I know its a Challenging sew but sometimes things are just illogically frustrating. I freely admit its mostly due to being self taught. I stumble happily along completely oblivious to the screw up around the corner!
Case in point...the original drawing
Its a simple pattern, one right side bodice, one left side, a single back made twice and two skirt pieces which join together to make a enormous half skirt.
I don't know why they designed it like this, its such a funky skirt, the seams are in the front middle and back where a zipper is inserted. Marfy suggest chiffon, or muslin (cotton) for the dress but I had a silk from Mood Fabrics I bought a couple of weeks ago. Joe V was his usual amazing self and pulled this out almost as soon as he saw me ...its gorgeous! A Cavalli charmeuse that is so subtle.
I'm not really a fan of borders, so I was pretty sure that was coming off regardless of the pattern and it certainly needed to for this dress.
Its basically a huge huge circle skirt, each piece almost a yard and a quarter wide......the middle front seam is on the selvedge and from there is crosses into bias at points and back again.
I cut the whole dress on a single flat, squeezing the bodice pieces into the gaps around the skirt, making sure the feathers almost "wrapped" around the hips towards the front.
So Friday night, its all cut and the skirt is sewn up.....my gut reaction is that I hate it...its just to much, to much fabric, to much pleating, to much length.
It felt like I was wearing a bustle and just needed a hoop underskirt to complete the look, I can't think of many people who would look good wearing three yards of fabric around their hips!. I figured I would go to bed and sleep on it.
Saturday morning...and the bias sections of the skirt had stretched inches even though I was careful to leave it flat on a table. I'm just holding it all together, the top and bottom are still seperate.
The longer side is the one not re-cut just to show the bias stretch section..... I adjusted it and still knew it would never be worn if I left it like this.
I cut it all apart right about then, but not wanting to waste a inch of fabric I did not have to, I adjusted the pattern to meet the front section only losing the back which probably adds to a quarter yard all told (and I know my MIL will find some use for it!)
and here is my face Saturday night...seriously not happy! (and make up free, sorry!!) It stretched out again...I left the same side uncut..and it stretched out again another inch Sunday moring and half a inch today!!! although I much prefer the neater look by using pleats rather than gathers.
I waited and waited to hem it scared to even attempt it! I ended up hand tacking a tiny rolled hem late this afternoon just to get pics done.
SO who can tell me what on earth went on here?!?! it was only the side section on both...it kept at it for three days and I lost around five inches before I evened it out.. I think I should have followed their fabric suggestions, but they both still have bias....I am just so confused :0 and I don't imagine any fabric used would have looked like theirs does in the image regardless , lets be honest.
HOWEVER....I love love love the bodice. Its a real winner. Beautifully cut, flattering to all bust sizes, easily adjusted. The price of the pattern was worth it just for this. It would make a great wedding gown top, prom gown, cocktail dress......just saying!
I sewed it up as a left and a right..
Remembering on of my lessons from the lovely Susan Khalje I tacked the pleats in place on the right side and then secured them individually on the wrong side....
and sewed my skirt seams from bottom (widest and strongest) to the top (more flimsy and weak) It really works! it stops any wavy seams completely..... both the top and bottom are underlined with organza just to give it a little support.
The overlapping bodice piece is sewn securely into the side seam and there is lots of room for adjustment here, depending on how much or little cleavage is to be shown which I liked a lot, as well as the option of a more off the shoulder option just by leaving the back upper zipper portion a little looser.
The only thing I want to do tomorrow is tack down the outside pleats a little to make them hang better, the photos make them look a bit too random and add the epaulette details. (and possibly adjust the hem again???)
But overall I think this might turn out to be one of those go to dresses....its kind of appropriate for a lot of events with a quick mix up of accessories....and I love the subtle fabric.
Next weeks project has to be anything but a dress or jacket, and as its so hot here this week, upper 90's every day ( I ran to a hot yoga class at lunch time it was cooler in there than outside!) and I have been living in some great shorts from the Gap which are the best I've found in a long time, but have sold out in the stripe .....
Its time to have a palette cleanse and attempt my first pair of pants. ever. and some shorts....(terrible pic sorry, don't seem to be many)
Marfy 3043. Lets see how well they fit....I admit to being intrigued.
Books this week were all over the place...
I read Stephen Kings Joyland a brilliant old fashioned who dunnit, just great!
and listened to Khaled Hosseini and the mountains echoed (thanks Cissie!) really, wow just wow, although I would agree with a lot of the reviews, the audible is narrated in part by the author and two others, and I had to go back a few times to understand some parts, but what a book, really.
and then went on to Chad Harbach's The art of fielding which was beautifully written and narrated. Kept me calm and occupied through the endless hem issues!!
I'm off to hang this dress up and see what happens, and wish everyone a lovely happy week.