Monday, July 10, 2017

Pink Dress

I often wear dresses in the summer, especially if I'm out and about. But I'm a little bored of my dresses. I keep saying the problem is I need dresses with sleeves, but that's not really the issue. I'm just bored LOL. Dress ADD. Some I've had over 17 years.

Way back in April I decided to get a jumpstart on summer. I had this small piece of printed knit fabric. Not much stretch, it was kind of stiff. I went through my patterns and choose New Look 6865. I carefully laid out all my pieces, adding a seam to the back piece so I could fit it on the fabric and still have a decent length. I cut a 18 and added nothing for a FBA. It says the finished bust is 40 1/2", which gives 1/2" of ease. Why you'd want 1/2" of ease in a knit sundress, at the bust, I don't know. I was off to a great start in April, but got slowed down by other projects and the fact that Mother Nature forgot summer comes after spring.

 Played tetris with the pieces until I could fit them on.

 Problems started...I had tried to make sure the patterns matched at the seams, both the vertical side and back seams and the horizontal back seam. But somehow, the top did not come out quite symmetrical. I don't have a picture of it, but when opened, you can really see how the pattern in those points wasn't exactly horizontal.

I tried it on. Exciting! Almost done! Although the top of the front sort of ...drooped. Just like the problem I had with the low scoop neck t-shirts. My chest must be a little concave! I  thought maybe the binding would fix that, but there was also excess fabric in the armpit! I added darts.

Then...I had an idea. This is quite a bare dress. Wouldn't a shelf bra be a great idea?! According to my own tank tops, and various blogs, it's just a couple pieces of lining, held in by the binding pieces around the edges. No sweat! I chose some Power Net because I had it, and if a little support was good, then some high strength control fabric would be even better. And, I also cut it a bit smaller. I really wanted it to hold the girls in, nice and controlled. I went to add the binding, and found out it's done totally different than I thought it would be. And it was a total pain, trying to sew on this narrow binding! It's a bit messy in places (where the front points meet the top edge, for example).
I'm holding the straps behind my back LOL

Big mistake. Between trying to fix the unevenness of the points, and the smaller size of the Power Net, it made the front top piece do weird things. The body fabric was being pulled in, but the top edge was not laying flat. I realized that my tank top with the built in shelf bra also sort of did this. Okay, so that's not entirely my fault. I unpicked the top edge and bindings, trimmed the dress a smidge and lowered the Power Net inside the top hem to give it a bit more slack. That wasn't enough.

Next, I inserted a piece of elastic in the hem across most of the front top (as well as the back top which was droopy). It was hard (especially on the back) to sew the hem/binding and not get the elastic. This seems to have worked to an acceptable level.

 Did I do good with that wide stripe placement at my narrowest point, or what? I know there's an old wives' tale that says wide people shouldn't wear horizontal stripes. I have great success with well planned stripes, in clothes that FIT WELL. Yes, if this wasn't already shaped, the stripes would have no effect.
 Great seam matching too! I see I have a bit of back flub, (and a boater's tan!) so I could probably shorten the straps and pull it up. Well, no, I can't, because see below:
Because of the darts I added, and the shaping, I can't pull this up without it looking weird in other places. This is the view that bothers me now. On the pattern envelope, it's just the dress shapes. It was really hard finding pictures of it on people, since it's OOP. I didn't know just how high the front should go! I feel a little bare on the side, even though nothing is showing. I think it was also because we went from cold spring to hot summer overnight (and back again!). I wasn't used to being so bare LOL. It took a lot of Googling, but I did finally find a picture https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/2242 . That's from 2003. I can't believe her and I are the only ones to have made this dress.

If I make this again, I need to do a FBA. On a "simple" knit dress.  Maybe....if I had had a bigger piece of fabric so I didn't have to do piecing. Maybe if I don't add a shelf bra. Maybe if I don't mess up the binding. Maybe then it'll be simple enough that adding a FBA won't be complicated. I feel that I don't really need width across the front, I just need the shape realigned more to the side. But then the points won't be pointing to my shoulders. So I can just draw that difference. And I'll draw the front a little higher. Keep all the other shaping and even the darts.

Or, find another pattern.

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