Tuesday, August 17, 2010
My 5th Dress- 60's Boho with Bell Sleeves COMPLETED
What follows is the rundown of what I learned and the problems I encountered. Oh, and you better believe it, there WERE problems ; - )
1.) PRINTS: Be very careful with prints. It may seem fabulous when you pick it out at the store, but if you're petite like me, prints can really swamp your frame. I think that's one of the big problems with this dress. Plus, this print looked way more 60's on the bolt. Once it became a dress, somehow it lost that flavor for me. I guess I should have picked a double-sided pattern, too, since the sleeve insides are shown in this design.
2.) MATERIAL: I doubt I will ever use 100% cotton ever again. It didn't drape well. It was stiff. It was boxy. And since I LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I say LOVE) to tailor my dresses for a close-fit, it drove me nuts that I couldn't get the cotton to nip in well at the waist. I totally lost my waist in this dress. I hope to find it again, someday...
By the way, I literally machine-basted this monster three times, trying to tailor it. It was a total Goldilocks moment (except for the last part where it's "just right"-- fairytales aint real after all).
3.) INVISIBLE ZIPPERS: Yay! I finally figured them out. It wasn't rocket science, but if anyone asks, it was. Shhhhhhh! Don't tell.
4.) SLEEVES: I did my first long sleeves with this dress. Honestly, the only thing that I truly like about this dress is the sleeves. I think that's why I fell for this pattern in the first place-- a total love affair with bell/angel sleeves. Since I don't like this result, though, I'll probably do another bell sleeve dress in the future.
My biggest problem with the sleeves: somehow when I'm doing curves, the fabric often bunches on me and I end up sewing a bunch of overlapping fabric that I then have to rip out with my seam ripper. It seems to happen even when I'm being super careful, and I think it's not happening. Oh and of course, this never happens when I am basting, only when I am stitching tiny little stitches that then take forever to rip out. Damn Murphy's Law.
5.) MYSTERY ISSUE: When I first started laying out my fabric and pattern pieces, it was abundantly clear that I did not have enough fabric. I told the lady at Joann's the correct yardage. Did she short-fabric me by accident? Was she wrong about the width which caused me to pick the wrong yardage (I always have to ask what the width is, because I don't know where to find it on the Joann's bolt)? Was it a shrinkage issue from pre-washing/drying? I guess this will remain one of the many mysteries of the universe. What I ended up doing was "making it work" as Tim Gunn would say.
6.) CONSTRUCTION: I'm going to say it and I hope I don't jinx myself. Construction-wise, this probably turned out the best of any of my dresses. So, even though I'm not pleased with the result, I learned a lot and I guess I'm getting better, right? Fingers crossed. Pressing forward.
Look closely at the photo below, and you'll see the tinge of pain in my face...