Monday, July 18, 2011

Sewing Disasters

I mentioned a few days ago that I had some bad news on the sewing front. In an effort to keep it real and not pretend like I'm some sort of sewing genius that only produces successful garments, I'm going to show you these fails.

First up, Vogue 1025, which is an Anne Klein pattern that I've had for a while and I really don't know why I bought it, as it's really not my style. I've read about many sewers who substitute woven fabrics for stretch in some patterns. They appear to create good dresses and everything works, so I thought I would try.

I picked some ponti from my stash and went about making a few mods. I cut the smallest size and lengthened the waist to fall just about my natural waist, as I assumed the weight of the skirt would pull it down to sit right on my waist, which it did. The main reason I lengthened the bodice was because I don't own any thick belts, which I think you would need to wear on an empire bodice dress. I cut facings for the neck and strips of fabric to bind the sleeves and this is what I got.
Some people may look at this photo and think, 'It's alright', but trust me, it looks better in the photo than in real life! The bodice is too large and unflattering, and the style is not me at all! The arm binding is possibly passable, but still not good enough for my critical eye. I will never wear this, so I haven't even hemmed it. I will however, recycle the fabric. I have Simplicity 2443 on my list for summer sewing, so this ponti will not go to waste.

Disaster number 2 is considerably more tragic than the first. Now, if  you sew, you will read this and at various times you will think "What a waste!', "She's such a goose!", "What was she thinking?" and you know what, I still am saying those things to myself!

A few weeks back I picked up some lovely silk from a local cheapie fabric shop. It was identical to a silk fabric in a much more expensive fabric store. I intended to make Vintage Vogue 8728, which I think it completely adorable, but as the project progressed, I realised there were three major problems standing in the way of me producing a cute dress: bad judgement, challenging fabric and dress style.
 - Bad judgement: I didn't make a muslin of this dress. NUTS! I make muslins for pretty much everything I make, but for some reason I seemed to think that as I was doing so well on the sewing front, I didn't need to make them any more. I don't know what I was thinking!
 - Challenging fabric: It is silk and it ravels and slips and slides. I'm not an expert as sewing with slinky fabrics, yet still chose a pattern which involved curves, gathers and self bias neck binding, all of which are super duper tricky with this type of fabric. Just plain silly of me really!
 - Dress style: The gathers on the bust DO NOT flatter those with little bust. Seriously, they don't make you look larger or more busty, but rather more empty than normal - boo hoo!
Not a good photo. I blame the gloomy weather in Sydney.

I seriously don't know what I was thinking! Here's a photo of the dress bodice and again, it doesnt' look too bad in the pictures, but trust me, it's not good.

Thankfully, I did manage to stop myself at this point. I did not cut the skirt, so I still have a large enough pieces of this fabric to make something nice. Possibly a top, which is far better use of this fabric given the life I have - you know, three grubby kids and all.

Tis all for now. Tomorrow, I plan to make my second muslin for my jeans BEFORE I leap into cutting the fabric!


  1. I can't see the first dress, but might I suggest with slippery fabric that spray on starch can be your friend or backing with muslin. Cutting the muslin and slippery layer in one helps the cutting out process, and if you just treat the two layers as one fabric and sewing them accordingly you'll end up with beautiful drape and body - makes the top layers really lux looking.

  2. That really sucks! If you unpick the gathered part of the bodice, is it usable?

    The line drawing on the Anne Klein is unusual... Too bad it didn't work out ;(

  3. Aww! Good for you for sharing your learning experiences ;). I would totally be stabbing myself in the eye over the silk, too. I think the bust gathers could look nice, but the proportions and the positioning of the seam underneath would have to be perfect (probably shorten the gathered piece a bit... this is what I've had to do to small-bust-adjust gathered panels like this).

    Good luck with the jeans! :)

  4. That's such a bummer about the dress... I was thinking that would look lovely on you. My pattern just arrived today but now I'm not sure I'll be using it! I have small bust too... I'm glad you've got enough fabric to make something else. THank you for sharing the news - it's a huge help to me!


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