Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Diane Kimono Dress and a bad modeling session

 UPDATE: I have fixed this dress. See this post.


You know what it's like to sew when you have a toddler? It means that you grab a moment when you can, you're always rushing through and you don't have time to really stop and think about what you're doing. At least, that's how it is for me because I should really be working instead. And so mistakes happen.

I decided to try the Diane Kimono Dress by Serendipity Studio. It's one basic dress with lots of length and trim options. To be honest, most of the options seemed a bit frumpy to me, but I did like the shorter version in the straight skirt (bottom right in photos below), and I thought it would be cute with tights and boots or with leggings, maybe a fitted long-sleeved tee underneath for winter.

One reason I picked this dress was because my butt is a little what I call "sticky-outy" right now and I'm also sway-backed, so I'm not really liking how dresses look on me right now. I thought the relaxed fit of this dress would be nice.

The fabric is Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2, which I got at Hip Stitch. The fabulous Suzanne suggested I use the lighter one for the main fabric and the darker for the trim. I was initially thinking the opposite, and I really like it this way. Thanks for the consultation, Suzanne.

By the way, have I mentioned that I invented the concept of yellow and gray being stylish right now? Yeah, I liked it several years ago, before everyone else did. I made these horrid socks out of yellow and gray and then decided I hated it. But now I like it again.

I have a few things to say: First, this might not be so flattering. I think in this photo, I really needed to adjust the dress and pull it down a bit. It seems bunched under my bust. Who decides to haul a kid around and do this and that before modeling for a picture and not even adjust the dress? Second, I made a mess of the bottom of the skirt. More on that below in my pattern review.

PATTERN REVIEW for Serendipity Studio's Diane Kimono Dress:

I know what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to sit down with your new pattern and read all of the instructions start to finish. I rarely do this. I was cutting my fabric out and I got rather confused about how to cut out the skirt. There are a whole bunch of options between a full skirt, straight skirt, tiered skirt, long skirt, short skirt, skirts with contrast on the bottom in any number of width, etc. But there aren't all of those options in the pattern. The cutting instructions gave no information about how to do the contrast fabric, so at first I just cut off one of the tiers and used that to cut my contrast fabric for the bottom and the top part of the skirt that was remaining I used for my main fabric.

Of course, later I realized I had this funky curved edge on the top of my contrast piece/bottom of my tunic that was going to form a very odd bottom. That's because the hem is curved and that's what I was working with instead of a straight line. I'm sure this is making no sense to you right now, but suffice it to say that I ended up hacking and cutting and praying I'd get something I could fit in. So the bottom part of my skirt is obviously rather strange. The bottom trim is too wide and cuts across me in a weird place. And it's too short.
I later found the instructions for cutting the bottom trim and the sleeve trim -- it was way toward the middle of the pattern instructions. I found this odd, since don't you usually cut everything out at the beginning? It also saved the cutting instructions for the tie until you got to that part. I would have appreciated if the pattern had a note in the cutting section referring you to these parts. It would have saved me some trouble on the skirt.
Also, the instructions for the armhole binding were lacking. It was something I figured out on my own, but I found the instructions really confusing there, too.

Now I'm wondering if I should buy some new fabric for the upper skirt and do that part over, lengthening it. I could still use the same bottom band shown here.

1 comment:

Craftysquirrelnz said...

About to make this pattern, likewise the longer options look kind of frumpy - will make sure I read pattern well before I cut - thanks for the review. Yours looks great as a top !