Monday, 30 September 2013

Selfish Sewing Week : Wrap Up

Firstly, if I hadn't decided I was participating in the week that was Selfish Sewing Week then  I probably would have given up by Tuesday. The enormous haematoma on my right knee is still very sore, then we suffered a blackout, and finally it was fast becoming apparent that I really didn't know what I was doing.


First up I made this Lisette Diplomat dress. This was the one that had baffled me regarding the size to make. My hip measurement would indicate a size 20 but that just seemed insane. I'd settled on a 16 but had a niggling doubt that it would be too big, then at the last minute opted for the 14 based on the amount of ease the pattern said was built in.

It seemed that I would need a bodice muslin for the chest measurement, waist measurement and armhole size. Then I'd need a skirt muslin to check the fit over my hips. Isn't that just sewing one whole dress as a practice run? I figured this was that dress. The fabric was cheap so I'd cut into it. It was also quite unpleasant to sew as it couldn't hold a crease when ironed but certainly could be scorched easily. Did I mention I had a sore knee and was grumpy all week?


As soon as I'd assembled the front of the dress it became apparent that it was going to be too tight around the hips. Holding it against me the front panel could barely meet the back panels at the sides. I thought I'd make up for my sloppy measuring and clueless cutting and perform a three letter acronym which is what all the clever sewists seem to be doing. So above is my WAS or Wide Arse Salvage procedure where I've sewn the side seams at the barest minimum of their seam allowance at the widest point of my ample derriere.

 
 And with that it was at least wearable. Although I sat down in it when I wore it out yesterday and it then required a SBR or Split Butt Repair along the centre back seam.
 
 
It's also a bit too small across the back and around the bust which is fine so long as I stand still and relatively straight. However it's not a dress for a mother who needs to bend down, tie shoelaces, pick stuff up or generally move in any way other than raising a wine glass to her lips.

 
So, quick honey, take me out for cocktails. I've got the perfect dress so long as you can get me to the party laying flat in the back of a transit van and then prop me up vertically and just don't ask me to dance.

So, next up was my experiment in adult Japanese sewing with a mysterious pattern that gave me no information that I could understand other than suggesting the pattern size was just right for my height. It looked kind of loose fitting so I felt that this might be my redeeming garment...


 
 The pattern was one of the more confusing ones where the instructions refer to various steps within the instructions to other patterns and there was a fair bit of page hopping. I love the way the collar was attached using a bias strip to finish the inner neck seam and the yoke with it's pleats is really lovely.
 
 
Sadly this one is also a bit too small. Too tight across the back and chest. Too narrow in the shoulders and not deep enough in the armholes. I wore it today but now that I've seen pictures of me in it I can see all the spots where it's just not fitting and the self stripe in the fabric just makes it all the more obvious. I have been thinking all day about how I'd have to add bits here and there to make it fit so I guess that's been some progress that wouldn't have happened but for Selfish Sewing Week.
 
 
 
But mostly I just take my hats of to those of you who know how to wield a tape measure, don't have delusions about what size you are, can adjust patterns to fit and make great clothes. For me, I don't know if I can be bothered....
 
What I do want to do is catch up on the Flickr pool and maybe, just maybe, get inspired to try again one day. Cheers!




26 comments:

  1. This post made me laugh - especially your WAS, which is something I have been forced to attempt too. I hope this week is less eventful than last week for you.
    But the Lisette dress looks great on you, are you going to treat it as a muslin and have another go, or are you just sick of it?
    I have just finished making what was meant to be a wearable muslin of a sundress for me but has turned in to a circus big top. Sewing for children is much easier.

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    1. Thanks. So far this week has been pretty good...
      I'm coming around to the idea of trying again but I definietly prefer sewing for the littlies.

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  2. It is a real shame that the shirt doesn't fit right because it really suits you. Hope you will have another go at it. I think the Diplomat dress is a great look too. Sewing for yourself can be so hard, I haven't quite cracked it yet.

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    1. Thanks Katy. i really like the shirt fabric and I might have enough for a sleevelss version (although I particularly love the sleeeves) and that saves me having to make sleeve and armhole adjustments that would overly confuse my little sewing brain

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  3. I love your Diplomat dress, pity it doesn't fit, I think it looks fab on you. I find sewing for myself such a hit and miss exercise. And you use so much freaking fabric. Why do we women need curves anyway?

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    1. I am pleased with how it looks, thanks, it's just not suitable for moving around in. I hear you on the huge fabric problem. I have limited space where I sew and poor lighting over the larger bench. Very frustrating with such dark fabric.

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  4. I agree with the others- the diplomat looks great and you really should think about making another one (without the WAS etc).
    But I also agree that sewing for kids is sooooo much easier.
    At least you had some fun?!

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    1. thanks J. I am pleased with the fit in terms of it being a flattering dress but I'd need to upsize to make it practical for everyday wear

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  5. So funny ;-) I can identify with many of your points but I also agree with others that it looks fantastic. Could you maybe use next time a fabric with a bit of stretch? That way you'd get the movement without a larger size 'swimming' on you. I'm always on the lookout for good woven fabrics with a bit of lycra/whatever added for ease.

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    1. That's exactly what I'm lacking here. A bit of 5% lycra would have saved the day and I could move in it a bit better.

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  6. I love your Diplomat dress! It looks like a great basic that could be dressed up or down depending on shoes/accessories. I agree with several of the other commenters about trying again with a stretch woven. That and maybe grade up a size through the hips/rear. That's an adjustment I always have to make, sadly...

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    1. Thanks Cindy. I was hoping it would be a dress up or down but it'll remain for special occasions due to the limited ease. A stretch woven would be perfect and I'm agree I am definitely one size bigger down below than up top.

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  7. You have such a great attitude about your sewing experiences this week! They say we learn more from our mistakes (not calling your outfits that though!) than our successes! I think one of the reasons I'm so scared to try some sewing for me is that exact reasons you wrote about - the sizing. The one dress I did make a few years ago ending up looking like a tent on me, and it's been pushed into the upcycle closet and has dissuaded me from trying again. But I"m so impressed by your efforts! And I think, split seams aside, that they were are not only wearable, but quite lovely!

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    1. I upcycled my first two attempts at sewing for me too. They were enormous tents and that was when I was heavily pregnant! Such a lot of fabric to waste. Thanks for the lovely comment. I agree that it'
      s a huge learning experience, it's just that like with a foreign language I'd like to be fluent in grown-up-sewing without having to study!

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  8. I would never know you needed a WAA. Just stand there and take pictures of yourself looking fab. Who needs to sit or move?

    I've been reading up on FBA, but there don't seam to be easy fixes for the other spots--wide hips, flat butt, tummy, etc. At what point are you still using a pattern if you adjust every part?

    Maggie

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    1. ha ha, thanks! Oh to be a standard one size all over body shape, hey.

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  9. i have to agree with the other commenters that the pictures look great! the black dress is so sophisticated!

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  10. Love the dress, it looks great on you!

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  11. It does look great on! I bought the pattern ages ago and your version is one of my favourites. Must remember the WAS, I'm sure I'll need it one day.

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    1. Thanks. There were a couple of chambray/denim/solid ones that turned me onto the pattern in the first place. Then this remnant of "denim look rayon" fabric just seemed perfect for it.

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    1. Thanks Nicole. For all my grumpiness I am actually pleased with how it LOOKS.

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  13. Just stand very still and you are good to go ;) I've moved toward knits for me because they're more forgiving. I have a pair of pants I cut into the nice fabric there is literally 5" uncovered butt in the back- like I would have to panel the pants hahah whoops!

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    1. Oh dear! I'm imagining that pants pattern for kids with the nappy bottom insert panel! Cute on a 1 year old... Can you salvage the fabric?

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