Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue Charmeuse Dress or "The Great Country Club Dress Disaster of 2010"

This is my "please don't take pictures when I'm trying to do something" face

Mr. Seam Ripper makes an appearance

Before hemming

Okay, so I said in the last post that my disaster quotient has gone down. This dress is somewhat an exception to that statement. Although, it could always be worse.

Presenting Butterick 4029 (mid-60's?, not dated) :

1.) FABRIC: I made view E using blue charmeuse. Another fabric that was picked out before I realized that Joann gives me fabric goggles. So again I just went with it. The charmeuse was a little easier to sew than the crepe. Still not a great fan of that type of fabric, though. My original vision was of a brocade dress, but I chickened out after reading horror stories about how you can't mess up with brocade. I read that the fabric has a long memory. I guess it's sort of like "brocade never forgets" just like those darn elephants. Also, I read it ravels and ravels.

2.) STYLE: I tried to maintain the "a-line" shape on this dress, but it looked like a weird prom dress sack. So, I tightened it a tad, and it looked a tad better. However, I still think the result is very "country club." I could imagine Sandra Bullock wearing this to a fundraiser in that movie "The Blind Side." It just does not fit my personality one bit. If I'd went with brocade, I bet it would have looked a lot more retro. I'm still not sure it would have been a "success" though.

3.) BOATNECK? MORE LIKE A YACHTNECK: Yeah, so this is supposed to be a boat neckline. I don't usually wear boat necks, so it didn't occur to me that I would have issues with the neckline being too wide. There's probably a reason why I don’t wear boat necks normally. Lesson learned.

The biggest problem with this dress was the style. It's just NOT me. So, why did I make a dress that doesn't fit my personal style? For me, part of sewing is trying new things. Just like I get "fabric goggles," I get "pattern goggles." I think "Wow, what an interesting look. I wonder if I could make that?" I've tried to be more careful since this project. I'm trying to learn to ask myself first and foremost, "Would this look good on ME? Is this a good style for ME?"

It looks better in pictures than in person, but whatever the case, I don't feel like going to a mixer at the local country club, so it's not much use to me

I think I like the backside better than the front--love the darting

Live and learn. It's that simple. And if all else fails, I can always become a White House intern!

Oh and I'm really happy to be done with this post, because I'm sick of having to spell charmeuse!

Happy sewing!


  1. That color is really pretty on you, though!

  2. Marybeth, it's funny that you wrote that, because I LOVED the color. That's exactly why I bought the fabric. I love really rich colors like this one.

  3. If you use one of those crazy 60s patterns or details like a collar it might enhance this retro look you try to achieve.
    The overall fit of the dress seems to be very good though. So you might keep the pattern as a reference.

  4. FABRIC GOGGLES! That is the PERFECT term! Hey view F looks like it's just an insert away from the view you made. Maybe consider adding that insert in a cute contrast fabric? Something a little more "Astrid"

  5. @vanillefax: Yeah, I like the idea of adding a collar. Perhaps a wide peter pan one would work...

    @Psycho Sue: Great idea! I hadn't thought about looking at the other views and seeing if I might alter it. I'll have to look into that. Yep, fabric goggles is right, ha ha!