Monday, January 09, 2012

The Dress that Nearly Made Me Quit Sewing

Back in early July, I made a dress pattern for knit fabric.  Of course, there were lots of issues, many of which were my own distractedness, and some were due to the fabric.  Overall, I was quite happy with it, and with the purchase of the serger, I thought I'd be whipping out comfy summer dresses by the handful.

After we got back from our trip in July, I started another dress.  The fabric was a Value Village score.  There was a huge amount of it.  Maybe 3 yds, 60" wide.  I had bought "Built by Wendy" book "Sew U, Home Stretch" and liked the pattern where she extends the shoulders to make little sleeves.  I didn't want real sleeves, so I thought this would be a nice solution.  However, when I went to lay out the pattern I had made, I couldn't find the front piece.  In a moment of delusion, I opted to use the back piece for the front as well.

I woke up the next morning and realized my error.  Duh.  I couldn't believe I did that.  Once I got it basted together, I had to think of how to keep the dress on my shoulders.  I thought maybe I could take some brown ribbon that I had and make ties for the back neck (I have a t-shirt like that).  In the end, I opted for nothing, LOL.  I did find that it didn't slip too much once I had a bra on, and a little bit of fashion double stick tape helped.
This is the only picture I have of it.  I've worn it a few times, but since I didn't get it finished until just before our cruise, it's season was limited.  I was a little disappointed that the fabric faded a bit.

OMG, I nearly forgot the real reason this dress was nearly the end!  LOL!!  I had an idea to make the bodice waist be ruched.  Not sure why I thought this up.  I did a ton of googling and found a really nice dress that was exactly what I wanted, but out of print (OOP).  I couldn't find out much about the construction, but I tried several things to try to get the ruching to look right.  It kept drooping.  I thought maybe I could use the earlier mentioned brown ribbon to sew three strips to keep it from drooping too much, but it still did, and it looked a little odd.  I thought about just ....uh, what's that word....the elastic thread gathering....but it wasn't what I wanted, and that had been challenging with my machine.  In the end, I took the inner panel that I had cut with the grain going the opposite way (to help prevent it from stretching out), and used that by itself.  I thought the slight variation in the grain/pattern, would be a bit of an interest piece.  Not sure that happened, but oh well.

I also could not come up with a neck finish.  I wasn't too happy with the different ways I've tried knit bindings.  Finally, I did an edging with the serger.  Stitches very close together, with wooly nylon, but not a rolled edge.  It's fine.  I did rolled edges on the hem and armholes, lettuce edges actually.  Oh, did I do lettuce edge on the bottom?  Don't remember.  I do like doing the lettuce edge--if I can't get the flat edge to look right, and not stretched, then a lettuce edge is a great solution to play up the stretch, LOL!

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