Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

I have another finished project to show. This is Simplicity 2798 and it is my last contribution to the Stash Contest over at Pattern Review.
This is a Project Runway pattern with B,C, D cup pattern pieces. I started out by cutting the size 14 through the shoulder and a straight size 16 from the underarm down. I added 1" of length at the waist and 1" of length between the waist and hem so that I would have enough to turn up for a hem. The pattern is short and I wanted it to come at least to the middle of my knee. The muslin looked good, if just a little snug through the midsection, so I decided to just use a 1/2" seam allowance from the waist down instead of 5/8". I got the dress cut out of the fashion fabric, a nice, light green moleskin that's been aging in my stash for probably about three years, and sewed it up. When I tried it on, it was just too big. The bust was saggy, the midsection was too big, and it just kind of hung on me like a green sack. What happened to the cute dress the muslin promised to be? All I can figure is that the moleskin is a much heavier fabric than the cheap, lightweight cotton I used for the muslin, and the weight of the fabric pulled the dress down and out of shape. I know I certainly didn't get any smaller since the muslin was made! I could have cut a straight 14 and been just fine, but how was I to know?
Anyway, to save the dress, I took the princess seams and the side seams in 1/4" each. This also took in the extra from the smaller seam allowances on the lower half of the dress. The dress looked better, but it decreased the size of the armhole slightly which made it difficult to set the sleeves in. I got them in, but there are a few puckers. Of course, no one in my real life will ever notice, so I'm not going to worry about it!
And speaking of the sleeves, aren't these things cute?
They have overlapping pleats!

(Sorry the pics are so dark- the sun was already going down and my photographer is only 7 years old!)
And after all that drama of the bodice being too big, the sleeve bands were way too small. I wouldn't have even been able to get my arms in them as they were drafted! I had to cut new ones, so I measured my arm, added a little extra for ease and then seam allowances. I can't remember exactly how long they were, but I think had to add almost 2" to the original length.
I originally planned on making the cute tabs that button onto the waist of the dress, but honestly, I knew the moleskin was going to be a pain to work with. It's hard to press and it would be aggravating trying to get those tabs turned right side out and pressed so that they were even and didn't look like a disaster. So I decided at the last minute to leave them off. After I got to thinking about it, I decided it's probably for the best anyway. They are cute, but I'm sure I'd catch the tab or the buttons on something and snag the dress.
I used light green poly satin for the yoke facings and the pocket linings. The moleskin would have just been too bulky. The satin feels really nice inside the pockets. I really should have used an invisible zipper, but I couldn't find one in any shade of green, much less one that went with my fabric (and I checked three different stores!) So I went with what I had on hand- a plain old flat zipper. It was either that or let this become a UFO. And I don't need any more of those.

I still have the January BWOF high waist skirt waiting to be made, and I'm itching to start on a few things from the February BWOF, but I'm starting to think about making some cute little spring dresses for the Princess. Stay tuned for some previews of some smocked dresses!


Julia said...

The dress looks great. I love the feel of moleskin. I will remember that it is heavy and can make a difference in the fit of things made from it. The color is great too.

Mommyof2girlz said...

Love the sleeve detail!

angie.a said...

This is way cuter than the pattern envelope! LOVE the sleeves.

Lisa said...

Hi Shannon.
The dress is wonderful. I love the sleeves! What a neat embellishment.

When I couldn't find a matching invisible zipper, I bought one that was close and painted the zipper pull with matching nail polish. It worked alright.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That is a great sleeve! Having recently worked with moleskin I'm impressed you made a whole dress out of it! It was difficult enough for a skirt.

Shannon said...

I love green! The detail on the sleeves is wonderful.

squeeli2 said...

I love these skirts and dresses that you make. Wish I had the confidence to dig into those detailed patterns. Oh, by the way, I love all your shoes!

Marsha said...

Love the pleats in the sleeve!