A fail in three parts

But first, a bit of backstory. I made view A of S1589 a long time ago and it has slowly gotten shorter and tighter with every wash, and then it started fraying. I kind of love it though, so I wanted to try it again. But I remembered that I took a lot of excess out of the pattern back when, so I decided to start with the size 14 instead of the 16, (since I know that shrinking in the wash isn’t the only reason it’s tighter now…oops!). So I happily traced off both views thinking that view B was also pretty cute. So cute in fact, that I decided to try it first.

ACT I

I should have traced off the 12. Even though the pattern pieces were similar in width to the blue muumuu, and I used similar fabric, for whatever reason it’s just not as flattering. Possibly because there is even less shaping and no darts? Maybe because the back is so much wider since it has that split? I don’t know. It also ended up being longer than needed (this is my fault, I added about 3″ to make damn sure it never showed my belly), and it’s REALLY wide at the hips–which would be great if I needed to smuggle an entire snackbar into a movie theater, buuuuut no.

ACT II

Why I bought this particular floral is beyond me. Was I drunk? Because this is the coyote ugly of fabric, and it doesn’t flatter my coloring at all. When will I ever learn to stay away from pastel colors?! And while the floral pattern is just OK in flat fabric, I don’t like it in shirt form.

ACT III

Not only did I buy a spectacularly unflattering and homely fabric, I didn’t buy enough of it to make anything! I ended up cutting one of the back pieces on the cross grain because I was desperate to see what it would look like. Which is crap. Absolute crap that doesn’t even look good on the mannequin. Argh!

Lessons learned?

  • Quit buying fabric without a project in mind.
  • Quit buying Joann’s rayons (did I mention this fabric had snags and holes?! 😡 Just like the blue from the blue muumuu. Grrr!!) It’s not like they are a “bargain”!
  • Ignore all sizing instructions *except* the finished garment measurements. With the exception of Lekala and maybe Burda, the size charts seem off.
  • No more pastels–they make me look like a corpse!

Not really even very close

If you happen to follow the Sewcialists blog, you’ve probably heard that July is/was Lingerie Sewing month. Since I’ve only got 3 bras (which according to the bra queen, isn’t nearly enough), I thought I’d give it another go. I’ve made some before, but not in a long time with many body changes in between (several cup sizes and a baby, anyone?), so it kind of felt like the first time. And it was with a pattern I’ve never made before (though I did apparently trace and cut the pieces at some point??), so unfamiliarity made the feeling more pronounced.

My pattern of choice was the Bra-Maker’s Shelley bra. It looks very similar to the Elomi bras I’m currently wearing, so I thought it would be a good choice. (Note: I still think that.) So over the last few days I have slowly but surely inched my way through sewing it up, but ultimately it’s way too small. The band is pretty close (a smidge on the snug side), but the cups! Oh my! Those are at least a couple of sizes too small. I have full-on-top breasts, so I think the way that Beverly instructs you to measure won’t work for that shape. But, I dutifully followed directions and made up two sizes smaller than my RTW size that my gut was telling me to make. I’m not sure how her sizing compares to RTW, but if anyone knows for sure, I’d be happy to hear what I need before I cut the next one out.

I would recommend the pattern though, it’s a very pretty bra, and it goes together very nicely. The instructions weren’t overly hand-holdy, but they weren’t Burda-esque either, so I’d say go for it if you’re at all interested!

Know when to walk away…

Many thanks to Kenny Rogers for that little tidbit of advice.

Anyway, as I posted yesterday, I am working on a birthday dress. The dress in the Burda mag seemed like a winner, with an open neckline and a slim-ish skirt. Sadly, after basting it together today, I’m walking away. I’ve always been told that with my body shape an empire line is best, but I’ve always just wanted to ignore that, since I haven’t seen many empire lines that I love. (This blouse, the exception.) As it turns out, they say those things for a reason. The shape made me look more like a brick than I’d prefer–a pretty peacock colored brick, but a brick all the same. I will also say that it’s a teeny bit too big for me, which being a plus-size pattern doesn’t really shock me too much, but I thought I might be able to get away with it.

I’ve even got pictures of the unflattering-ness (and evidence of my messy sewing room! 😳 ) to share since I know that I love it when people are realistic about their fails. (Click to enlarge. Right pic is more color accurate, BTW.)

So, even though the dress didn’t work out, it’s OK. I’ve got plenty of this fabric to make something else out of (I’m thinking maybe the blouse from V1440? It even calls specifically for stretch poplin!) And maybe a birthday dress isn’t really what I should make anyway–I seldom wear dresses, and my ideal birthday date isn’t exactly dressworthy. (It’s going two-stepping with my husband, in case you were wondering. 😉 )