Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The dress I've sewn 4 times and still haven't made....

To prove to you all that this blog isn't just about baby clothes and terror nursing tales, I wanted to do a big reveal of the dress I had been making for the Mad Men competition over at Sew Retro. This is what I've been making, a vintage pattern from an unknown pattern company and unknown date, but it looks a bit sixties to me:

I had planned to make it from a fuschia/deep purple wool crepe that I have in the stash picked up some time ago from either a garage sale or op shop. I also had picked out the perfect brooch and shoes to go with it.

But.......It is for bust 38 in., which is about 4in. too big for me so I need to grade the pattern down a few sizes. Also two pattern pieces are missing, including a gusset piece under the arm so I need to draft one somehow with hardly any pattern markings to go by, because it is one of those old style patterns with just the punched holes. And if all that isn't enough challenges, it comes with instructions that give BWOF a run for their money in terms of brevity. So all that called for a fitting muslin, which normally I loathe doing because frankly I'm a little bit lazy.

However, after four, yes four muslins all I have to show for all that time and effort are a dress that is way too big, a dress that is way too small, and two dresses that just sit wonky and wrong all made out of fugly fabric from the stash. No goldilocks moment at all (ie no just right dress!). The problem is that the pattern is asymmetrical with all those darts and funny tucking of fabric to make the belt on the skirt front on one side only, so it is not that simple to just take some extra width out evenly across the front.

So having made this four times over and still no wearable dress, or even a UFO to show for it, I'm calling it quits and am moving on. I don't have enough time, patience or sleep in reserve these days to dilly dally around on a dress that I probably won't wear for ages anyway, and it's not like I don't another pattern or 600 to choose from! In fact, I've already found another although it too needs downsizing, hmmmm maybe I'll keep looking......

10 comments:

  1. Wow, that pattern looks suspicously like a design from Michael Kors last Mad Men-inspired collection. That is gorgeous can't wait to see the finished dress.

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  2. How frustrating that must have been. You have shown great patience by doing four muslins. I don't think I would have stuck it out that long. I think you are right in moving on, because like you say, you do have another 600 or so to choose from. Look forward to seeing your final choice.

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  3. You need to start with a sloper. I don't know enough to tell you exactly how to do it, just that it would be the best way to start. Look at it this way, though: at least you didn't use your nice fabric on something that doesn't fit at all!

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  4. I'd love you to enter the dress to the Mad Men competition anyway as you have put so much work into it! Show us the pattern and the muslins and the fabric that you intended to use for it and I'll count it as an entry when I draw for the prize!

    Anna

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  5. Kristy, is it just too big in the bust? Or is it all the way down??
    If it's just the bust and I assume that the skirt etc... are separate pieces... couldn't you take the center on the dress front that runs on the fold in say... however many inches too big it is? At least you have tried if I were you, I would pass it onto someone else that it may fit... and then it won't drive you nuts any more!!!
    Good try! And I knew that you weren't just a baby clothes sewer! Your assume!! Take care and give Anna a hug!

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  6. I think reader Kristine has good advice with making a sloper. Not that I've done that yet. I'm on to Muslin #2 for a vintage-style faux-fur jacket I am making. Nice that you can still enter the contest!

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  7. I love that pattern!!! Where did you get it and what is the pattern and pattern # if you don't mind sharing?

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  8. That is an intriguing pattern - I'd love to see what the patten pieces look like. I totally sympathise with the four muslins and no dress, but I still want to see the dress! Could you show us one of the muslins, just as an idea of what it would look like? I love asymetrical patterns like this.

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  9. That dress is so sexy and so Mad Men. Very Joan on a date. Enter it in the contest and show us your muslins. Please.

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  10. *LOL* Omgosh do I remember those days. Maybe that's where I developed my aversion to muslins...all that precious sewing time used and in the end you have nuthin' *LOL* And yes, please find a pattern that you can work with out of the envelope! I know you will find something wonderful!

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