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Dress of indiscretion

August 15, 2011

Sew as I say, not as I sew.  If you’ve ever opened up a BWOF, you know how great the patterns can be, how nicely styled the photo spreads are, and what a great deal it is getting about 40 patterns for the price of one magazine.  But that price isn’t cheap, folks.  And here’s why:

Kinda reminds me of the road sign in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, which is just a mass of black squiggles on a standard yellow sign.  Interwebs, how you’ve failed me in finding a still from that scene.  Anyway, that one sheet probably contains the pieces to 10 garments, seam allowances not included.  Typically, I dutifully trace them all out, then painstakingly add the standard 5/8″.  Not this time.  I got lazy on this one and didn’t add my seam allowances.  Instead, I just traced around a size bigger, and figured it would be serged, so 5/8″ wasn’t really necessary.  It all worked out in the end, and I still needed to do quite a bit of nipping in the sides, tucking in the center back.

Making rules, breaking rules.  So much for not buying any fabric.  If you recall, this dress was to be made in a black/red/grey mega chevron jersey.  But then realized that my jersey wasn’t a 2-way stretch, as called for.  So I freaked a bit, splurged on this super-soft & sexy modal (it wasn’t expensive, just a splurge because of my rule).  Actually, this doesn’t have much of a two-way stretch, either.  Figured it could be a muslin.  Make that a hawt muslin.  R thinks it’s a bit too plunging for a working girl of the 9-5 variety.  Puritan.  However, I don’t want to be that girl at the office.

I was poking around for just the right vintage lucite buckle, but couldn’t find any I loved for what I was willing to shell out.  This site proved to be a good find, and will certainly get visits from me in the future.

Ooh, look at me using the infamous Vilene/Pellon bias tape called for repeatedly in BWOF mags.  I scored some here, and it worked wonders stabilizing the neckline & armscyes.  And check out that twin needle hem!  That’s the second time I’ve used a twin needle, and I think I’m getting the hang of it.  Not that it should be difficult, I just had puckering issues at the first go.

Above is a detail of shoulder pleats I added in.  I thought it looked better, and served to broaden my shoulders, thus balancing out my hips.

Boy oh boy, did I give my neighbors a show while working on this.  While it’s no longer 500 degrees outside, my sewing room is still the hottest room in the apartment, with no air flow despite wide-open windows.  And you can’t be blowing a fan around when you’re trying to keep fabric and flimsy tissue together.  So when it came to fitting, I said whatevs, and got down and dirty in my panties and bra.  Who can be bothered to always be changing, when it’s just a nip here, tuck there, toss over the head?  The adjacent house is about 12 feet away, and I’m looking right into their back “yard” & porch right now.  Meh, let ’em have a peek.

This dress made its debut last weekend when R and I drove up to my home state.  We met my sister & brother-in-law for dinner, then were off to some pink0-progressive-outlaw country-troubadour-american folk-rock in the name of Steve Earle (and the Dukes & Duchesses, too!).  That man makes me feel good about the world, despite all its injustices.  Fight the good fight.

I still think this could use a little tweaking, maybe at the sides and back.  Could this be due to my lazy cutting?  Or do I have a sway back?  I’m starting to think I need to investigate that more… I’ve also had to reevaluate my sizing lately, as I’ve lost 2″ from both my waist and hips (yay!), but I’ve also gone down a cup size (boo!  TMI?).  So much for changing my proportions…  Guess it’s once a pear shape, always a pear shape.

Readers, any advice?  Thoughts?  Is this not form-fitting enough?  I’d like to make it again, so please tell me what you think.  Notable: the fabric wasn’t pre-washed (rare for me), so should I wait to see if there is shrinkage before making changes?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 10:03 pm

    ah, the pear shape – i know you well

    the dress turned out so lovely! you look gorgeous dahling :)

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 16, 2011 7:28 pm

      Thanks, miss thing! Holler if you ever want to trace it out… it’s a pretty darn easy pattern.

  2. August 15, 2011 10:31 pm

    The dress looks great, it is a little low in the front for work but you could probably wear a tank top underneath or something.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 16, 2011 7:26 pm

      Very true… a little lace cami might look cute.

  3. August 16, 2011 6:46 am

    Hi, my name is Anne and I am a pear. It’s a great dress on youi!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 16, 2011 7:25 pm

      Pears Anonymous! Ain’t no shame, am I right?! Thanks for such a sweet comment :)

  4. August 16, 2011 10:33 am

    I have a swayback, like an old mule. Sometimes I think that standing up straighter would fix it, but not so much.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 16, 2011 7:24 pm

      Hehe… funny mental image :) Yeah, no matter how ramrod straight I stand, there’s still a curve.

  5. August 18, 2011 12:39 pm

    It looks amazing on you! Sure the front is a little low for an office but I agree that a camisole would fix that. You should be pleased and definitely make it again!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 19, 2011 5:17 pm

      Thanks, Lizz! I can’t wait to try it again, change up the front bit.

  6. August 19, 2011 4:07 pm

    haha “that girl”!!!
    dress looks gorgeous, and really soft (if thats not an odd comment to make!), this is the result of your dream sewing with modal right?!
    oh and definitely give it a wash before making a decision about fit incase it has any surprise changes in store for you!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 19, 2011 5:16 pm

      It is, indeed! I think I’m going to be cheating on silk, because modal feels oh-so-nice, too. About to pop this in the wash… wish me luck :)

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