It’s finished…. Thank God, it’s finished. My dress is FINALLY FINISHED!!!!
I decided to make Simplicity 2178, a Cynthia Rowley design that is now out of print. The pattern calls for fabrics with a bit of body, like poplin, sateen, linen, shantung and so on. Nothing heavy, but something with a bit of personality. My fabric had none of these qualities. It is an extremely drapey poly chameuse, and I hated working with it.
I chose to do view A for the bodice, and view B for the skirt (only shorter). I really wanted to make skirt A, but I knew my fabric just didn’t have the body to support the shape. I think the end result looks pretty good, as long as you pay attention to the dress and not the messy sewing space in the background 😉 .
After reading the reviews of this pattern on patternreview.com, I decided to cut the size 14. Normally I would size down in big 4 patterns, but the reviews suggested that it would be wise to cut it out as close to my actual measurements as possible, and right now I’m pretty much a spot on size 14. After making a muslin, I decided to bring the waist and back in by 3/8″ and do a 3/4″ swayback adjustment. I also decided that the skirt should be more gathered and full, so I added an extra 8″ to the width, or 2″ per pattern piece. I also shortened the strap by a lot. Probably a good 2.5-3″ in the end. I also added a hand picked zipper and did a baby hem, and they both turned out reasonably well in the end.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it could have been more difficult than it ended up being. Starching the fabric made it infinitely easier to work with than had it been un starched. But it had another flaw that I hadn’t recognized earlier. It unravelled, a lot in some places. Much to my chagrin, it caused me problems right at the end.
What problems, you ask? Oh well, part of the skirt fell out at the end, NBD. Oh wait, yeah, that’s a pretty big deal! Now I suppose I’m not entirely blameless, I obviously trimmed things a bit too close when I was grading the seam. That said, the fabric unravelled soooooo much, and there was still enough seam allowance left over that it should have been secured. So frustrating! In my head, I was heading into meltdown mode. What I did instead was hand the baby to Shane, park myself on the couch with a beer (or three) and watched a few episodes of ‘Louie’ on Netflix. I cancelled my lunch date with my lovely lady friends T and J so that I could fix the mess, and the next day, I rolled out of bed and fixed it. I was prepared to remove the entire skirt and start over, but fortunately I didn’t have to go that far.
In the end, I’m not sure that I will wear this again after the wedding. The fabric really bothers me. I’m hoping that the skirt will stay on at least long enough for the ceremony and pictures. It bothers me that this isn’t my best work. I am out of practice, my life has had its priorities shifted a little bit. That said, I feel more determined than ever to get back into sewing my own clothes on a regular basis and have a few goals that I want to accomplish this year.
I hope to have action shots of both bridesmaids dresses within the next few weeks (the wedding is next week in Mexico), so stay tuned.