Welcome to my adventures in sewing-a-dress-land!
Riding high on my success with the last dress, I decided to make the vintage New Look 6510 again, but hopefully without all the mistakes I made the first time. Remember I had cut it too big and then had to take in all my seams? This time I cut the size 16 instead of the size 18 to save myself the trouble of sewing all the seams twice. (’cause I’m such a smart cookie!)
Riding high on an excess of self-confidence, I decided to not only finish the seams, but to also try a new technique: edging with bias binding (because I had so obviously successfully mastered neck and armhole facings, sigh.) I went ahead and bound all the edges with double-fold bias tape before trying the dress on!!!! Eee gads, here I am actually admitting that to you!
Of course, I then discovered a few things…
The dress obviously does not fit me at all! I feel like I am wearing my grandmother’s oldest apron!
The pattern does not match my body! My shoulders are too sloped. My back is too narrow. (no wait! Actually, my shoulders and my back are perfect. The pattern is wrong. There! That’s said better!). The pattern does work better width-wise (a bit loose so I could probably cut the 14 instead of the 16 next time, but it’s very hot outside and I want this dress to be light and airy and non-constricting.) And I am a sort of an apple shape…so extra fabric in the tummy area is a good thing.
The pattern appears to be designed for someone with a much longer torso than I have. I need to cut the shoulder height down by at least 2 inches! (Hummmm…..maybe this is where that lengthen/shorten marking on the tissue pattern comes in…I will have to investigate that for try #3)
The bust darts are still too high! So that means they are too high on the pattern itself, and the problem I had last time wasn’t my fault after all! Yay!
Look at the gaping in the back neck!
These arm holes are waaaay to big!
I graded and sewed in the side seams to bring in the arm holes, but then discovered that that made the bust too tight. Argh. Much unpicking ensued.
I am going to unpick the side seams around the bust darts and the darts themselves and then reposition them. Then I am going to draw the correct position onto the tissue pattern so I don’t have to go through this again. Because I actually like this dress. Or I will, anyway.
I am going to unpick and completely remove the bias binding around the armholes, raise the shoulders, and then replace the bias binding. Because I like the look of it with the contrast edging.
I am going to make back darts to take up some of the extra fabric around the shoulder blade area if raising the shoulders alone isn’t adequate.
I don’t know what to do about the bunching around the lower back. I’ll see what the dress looks like after I’ve done all the above. And then, when I am all done, I will hem. At least I did something right (in that I didn’t hem it first, lol! Because I considered it!)
All I can say is WTF? This dress does not look anything like my last effort…
Not yet, anyway. Stay tuned!
6 Replies to “another stab at the shift dress: WTF?”
UGH WTF! Is right! Definitely not as adorable as your last one….love that you keep smiling>
So sorry, but I laughed so hard reading this and looking at your hilarious photos!!!
Hurray from learning from mistakes!
It would be wonderful if you could find an inexpensive dress makers dummy that you can adjust to your proportions. Check this out: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3659/clone-yourself-a-fitting-assistant/page/all
Oh, yes, the “If onlies” that come with gaining new skills!!! Love the fabric and love the contrast edging. I can’t wait to see how your alterations work. I have a short torso, myself, so prefab dresses often bunch at my lower back. Often raising the shoulders fixes this. The too-large armholes may prove to be perfect once you’ve shorten the shoulder straps! Can’t wait to see the next stage!
Oh, Nita! You are reminding of all the frustrations of garment sewing. Ready made clothing can be tried on and you can decide what style fits your body and what doesn’t. But with garment sewing you go through all this work before you can figure out the fit. I have in mind to make a skirt this fall. I need to stockpile some patience first I guess. You are persevering so well! Brava!