I'm back and I've taken a crack at both of the projects I mentioned in my last post. One is now done, and one has been thrown on the floor in frustration.
I'll give you the good before the bad.
I finally used up the blue/green abstract floral rayon challis that has been sitting in my stash for probably a year...maybe longer? I've totally lost track. Anyway, it's lightweight and soft and drapey and I'd thought I would use it for a blouse. The thing is, I had something like 3.5yards...maybe 4. This made it seem more suited for a dress. When I made my gathered skirt a few months ago, it popped into my head that the rayon in my stash would look great as a gathered skirt, since it's so soft and flowy. Fast forward to a week ago and I found myself cutting out Simplicity 4986 from it. There was just enough fabric.
I self lined the bodice and omitted the facings prescribed by the pattern. I also decided to make the sash/ties double sided (instead of single-sided as the pattern laid out) and thought I was being sooo clever throwing in some leftover fabric from Tom's shirt. The blue seemed to match the lightest blue in the rayon print. I'm not sure I'm pleased with the final look, though. Sigh - what's new.
I definitely appreciate that this pattern does not have sleeves to set in or any closures to insert. It certainly did use a lot of thread, though!
I didn't make any adjustments to the fit, other than shortening the skirt (the girls in the illustration must have either 6-foot long legs, or 17" hems), though next time I think I would make the waistline a little higher.
I'm glad I used this fabric, even though it sometimes made sewing a little trickier than if I was just using cotton. I think it gives a different look/feel to the dress than the pattern envelope depicts and it feels so nice and soft and slinky. The top does seem... blousier? rather than as fitted/structured as the illustration.
This is really a great pattern that I plan to make again. A gathered skirt on a wrap dress seemed unusual (or maybe just to me) and I love that the skirt also included pockets! I think next time I would make the pockets a little bigger, so I can fit more than just my crumpled hand in there, and also make the ties longer so I can do them up in a bow, if I'm so inclined.
I opted to finish the waist inside with some dark green ribbon that came off of one of Tom's birthday gifts from a friend, and I rather like how it tidys everything up inside.
Lastly, for your viewing pleasure: some awful photos of me in the dress. Better than nothing, I figured.
And now, on to the bad.
Like I mentioned earlier this week, I had Tom's shirt all measured out and knew just want I was going to do to make my alterations. Everything was basically too big in different ways - except the collar, which fit nicely, thank goodness. I was all set to move the sleeves 3/4" in toward the collar, take the sides of the shirt in by 1 1/4" tapering down from the hip to the hem, and make the sleeve seam about an inch narrower, so the sleeves fit a little tighter.
|above left shows post-alterations, above right shows pre-altering, with the pins barely visible going down the side, to mark where to take it in.|
My plans sounded great (to me) on paper, but when I took out the sleeve and moved the armhole closer to the neck so that the shoulder seam would actually lie where it should on his shoulder (but I've now noticed it STILL DOESN'T), the sleeve freaked out and got all tight and bunchy. Now the armhole is bigger than the sleeve, so I'm assuming I need to cut a new sleeve...but how do I know if it needs to be a different size/shape than the original pattern piece?
|closer look at both sides of the shirt, <after (bunchy) and before (loose) > alterations|
|sleeve too small for armhole|