The next problem is the armholes. They cut me right at the most unflattering point, and enhance the chubbiness of my upper arms. I thought, judging from the pattern drawing, that they would be cut in ever so slightly. I was wrong. Not only do the armholes look bad on me, they feel bad. I wore the dress for a couple of hours yesterday just to give it a second chance, and the front edge of the armhole actually cuts into me if I lean forward or raise my arms forward. It was really aggravating.

I cut a 16 through the bodice and did a FBA which added a dart in the side seam under the arm, and a second dart under the bust. I tapered out to an 18 at the hip. I really could have gone out to a 20. I could use a little bit more ease, but it's okay with a slip underneath and I've been steadily loosing weight now for a couple of months and I suspect that in a couple more weeks, the 18 will be more than adequate. I'm not real happy with the area of the dress between the hips and the empire waist. The skirt is really boxy and I think that fact combined with the hand of the cotton I used makes it look and feel boxy through that area. As a naturally curvy girl, I think I need a little more curve and cling through my midsection to get a really flattering look. Once again, a drapier fabric might have made a big difference.

I'm really not happy with this dress. But the strange thing is that I keep wondering if I should give it another chance. Should I maybe try the raglan sleeved version? Would the sleeves make it more flattering? Would a different fabric make a big difference? Should I eliminate the drawstring detail and just make the casing and elastic go all the way around? Should I try to make the skirt more A-line? Why am I even considering all this? Shouldn't I just move on? It's not like I don't have a dozen other patterns to try out. In fact, I'm almost done with this one:

Butterick 4985, the plain white version on the lower left. I hope to hand stitch the collar down and add buttons and buttonholes while watching TV this weekend. Hopefully, I can post pics, too.

I also have Larkin, the dress with the ladybug smocking, done except for buttons. I'll try and post that one as well. I might even start a new smocked project. I've been itching to smock for about a week. Nothing relaxes me like kicking back in my favorite chair watching a favorite movie or TV show and just smocking to my heart's content. Come to think of it, I haven't watched the Lord of the Rings in a while. Hmmm. My weekend is starting to shape up already!

1 comment:

Juliane said...

Oh, no, I wouldn't quit with this dress! It looks wonderful on you and makes you look very slim.
You are right about the technical drawing on the pattern envelope--I went to Simplicity's website, and the neckline/shoulders aren't depicted accurately.

Here's an idea. Since the neckline and armholes of the Sew Stylish dress are so good, why not lay those pattern pieces over the top of the dress and compare them? If you used facings, simply remove them (or just deepen the seam allowances). Then you would probably be much happier with it.

It is a gorgeous piece of fabric. Maybe you could pop the color with a necklace or bracelet?

It really is a very flattering cut for you! Just some thoughts (I hope you don't mind). In fact, I am going to buy both of these patterns now that I've seen them on you, since we look to have the same shape/body size. I want to look that good, too! Good luck.