Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Futile Exercise in Dressmaking

Today I am going to report on a sewing failure (as I am waiting for the furnance guy to show up and determine why ours is not currently working--and its about 12 degrees outside--57 inside.)
Anyway, I'm positive we all have had at least one sewing failure.
We just don't talk about them.
Lots of times they can be fixed.
I've done it on many occasion with both my projects and others' projects.

This one...well, I couldn't come up with an acceptable solution that made me happy.
And this was a dress intended for me.

I tend to like to wear tailored type dresses. 
So when I bought this pattern, McCall's 6434, I was pretty excited.

That model looks nice, don't you think?
Well, I can tell you that the dress I made looked nothing like the model above. 

First problem:
I didn't read close enough.  This is a PETITE pattern, not petite adjustable, but petite.  There is a difference.  Well, at 6'2" tall--petite I am not.
So that seam in the picture above that goes right under the bust (empire style) goes right across the front of my bustline.  Goofy looking for sure.  Granted I could cut a new bodice, I have more fabric, and lengthen it about 2" for me.  But there are other problems.

I didn't care for how the armpit seams come together.  90 degree angles there.  Not too comfy and a bit awkward to sew and then get your seams ironed out flat and nice. 

And this is the big one.  This dress was a TENT!!! 
Granted the description of the dress does say "loose-fitting dress with raglan sleeves", however, that picture, doesn't show a loose-fitting dress in my book.  Slightly fitted, yes, loose-fitting, no.  I do prefer to see pattern pictures on a live body and not just an artist rendition drawing.  I think they are more accurate.  Not this time.

As I have recently remeasured myself so that I am making correct sizes for myself, I had to take the side seams in at least 3 inches on each side and it still didn't work the way I would've liked.

So after a bit of thought, trying to think of my options, or how I could adjust this and make it work, I've decided it isn't worth it and the pattern is going in my giveaway pile.  I think I can salvage part of the fabric I used for the dress.  And the other part will either be cut up for a quilt, used for my serger scrap, or just thrown in the trash.

Sometimes it just doesn't work.
And that's O.K.

Thankfully this lesson didn't cost me much.
$.99 for the pattern.
Linen fabric from the stash that has been there for years and I know I didn't pay more than $1/yd. for it.
So probably I am out $5.

Moving on to the next dress project for me.
Hopefully it will go much better than this one.


  1. I don't sew for myself anymore and that's why. So many failures. Though you've had many more successes than failures. Glad you could move on!



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