Simplicity 2180, View D without sleeves.
AKA: The Dress That Nearly Broke Me and in the end I had to relinquish my anally retentive tendencies and just give in to a gloriously imperfect make.
Or it could even be known as The Dress That Drove Me To Finally Learn Pattern Redrafting/Adjustment.
I had been planning this dress for donkey's years. I'm not sure why it took me so long to start, but when I found this awesome fabric I knew just which pattern to use. Even better I'd been lusting after the fabric for some time when it suddenly went on sale for something ridiculous like $5 per metre. Score! It's a lovely crisp vintage print cotton poplin from Spotty. Who doesn't like citrus fruit?
But "heartache" would be understating my state of mind whilst undertaking this make. I just couldn't seem to get things right. There was a lot of unpicking and head scratching going on, let me tell you.
It started with problems with the bodice fit. I have yet to learn how to do a small bust adjustment, and this is the dress that pushed me to make my Summer Sewing Promise No. 4. I relied on the somewhat tried and true and quick and dirty of simply taking in the side seams to get a better bodice fit. Um... wasn't working.
Those bust darts were just looking saggy and baggy and the bodice decidedly unfilled. I mean, look at that photo above. It's a travesty I tell you, a travesty. That's even wearing one of my most padded bras. I just gave up, my brain just wasn't up to the task. I present to you, my gloriously imperfect bodice. Feck it...
And I used a really cheap fusible interfacing which has left all the interfaced pieces permanently wrinkly/crinkly. No matter how much I press those pieces those wrinkles come back within minutes.
One of the things that really attracted me to this dress was the v-back option and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I couldn't quite get the v nice and neat, but it's not bad.
My topstitching was a hot mess and why I decided to do it in a contrasting colour is beyond me. Grrrr... I just didn't have the energy to unpick and redo. The likelihood was it wouldn't have been much better.
But you know what? In the end I really like this dress. Heartache aside, I'm really proud I did get it finished and I've worn it a number of times and always get complimented on it. I've even been stopped in the street and asked where I got it. That's not so bad! It's a happy ending after all.
- I cut a 10 bodice and a 12 skirt. I didn't need a 12 skirt for fit, but this skirt is not terribly full and I wanted a bit more flounce. I gathered the 12 skirt into the 10 waistband.
- I underlined the bodice with an ivory coloured cotton voile, even though underlining (or any lining) wasn't called for. I was concerned the fabric would be a little transparent. I decided in the end not to line the skirt and it's just fine.
- Don't keep trying and trying when the old brain fog sets in. You'll just want to take scissors to your dress and cut it into a million irreparable pieces. And Jillian, that would make you a little cray-cray.
- DON'T USE CHEAP FUSIBLE INTERFACING. It's a false economy, dammit!
- Try grading the bodice as well as adjusting the bust. I think I really need to start at a size 8 at the shoulder and neckline and grade out to a 10 at the waist. Making a muslin would probably help, but who has the feckin' time?
- Embrace the gloriously imperfect and love it anyway... and I do.
I'm off to brunch now!