Sunday, February 16, 2014

winter maxi dress

back and side view on the red mamma
It's always interesting to see how different the clothes look on a dress form vs on a real person.
I used McCall's 6072, size 14

 I started this a month or two ago and I kept running into problems. Not enough fabric! I had to frankenstein the back skirt panel together. Fortunately, there are enough gathers in the skirt that no one can even tell.
 I also had to frankenstein together the bodice lining. Really, I should have just used a white knit as the lining instead of doing this to it. You can't see that horizontal seam when I wear the dress, but the lining tends to shift a little during wear and sometimes you can see the grey stripes underneath through the white stripes on top. Does that make sense?
 Anyway, once I figured that I had enough fabric, I carried on. I was pretty indecisive about which way to point the stripes. Or maybe just do away with the stripes on the bodice? I was glad I had the red mamma to try out all my options.
 Once I committed to going all horizontal, I cut out the pieces to the bodice and played around with the way it could drape. Ultimately, I think I used too sturdy of a knit for this pattern. I did end up making a change to the curves of the drapey piece in front. Before I made the changes,  it just seemed to be too bulky and stiff with this particular fabric.

 One thing I don't like about the way this turned out is the back bodice. It's so wonky. The pattern calls for a 1/4 inch wide piece of elastic to be stitched in the top seam of the back bodice. I tried putting the elastic in two different ways and I wasn't really happy with either result. By the way, unpicking serger seams stitched over elastic is no bueno. So after the second time, I guess I decided to just bag it and continue on.

Also, I didn't have enough fabric to plan out the way the stripes meet at the back bodice/skirt. That makes me a little sad.

This would make a really great maternity dress. But I promise, I'm not pregnant. I made a casing all the way around the "waist" using the seam allowance where the bodice meets the skirt, and I threaded a length of 1/4 inch elastic through to try and suck in that waist so it reduces the pregnancy vibe. I should take a picture of the inside, but I am currently suffering from I-don't-want-to-take-any-more-pictures-itis.
 I don't know if the silhouette of this dress is a good one for my 5'3" frame. When I saw this weird picture above, I really liked seeing the boots peeking out from below and it made me wonder if this dress would appear to have better proportions on me if it were shorter. What do you think about the length? Should I take it up?

There are a lot of things I like about this dress. It's super comfortable. I wore it today and I don't think I had to suck in my stomach even once! It may be a little warm in the summer, but there are three other seasons of the year it ought to work for.

I also love how well the stripes match up on the sides. Check out the pic below. I used some iron-on 3/8" wide fusible stuff that I bought at my local Bernina store. The label is in Japanese so I have no idea what it's called. I tried to pin first before sewing up the seams, but the fabric just kept shifting and the stripes would be off kilter. So everywhere two horizontal stripes meet up, I ended up ironing this fusible stuff on first and carefully fusing the fabric pieces together before sewing it. It took a long time, but it was worth it. I would have been very bugged to be walking around with stripes that don't meet up on the side seams.
So that's it. It turns out that I have a tough time finishing clothes. I tend to start lots and lots of stuff but then I can't commit to something or another about what I'm working on so I put it on the back-burner. I don't think this is an uncommon problem for home sewers. Every year I decide this is gonna be the year to finish all my crap. Maybe this will actually be the year? Maybe if my kids would stop busting out the knees of their pants, I wouldn't spend so much time mending and putting on patches. I swear this week I mended ten pair of pants. Two were mine. But I tend to bust out the waistbands instead of the knees. Ha! Now on to start the next project I may  or may not ever finish. Happy sewing!
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Reba said...

Love this! And I honestly thought there were no side seams! I agree, you could go shorter if you wanted. But then it wouldn't be finished, would it. ;)

Dewi said...

I think you should shorten the straps and tighten the top sides a bit. Then go a little shorter on the length. It's a very cute dress and I hope you finish it then come visit us soon wearing it. :) Nice work!