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!