I bought this pattern in an online sale just before Christmas.
It is very similar if not identical to a top I loved and wore out a few years ago. I thought it will be a very quick and simple project to do over Christmas. Of course then I was ill so it never got done. But I have my fabric all cut out so all it needed was sewing up.
Well ALL is a very misleading word! AS is EASY!
Its a seemingly easy pattern with only 3 pattern pieces so I did not see this being difficult.
It might have been slightly easier if I had cut the right size. According to the packet I am half way between a size 10 and a size 12 so I cut a size 12. Well I overlocked the seams and it sewed up huge.
To be honest as I write this post I am feeling very let down by my own sewing skills. I never thought I was a tailor or even particularly good but right now I am not even a novice!
First I couldn't get the neck right and it just kept gaping. It has a simple fold over self-facing but that kept showing when worn. The sleeves didn't go in right and the facing made kind of bumps on top of them.Well actually the sleeves APPEARED to go in fine and everything matched perfectly. Just when I put it on to check it all looked fine it didn't. There were kind of bumps sticking up on the back of the shoulders where the facing was. I managed to sort that out by using Harriet to pin them down:
I top stitched the shoulders front and back to keep the neck from gaping. First in pale pink for a contrast which I hated so I unpicked that. Then in bright pink but again I hated it. I ran out of black so that wasn't an option. I ordered some but it has yet to be delievered and I wanted to wear this so next I tried scarlet red. You can see from the picture it is not brilliant but will be bearable so thats what I have gone with. Also I am sick of stitch ripping now and really do not want to make any holes so I need to find a top stitching colour and stick with it. The pattern does not say to top stitch but I cannot think of another way to make the neck work.
Next I have restitched the sleeve heads and now they do seem flatter.
Then I considered braid:
I may cover the problem up but even in a different colour it is not really what I wanted to achieve. And in the end I am not sure it will work so then I possibly lose my braid and my dress.
I decided to just finish this project then so used a twin needle to do the hemline and was intending to also hem the sleeve edges but could not fit the narrow sleeves over my machine to do this.
The fabric is just stretched to the limit so to do this I would have to manually try and wrench the fabric around whilst slowing stitching. Since I am down to my last twin needle and do not really think I can manage to do this without breaking it and probably would end up unpicking it anyway I have now decided to leave the edges overlocked and just fold them under when wearing. The sleeves are very long (which I like) so this will work. Or at least most people will never know. Although they do look wrinkly!
So as far as I am concerned this is now finished. I put it on to show my other half only to have him say it looks twisted. After much analysis and decription from him ( he doesnt do sewing talk really!) I establish it just looks too big so now I am unpicking the hem again to take in the sides.
You can clearly see the top of the dress of the right hand side is kind of puckered and stretching wrongly. I reckon this is probably due to my trying to alter the too-big dress by taking in. I also attempted to stop the neckline gaping, again by taking in at the sleeves and shoulders. Anyway I have made a complete mess of this entire project.
So now my decision has been to take the entire dress appart again and recut in a smaller size. Since most of it was overlocked I ended up cutting appart. I then repinned the pattern parts to the pieces and recut two sizes smaller since having checked my measuremenst again I find I am that much smaller.
So my lesson here?
- Make a muslin!!!
- Be brave and stop worrying I will ruin my fabric and trust the pattern packet and my measurements and cut the correct size and stop worrying things will be too tight or too small.
- If it is too big then take it appart and recut rather than trying to take it in since this just causes the pattern to be miss-shapen
And finally I am going to sew with a normal sewing machine first, try it on then overlock to finish it off since that way I can easily unpick and re-stitch since I have now discovered I simply do not have the patience to unpick overlocked stitching and end up cutting it appart and so making my garment smaller each time it does not work right.
Still I have definitely learned something here. ALWAYS MAKE A MUSLIN even if it looks a simple pattern.
Well I will post what happens to this dress in another post once I have tried restitching it. You never know...........maybe it will work after all!
This post was continued here: 13: Red dress re-visited
Thanks for reading and see you again soon