Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My little black dress Vogue 1254

Back in January this year our daughter got married in Paris.  Yes Paris! My favourite place in the world :-)  The wedding was a small affair with only 25 guests who were immediate family of the bride and groom and a handful of their very close friends who were in their wedding party.

After I got over the excitement of having an excuse to go back to Paris again, the dilemma of what to wear set in.   Paris in January is pretty cold.  Colder than what our winters here in Australia ever are.  I wanted to wear dress because I feel much more comfortable in dresses rather than pants but I didn't want to freeze.  My solution was to choose a classic dress sheath style dress V1254 and make it up in black wool crepe and fully line it.  

It was my good friend (and fellow sewer) that suggested that this pattern was a classic style with a stylish twist that I could easily adjust to fit me.  When I saw the picture on the envelope I did love the dress but couldn't imagine this dress on me. I look nothing like that model.   After some convincing my friend made a calico muslin up of the dress for me to try on to prove her point.  She was convinced it would look good on me and it did.   Even in the calico I could see the potential for this pattern.   There were two things about the original pattern that I didn't think would work for me.  The first thing was that the dress sits quite wide across the shoulders. I knew this would annoy me.   I don't like wearing things that slip and slide around on me.  We worked out that we could adjust the pattern to bring in the neckline a little without too much trouble and we did so.   The only other adjustment that was made other than increasing the width over the hips was to raise the back neckline a little more.   The two adjustments we made to the neckline required that we had to take a little off the collar pieces where they joined the centre back seam which really wasn't very complicated.  We just laid the collar pattern onto the front and back pattern pieces and worked out how much needed to come off.

Once the pattern adjustments were made the sewing of this dress was a piece of cake.  The pattern instructions were really pretty straight forward. Although the part where the collar pieces crossed over in the front did require me to sit and read through the instructions a couple of times before the penny dropped.   Then disaster struck!  I lost the pattern instructions just at the part where I was suppose to insert a piece of netting into a triangle shape space under were the collars crossed in the centre front.  Do you think for the life of me I could work out how to do this  without the instructions.  The pattern cost me about $27 to buy so I was determined I was not going to pay for another pattern just for the instructions.    I searched the house from top to bottom but couldn't find it anywhere.   Time was running out we were going to be leaving for Paris the next week.   I then decided that perhaps I could hide the space with a really nice brooch but do you think I could find one that I liked that didn't cost a few hundred dollars.  Nup!   So in the end I sewed on a button as a temporary measure to get me out of trouble.   Now that I think about it I couldn't have chosen a worse button  and it was such a LAZY thing to do but it did serve its purpose.  My excuse was I was desperate ;-)

Anyway below are the pictures of the dress on me and a close up of part of the dress that caused my problems and that ugly button..  Its hard to distinguish the style details as black doesn't photograph very well.   It does look like the dress isn't sitting well across the right side of the front but this is just because I was rushing around to get this photo with the self timer and didn't adjust myself properly before the shot was taken.

Unfortunately my dressmakers dummy is not the same shape as I am (no boobs and slim)  It does look better on me.  Oh dear I am so ashamed of that button....  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Well I am finished 2475

Well it's finally done!  What do I think about Simplicity 2475 ?   Well while I was sewing it I really liked it.   I could see it was going to be a good addition to my wardrobe and fit in with my current non corporate lifestyle.  

However after the first day I wore it I soon discovered three things about the skirt that I didn't like.   Firstly the inverted pleats in the back were just a pain in the backside.  They don't sit straight.  As soon as sat down and got up they poked out all over the place.  My husband was continually telling me all day that they weren't sitting correctly.   I had a feeling they wouldn't sit correctly when I was cutting out the skirt.  I vaguely remembered making a skirt/dress many moons ago with this type of pleat and I didn't like that either but I as usual I paid no attention to the sensible part of my brain and soldiered on regardless. You know what it's like girls.  Nothing is worse than wearing an outfit that you continually have to fuss with so it sits right.   I became obsessed with how the back of my skirt looked for the whole day.  I have decided to remove the pleats completely and sew up the seam.  As the skirt is just around knee length I do not need them.

The other thing is that I think it is too big and that I should have taken it in so it was tighter to allow for the natural stretch of the denim.   Being a curvy hipped girl I really hate having anything to tight about my hips and thighs but I actually think (know) that having this looser actually makes me look bigger.   I know Gail did warn me that this skirt turns out to be more A lined that the picture on the pattern indicates and I did try pegging it in more at the hem line but that seemed to make my hips look even wider (something I do not need).  

But the most disappointing thing that is wrong with this skirt is that it makes me look like the side of house :-(    Steve took some photos of me wearing the skirt and I look HUGE in it.   It has completely put me off the skirt.   I am prepared to give it one more go and adjust the fit and then take another photo to see if it could possibly be the angle the photo was taken that makes it look so unflattering.  (I am thinking it isn't sadly).  Otherwise this will get donated to the local op shop.

When you read about styles that suit curvy shapes they all recommend designs that have vertical lines like this skirt.  But I do feel that the centre panel of this skirt is too wide.  I feel that if the centre panel was narrower that it would result in a more flattering skirt.   That is just my opinion not sure what other people would think?

Oh yes one more thing. It looks great hanging on my dressmaking model.  That doesn't have hips :-(