Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

I haven't had the heart to blog lately because I've experienced a sewing defeat of epic proportions. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration- but just a slight one.

I've been working on New Look 6909, which I successfully muslined back in December (I think.)

I was using this awesome rainbow pinstripe fabric which I've been hoarding in my stash for several years, just waiting for the perfect project.

Like I said, the muslin was a success. Close fitting, but very nice. Unfortunately, the dress turned out way too tight. Scuba suit tight. I looked like Catwoman masquerading as a trashy secretary when I put it on. The only thing that made it possible to even get it zipped was the stretch factor of the fabric. Sigh...

I was so disappointed. And confused. After all, the darn muslin fit just fine. I used the same pattern pieces, so what happened?

I have a theory. I cut the fabric single thickness to make sure the pinstripes were symmetrical. Not completely matched, but definitely symmetrical. Anyway, I cut on my kitchen table, and in order to do it with the fabric opened out, I had to let some of it hang off the edge of the table. I think that caused the fabric to stretch. When I laid out my pattern and cut, I was actually cutting stretched out fabric. When I finished cutting and unpinned the pattern, the fabric relaxed and the resulting pieces were much narrower than the corresponding pattern pieces. At least, that's my theory.

The dress turned out way too narrow (tight.) Interestingly, the length was not affected at all- probably because the fabric doesn't have lengthwise stretch. I let out the side seams as much as I could, taking only a 1/4 seam allowance. It's almost wearable now. But not quite. The sleeves (long sleeves, not the cap sleeves) were cut with no fabric hanging off the table, and they turned out just like the muslin- with plenty of ease. So now I have a skin-tight sheath dress with loose sleeves that look almost baggy in comparison to the rest of the dress. Not a good look. It's a shame, too, because it's a super cute dress. The stand up collar is adorable, and the muslin was sleek and flattering.

I haven't thrown it away... yet. I might hang on to it for a while and see if it fits better after I get going on my spring/summer walking plan. I'll probably have to scrap the sleeves altogether and go sleeveless.

Will I make it again? Well... I'd like to. I still love the dress and the muslin still fits. I just can't bring myself to do it right now.

In the meantime, I'm working on Burda Style 09-2009-138, which you may remember as the pink dress.

I'm using this black, white, and royal blue print:

I made a couple of small adjustments since the first version: A petite adjustment above the bust, and a little extra length at the waist. I've got my fingers crossed. I really need a successful project after the NL failure.

And in other sewing news, Angie and I are thinking about having a Kyoto Skirt Sew-along.
I've been dying to try a Hot Pattern and this is the one! I'm thinking of using this "linen look" khaki cotton with the red print for the bias trim. You might recognize the print from way back when I used it for my very first Temily.

I love the look of the Kyoto Skirt. It's got the cool yoke seam and the awesome godet in the back, and topstitching! Y'all know how I love topstitching! And did I mention the cargo pockets?!

So whaddaya say? Anybody want to sew along?
Hopefully both of these projects will be successful and I'll stop moping around feeling like a sewing misfit. Stay tuned for a progress report...


Mary Nanna said...

Oh dear.

I have this very pattern collared for my next project. I plan to make if from a very precious piece of fabric which would make me absolutely guttered to wreck.

I'll be rrrrrrrrreal careful with my cutting out then.

Good luck with your other sewing projects. Hope you get some joy soon.

Becky said...

I'm sorry. How disappointing for you. At least you figured it out! Most of my sewing lately seems disastrous, but I'm trying to slow down and enjoy doing things right.

No grownup sewing for me - talk about a disaster - but I can't wait to see those pockets and top-stitching. I'll be watching!

Shannon said...

I'm sorry to hear about this!

I'm glad to see a post, though. I missed you and am glad you are okay.

Mommyof2girlz/StephD said...

Ugh I hate when that happens. I just had to tear about a completely finished piece, serger stitches and all, b/c I cut the wrong measurements and it was like 5 sizes too big for my girl. At least you know where you went wrong and the fabric you choose is awesome. Hang on to it, yah never know :)

Judy Ross said...

Oh it's the pits when that happens. If you really really want to wear the dress and you have a bit of the fabric left you could maybe add in strips down the side seams from armpit to hem. You'd have to be careful about how to work it in at the armhole, but it would make the dress wearable, and if carefully done it would look like a design feature. Cut on the straight grain they'd be fairly inconspicuous, or you could cut them across the grain to make it look more deliberate.

Kyle said...

thanks for the warning! i'm planning on making this dress this weekend, and looked for your review on SPR. when I didn't see it there, I went to your blog to find your review.
Have you tried the dress on lately? Does it fit now? Don't throw it away! I bet you could sell it if it doesn't fit.