Wednesday, March 11, 2009

&*$% yellow dress

I feel like lately my blog is full of boring posts of the yellow and black Vogue 1086 dress. Here is the last one.

I finally finished this dress. And it doesn't fit. At all. The problem is that this dress is very nicely finished inside. You start at the top, with the shoulders, and work your way down, finishing everything in French seams and nice facings. By the time I got far enough through it to have something to test for size, it was way too late to make adjustments. I'd have to undo the whole dress and then adjust the pattern, especially since really all I'd have to work with are the side seams, and the zipper runs up one of those. And then I'd have to take in the armholes, and then the armhole facings. Blech. So I have a dress that is TWO FULL INCHES too big around the bodice. How this happened, I'm not sure. I used my measurements on the pattern, and I know I cut and sewed properly.

I was determined to wear it at least once, so I threw a cardigan over it and belted it (I always think of those Gap "Just cinch it!" skits on SNL years ago). I thought it was manageable for one day at work, but whenever I sat down, the top would push open. Good thing I had a cute bra on. I have a friend in mind who might fit in this dress perfectly.

How I wore it:


How it really looked, without all my tricks:


If it had fit, it may have looked quite nice:


Now, the pattern didn't offer much in the way of finished dimensions. On the model, the dress was very fitted. All the pattern gave was the finished hem width -- and who gives a crap about that? -- and the back length.


If anyone has any tips on how to test if a pattern will fit you before you even start, please post a reply.


Marissa said...

You know I don't sew. Can't help you there. But I can direct you to a blog I read- she sews a lot, and once mentioned making muslin templates for blouses she was making. There was a picture of her little girl in the muslin. here's her blog:
I'm sorry it didn't fit. It's beautiful anyway!

HipStitch said...

It's such a beautiful fabric and pattern - so so frustrating!! Pattern fitting is an area I haven't ventured into too much - I know that you pin the paper tissue pieces together on you and make adjustments before even getting into the fabric mom's done it and it's time consuming, but even w/that, she had small issues w/fit at the end of making her dress. It's a science!

will work for fabric said...

I still think it looks great, but I share your frustration with fitting issues. I usually buy the very cheapest muslin I can find and make just the basic bodice of the dress first, that way you can see where you will need adjustments. Also, I just took a duct tape double class where you make a dress form out of duct tape that is the exact replica of you. I find that I have many issues because I have severe shoulder blades and nothing seems to fit in the arms, etc. The duct tape double sure helps here. I covered mine in batting and then a study cotton fabric and mounted it on an old floor lamp base and viola - I now have a nice looking dress form that cost me about $10 to make and I can try garments on her as I sew. Give it a try! Let me know if you need instructions!

marnie said...

Sorry to hear the dress didn't work out for you. It does look cute with the belt and cardigan! I love that fabric and have actually been considering a similar one for this exact dress! I had a few worries that it would fit loosely (the pattern says the bodice is loose-fitting) and I guess you just confirmed that! I've already cut some muslin for a test bodice in my size but will likely have to go down a size or two more. Will you make a smaller version for yourself?

Robyn said...

I will definitely have to make muslins for things in the future. I'm just lazy and impatient, I guess. I don't plan to make this dress again; it was a lot of work and I have other things on my list.

I do have a dress form, but she's not exactly my proportions. The dress fits her better. I'm smaller around the back and waist, but bigger in the hips.

Linda said...

I just finished this dress! It is my first garment from a pattern and I'm pretty impressed w/ myself. I knew based on my measurements and how stuff fits me that if it fit in the boobs it would be too big at the empire waist. So I made it based on the boob measurement and then shortened the under the bust piece by about 2 inches. It was still too big after the zipper was in and it was too late to do any further alterations on the pattern. So I took in an inch to the left and the right of the center on the back empire waist piece, making two seams that line up where the other vertical seams are on the bodice and the skirt. I didn't even have to dart it to blend in w/ the seam as it just blends in with the gathers that were already there. Hope that makes sense. It doesn't look as nice as having that piece seamless like in the front, but at least it fits me now. email me if you would like pictures -