Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ta-Da Tuesday-Day Twenty (a): The Perfect Storm Dress

I've been salivating over this pattern for a long time.  The drape on the neck and the slightly-more-than-ordinary sleeves made me fall in love.  I'm a sucker for interesting sleeves and these ones weren't even too far off of standard.  I digress.  It's the blue one on the live model.
imagevia saranoemi.com
With Easter coming up I decided that I deserved a new dress, regardless of whether or not the number on the scale said it was time to reward myself.  I snagged this lovely pink crepe-y material from my mom's bin of pink and purple fabric.  I knew immediately that it would be perfect for this pattern.

I call it the perfect storm dress because everything about the fit that could have gone wrong, did.  And when I took pictures it was stormy outside.  So it works.  Anyway, I am not unaware of my fitting issues so I started out by making the necessary pattern adjustments before cutting.
Don't mind me.  I'm just being weird-waisted over here.
Then I tried on the dress and saw that it needed to go up in the shoulders, meaning I would need to cut it down under the arms and along the neckline.  Peachy.  That's my favorite thing in the world to do.  Just as an aside, there really need to be punctuation to indicate sarcasm.  Just sayin'.

On top of those adjustments I had a beast of a time getting the drape to work.  The piece that comes down in the center was a piece of cake, but the stuff on the right and left sides that attach at the shoulder were...troublesome.  In the fuzzy picture below you can see that it looks more like a floppy jacket than a fitted drape.  I was not going for the floppy jacket look.
My mom is also in the picture.  She's just standing behind me.  You can see her fuzzy arm over my elbow.
Trying to get the blasted drape to lay well was not an easy task.  I'm overly very precise in my cutting and matching and so I am still baffled as to how the drape could have so badly backfired.  I had to pull it in funny to get it to fit.  It originally went from the top of the shoulder down to the side seam under the arm and is supposed to fit into around the armhole.  To get it to cooperate the drape had to be pulled and resewn so that none of it went under the arm.  A little disappointing, but I got the tighter look I was going for.

I finished the hem of the dress the night before Easter.  When I put the dress on for church I discovered that the length had shortened up quite a bit.  I like my knees to be covered when I sit.  They weren't.  I spent the entire church meeting pulling on the hem and cursing myself for not double checking the fit on the length after pulling up the shoulders.  There was no question about adding length.  If I wanted to be comfortable in the dress it would need more length.  I did that by adding two layers of pleated extension.  I was trying to make it look like it was supposed to be there rather than an afterthought.  The two rows of pleats go in opposite directions to give it a more custom touch that I hoped would look more like ready to wear.
Not too shabby, though I still need to iron out the pin marks.
Then, to go along with the Sew-vivor theme of buttons, I added studs.  The original pattern uses studs and the site I went to in search of cool buttons also has a section with studs.  I count them as non-functional buttons.  They come from Hong Kong, making shipping slower and more expensive than I like.  But the design on the stud was so perfect I couldn't stop thinking about them.  I love them.
I love how the shape on the studs echo the design of the drape.
So I'm super pleased with the final results.  Everything fits where it should and I can now sit with my knees covered.  Woohoo!  

On another subject, have you noticed recently that pattern companies are posing their models in ridiculous and unflattering positions?  My favorite was the Sumo Squat while leaned up against a window.  Classy.  Here's my interpretation.
This totally makes you want to sew the pattern, doesn't it?
I also saw that the pattern company has chosen a new look for their models.  I know that some designers have their models wear the same makeup on the runway.  In this case it was a facial expression the model was wearing.  I call it the "Whaaa...?"  Seriously, look here to see what I mean.
Talking to my children helped me perfect the "Whaaa...?"
 Now that everything is where it needs to be I'm a fan of the dress.  Before...not so much.  But at least I love it now.  Ta da!


  1. Very cute dress! I'm glad you were able to save it! Thanks for linking up at Whatever Goes Wednesday!