Saturday, May 21, 2011

Throwing in the towel

Thank you all for your lovely comments and helpful suggestions to save this dress.  For whatever reason, the light in my apartment is weird in the afternoon, hence the arty blue tint in these photos.  I think that these photos get close to the idea I had in mind when I started down the road with this dress, but I just don't think I'm going to get there with this dress.

I think that the idea of taking in the shoulders and side seams, maybe even the back seam, would be good... but this is easier said than done because I sewed the entire dress with french seams.  Between that and the gathering, I wasn't going to move any seams.

French seams, so lovely, so hard to alter.

In the photo above, you can see the quick save I tried with snaps to overlap the front.  This is the outcome, which works if I don't move at all. 
Front, revisited

Side, revisited
What happens if I move?  It's indecent.  There's not enough of an overlap in the skirt for it to stay wrapped when walking, sitting, or with your legs a shoulder's width apart.  There also isn't any obvious place to add another snap or button.  I will also save you from an unflattering view of the back, where the fabric bunches at my waist because the bodice is still way, way, too big. Oh well.  Good idea, possibly.  Not so easy to execute.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The shirt from my other post.

I love fan mail, and while I'm often slow to respond... I am happy to fulfill an easy request.  A nice reader, SewOm, asked for more photos of the shirt I said I was wearing the last time I posted.  These photos are from my pre-blogging days, I think it was early spring a few years ago.  If only spring would come this year!

Ignoring all warning signs.

Sometimes things don't go quite as I expected.  This is usually because I am dying to dive head into a sewing project, muslins be damned.  I'm working on the muslin making, because too many times I've cut into and then sewed up a fabric that I love to find out that the pattern, or the fabric, or the combination of the two just aren't going to create what was in my head.  Sometimes I blame it on misleading pattern photos, but really... it's operator failure.
I love this fabric.  And I love the idea of this dress.  So romantic and sweet looking!  Look, fluttery sleeves but not too fluttery.  Gathered waist and yoke, so early 50s/late 40s.
Burda 01-2011-103 dress.  There is a reason why there is a self belt.

There's even a shirt version, which I have also traced out.  Just as cute as the dress, if not cuter with the peplum.  I had a hard time deciding, shirt or dress, shirt or dress?  Then I decided that if one is to wear polka dots, one might as well go all the way and have a polka dot dress.

Burda 01-2011-102 blouse
I regraded the pattern to a size 36.  Cut into this cute green polka dotted white lawn... and realized that the dress is a sack.  Upon seeing photos, it doesn't look as bad as I imagined it would (one day I will live in an apartment big enough to have a full length mirror) but it is a big dress. 

Burda 01-2011-103 unhemmed, front

Burda 01-2011-103, unhemmed, back

Now, as I so often do, I look back at the pattern magazine photos.  And I realize that the model is seated in all photos so you don't get a good idea of how loose the shirt and dress are on her.

Is she wearing a dress under the dress?

And then I remembered the words of wisdom from the '90s SNL team: Just cinch it.

So I paper bagged it and put a belt on.  This is what it looks like.
Belted, moderately better.

But not quite.
So the debate now -- finish it and wear it with a belt?  Finish it and wear it as a sack?  Give up and move on to something else?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Magic: the belt, or dressing like a grown up.

I'm at work earlier than I've ever been, and I figure it's time for an uncharacteristic At-Work post.  I'm wearing my new slouchy pants, friends, and I wanted to thank you for your suggestions about fit and style...

Thank you for all the lovely compliments on my new pants.  I am a huge fan too.  I look more Katherine Hepburn than Audrey Hepburn today, there's just something about a wide leg trouser that's still fitted in the waist and hips.

The Slapdash Sewist had a very interesting suggestion to insert elastic into the waistband.  This is a great idea, and if I wasn't lazy I'd pick the waistband open and get right to it.

Many of you had the wonderful styling suggestion of wearing the slouchy pants with a white shirt -- so chic!  Sadly, I don't have a white button down shirt (it's on my long list of Things To Sew One Day), but I am wearing a fitted floral shirt from my pre-blogging days and... a belt.

Burda 03-2009-106 in a loud floral print.
A belt!  I don't know if you've noticed but I almost never ever sew belt loops on my pants because I hate wearing belts.  I decided with these pants that the belt loops made the look -- you don't see men's pants without belt loops.  And, I was lucky the last time I was at GoodWill and there was a size S brown perfectly aged leather belt for just $3, so I figured I might as well pick it up.  I decided to break the belt out with these pants today and... who knew -- wearing a belt actually can serve a purpose: holding up your pants so that they fit properly.  And, it's an easy simple accessory that defines your waist.  Two birds, one stone.  Imagine that.