Wednesday, 22 February 2012

anatomy of a wadder

All week my sewing has been paralysed by my recent wadder that has been hanging over my head.  You see I really really wanted it to work, but at the moment I'm too tired and too lazy to fix it, especially since it is a maternity dress for work and I only have two weeks left at the office (6 days, but who is counting!?).  So unfortunately it will go into the UFO box waiting to either be refashioned or possibly fixed if I ever do something crazy like get pregnant again.

But in the interests of keeping it real around here, and to serve as a reminder to myself to avoid making such a fundamental mistake again in the future I thought I'd share it.  Trust me it's pretty funny 'cos it was such a stoopid mistake, but as with most things in life mistakes come about when you're rushing or just not thinking things through properly.  This was a case of both (but mostly the latter).

When I spied dress #116 in the October 2011 issue of Burda magazine I really liked it, but was unsure if it was because I had been watching too much Downton Abbey and that in reality this dress was a little too French maid costumey for real life.  Especially when you're preggers you've got to be careful not to veer into the cutesy territory.



But then I spied this dress in the window at Jigsaw for $269:


I figured there must be a trend happening for contrasting collars.  So I decided to take this rather plain black wool crepe dress made from Vogue 2818 last time I was pregnant and upfashion it since I hadn't worn it all this pregnancy.








The plan was to sew on a peter pan collar and hem band from some white wool crepe from the stash, and to cut the sleeves to a cap sleeve because we are (sort of) in summer here right now.  So I unpicked the decorative ribbon I had sewn around the neckline, the topstitching, understitching and neck seam all done in black thread on black wool crepe (my poor eyes!), and had to undo most of the empire seam as well so I could turn the bodice inside out.

Well that was a lot of boring and tedious work, which is what led me to a severe case of laziness, thoughtlessness and rushing to just finish the damn thing resulting in a major stuff up.  You see I just traced the collar from the Burda magazine, cut it out and sewed it on without thinking whether it would fit.  Too bad the Burda pattern is for a round high neck dress, and my Vogue dress is a wide necked bateau style neckline - it was never ever going to work as the curves didn't match!  But it didn't twig at this stage....

When I sewed it on, I realised the collar was too short to meet at the centre back zip but thought I could live with it extending just past the shoulder seams since it's meant to be a feature at the front anyway.  So I clipped the collar, edgestitched the neckline, sewed the bodice and lining back together at the empire waist seam (even overlocking the seam!) and tried it on.  It stuck up in the air just like this:





And that my friends is how you make a simple silly mistake befitting someone who has been sewing for 15 seconds not 15 years!

Now that I've got that off my chest hopefully I can find the motivation to get back into my sewing room - only 6 weeks before the next baby is due so I shouldn't waste this time at all!

18 comments:

  1. How disappointing, but we all have then from time to time. Hope you have better luck with your next project

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  2. Ohmy! I can understand your disappointment...but it does look a little like Sister Batrille from the Flyning Nun doesn't it? I am SURE that the next thing you make will be wonderful and stunning and befitting the amazing sewist that you are!

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  3. I am besotted by this dress, especially after my friend Marie Noelle in Paris made it. She doesn't look a thing like a French maid in it. Your collar is well..interesting. Personally I'd take it off. The dress is rather nice without it.

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  4. Oh dear!
    Sorry to say this has given me the giggles because it reminds me of my last venture into maternity sewing...I made what I thought was going to be a cute dress that ended up making me look like a very round Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I kept the dress for several years just to remind myself to think more carefully about what I'm sewing.

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  5. It is very heartening to see that even a very experienced seamstress like you can make mistakes like this. I'm still hovering around the 'enthusiastic beginner' stage and just made a huge and stupid mistake that had me considering giving away my sewing machine. I made some yoga-style trousers and decided to get rid of the side seam so they would be more comfortable for lounging around in. But the pattern pieces (that I just placed on the fold) were for front-leg and back-leg pieces. So I cut them out, sewed up the inside leg seam and then put the two very different lengths of crotch seam down to sloppy fabric cutting and my inexperience with stretchy knits. So I pulled and stretched and eased the pieces together on my overlocker. Now I have a pair of trousers with one front leg and one back leg.

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  6. Oh dear!!!! I can't believe you did that...must be pregnant! Enjoy your last few days at work before the big countdown.

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  7. It's a bit like the facings I sewed on upside down a few weeks ago. Couldn't figure out for the life of me why they stuck up in the air ... I agree with Gail, take the collar off.

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  8. Just remember, we're not laughing AT you - we're laughing WITH you. We've all been there in one form or another. ;-)

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  9. I'm laughing at Eclair ... with.. with..I mean! Ok so I'll tell you about the dress I made for my Tafe graduation six months ago and is waaayyy too small in the bust. My body is in it's "6th decade" (just about) but my mind about my size is still in only the "3rd decade"... hmm wonder if I'll wear that ever!

    Don't feel bad; we have all been there once (at least). I agree with Gail and take the collar off as it's quite nice and the shoes are great.

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  10. Sadly, I love wadder posts. I think we get in to a mentality that everything sewn is perfect. And, sometimes it's just not. And, sometimes, we just do dumb dumb things. This post is of particular use to me as you've given me two new phrases to work into my vocabulary 'stuff up' and 'twig'. That being said, are you saying that in Australia, you get four weeks off pre-baby? If so, I'm moving. Not that I'm pregnant! But, I support any healthcare system that respects motherhood :)

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  11. HA HA HA HA HA! I say, leave the collar just as it is, put some beads and sequins on the sticky-up bit and call this ... unusual ... collar a "design decision." For the next few days, your mind is on a little vacation. Be kind to yourself.

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  12. Ugh! That happens to all of us from time to time. However I do love the black fabric / white peter pan collar thing going on.

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  13. Frustrating for you, but I LOVE the shoes you are wearing!

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  14. We have all been there and how frustrating for you. Take it easy and enjoy your time while you can, it isn't long now.

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  15. I love that you shared this, its so hard to read blog after blog of perfect projects, I feel more solidarity with people who have occasional trials. Congrats on your latest baby project!

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  16. That's how I realized perfection is impossible! after making a muslin I cut the real silk fabric...but the bodice front instead of putting it on the fold I cut 2!

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  17. Love the dress on you. What a PITA that collar turned out to be! Perhaps you could remove it and draft a series of mock collars in differing fabrics (lace, cotton etc). I love the versatility of mock collars.

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