Monday, November 16, 2009

A silk purse from a sow's ear...

Or just a sow's ear. I'm not sure.

It serves me right for trying to cheat. I thought it'd be quicker to buy a pattern than make my own. New Look 6866 looked easy, fluid and flattering on the packet....

...and like a potato sack when it was made up.

I made the size small (Australian sizes 8-10, which is right where I'm at) but it fitted like a shapeless size 12.

It was so unflattering I didn't take any "before" photos - just the results of about three rounds of tweaking.


The neckline was dropped an inch or so at centre-front and a great big chunk was taken out of the back... too much in fact. (There's now a dodgey tight bit on the bottom of the V where I clipped it before I checked it, and then couldn't let it out again).

I then had to re-shape the armholes so I could move in it after I made it too tight and I had to put a bit of shape into the waist so it... ummm... had a bit of shape in the waist.


M
y sow's ear is quite a comfy summer frock now. Not perfect, but I'll wear it - wonky seams, dodgey pattern placement (wish I'd thought of that one, too..) and all.

If you're bigger than I am (that'd be MOST of you!) this pattern may be for you. I'd say the size small would fit a tall or fuller-figured size 10-12.

If you're five foot one-and-a-half and a slightly curvy size 8-10, I'd suggest that you mock up a calico toile and tweak it before hacking into your favourite fabric. Or if you have, say, PATTERNMAKING SKILLS (!!?)..... perhaps don't be so lazy. Start from scratch to make something designed for your figure.

The fabric is from the Loft 1800 range by Moda - one of my all-time favourites.

PS. This time I enlisted my assistant to take the photo of the back view. It has been cropped to (mostly) remove the great shot of the wheelie bins (originally with me on the side of the photo).

23 comments:

Liam's Mummy said...

I desperately need some summer dresses. I have some nice patterns in my stash but they may need enlarging. I might have to go do some fabric shopping for me for a change!

Little Munchkins said...

I've not seen that fabric before but I love it. The dress looks great after all that tweaking and it does look comfy.

Karen Wilson said...

I find it interesting that your selected size was too big. I find with most sewing patterns (although I haven't used New Look), according to the measurements on the back I'm about a size 20, but in normal dress sizes I'm about a size 16.

It's a great dress! I want to go sew summer dress now... sadly I have to wait till we move house and all my patterns and fabric are out of storage :(

Tania said...

WHAT WONKY SEAM? WHERE? Pffft! Looks great.

Andi said...

Well ... the fabric is lovely.
It actually ended up looking great.
Nice tweaking.
Andi :-)

A. Kaefer said...

You want to see wonky seams? You should see the tote bag I have been making for 10 days now (I walk away from Jenny Janome BEFORE I pick her up and haul her through the window, grrr!)

Katy said...

You have done a great job, very flattering!

Tanya said...

so, I wonder if non pattern designing people (me)have bad experiences with the fit of commercial patterns like these, it's not necessarily down to dodgy sewing skills- it may be partly dodgy pattern- or perhaps just strangely shaped lady in my case!!
Love that fabric too.
thanks for this post, interesting what some skill and confidence does. I wouldn't have thought to go, this pattern is not working for me, necessarily, I would be thinking 'I am not working for this pattern' -do you get it? More book fodder for you!!!

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

I'm with everyone else ... it looks fabulous now. I love the print you have used.

Just quietly it sounds like just the pattern for me!

Handmade said...

Hey - great fabric - funny story! You look very cool.

rachelmp said...

Sorry, but I laughed! You are more patient with your dress making than me. It would have been quickly cut down to a size 4 something-for-Maya if it had been me. Looks great in the end x

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

The post-tweaked dress looks great, and great on you! Love the fabric choice as always :)

KathyB said...

I learnt my lesson the hard way (after a few throw outs), I only buy patterns that a "real person" is wearing on the cover, so I know the style actually fits someone.

laura said...

I think it looks very nice!!! You did a great job with your tweaking. I'm 5feet tall but I've learned that no matter what, I have to make the petite adjustment or my outfit looks like a potato sack! And another blogger, who made a really cute trapeze dress, added horse hair to the hem to make it look 'swirly'!!

Cathy (Tinniegirl) said...

I bet there's a market for quality made and tested patterns for clothes!!!

Dress looks great to me. Love the gorgeous girls party frock too.

Marty said...

Summer dress, huh?-I just finished sewing a warm cardigan jacket, cut out another, and cut out a slightly warmer long sleeved dressy T. It would be fun sometime to experience the holiday season in the middle of summer.

But the problem would be winter would come when my brain would say it was summer, so I'd better not mess with my mind too much!

Nikki Cardigan said...

You look gorgeous even with the frustrated from tweaking twinkle in the eye!

I guess if you just can't find good patterns, you should make some... yes, that "you" was YOU!!!

RheLynn said...

beautiful work - and yes the best patterns are made or at least heavily altered ;) I have found a few for my daughter from the 1970s that are almost perfect though... garage sale finds!

Linda said...

the dress is gorgeous, I agree with RheLynn patterns now are just crazy but the vintage ones were are almost perfect

Pinktulip said...

I recently hacked into my favorite fabric to make a cross-over dress from a store-bought pattern and regretted it bitterly! The pattern was supposedly my size and when I did the first fitting, it was HUGE! I was actually so mad I just threw it on a pile of unfinished projects and forgot about it. I often buy this make of patterns and have never had this problem before. So annoying...wish I had your talent to fix it.

dearmolly said...

ditto! my current post is about exactly your problem, the ill fitting pattern.

I have realised when I look at something that's clearly a size too big that I've sewn with a commercial 1cm seam allowance,when most store patterns expect 1.5cm. I CAN'T sew with a 1.5cm allowance, it just feels wrong, so next time I'll have to trim the 0.5 off the pattern before I begin.

Your dress has come up a treat after alterations, and love the fabric!

Tui said...

Oh no! If you struggled with this pattern, what hope would less experienced "sewists" have? I guess I'll try my first toile rather than cutting into the brown linen I'd bought to make a shift dress, then.

Karen Wilson said...

You've inspired me!

http://thehouseofwilson.blogspot.com/2009/11/ive-been-inspired.html