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This began as McCalls M4868, and for every hour I spent sewing seams in on this dress, I spent three tearing them out.  I have never sewn something so obnoxious.

And I’m still not happy with it.  But, you know what?  It’s certainly wearable, and I need to work on something else for a while, lest I go totally mad.

Shall we start with the problems?

The Bad

A: I actually cut it out wrong.   See, the pattern has multiple versions.  In one, the bodice is one solid fabric.  In the other, which I used, there’s that contrast band at the waist.  I cut out the bodice for pattern version A and the band for the other, not noticing that the bodice pattern piece has a section you’re supposed to remove if you’re using the waistband, to make sure the waistband is actually on the waistline.  This means I moved the waist down about two inches, and while I love the low-waisted look, you do have to add a few inches to the girth if you want the fit to remain usable.  So yeah, the fit is off.  This mistake also made the dress a touch too long.

B: The other reason that it bunches is that I still haven’t quite figured out how to tailor commercial patterns, made for B cup cleavage, to my Ds.  My darts are not the neatest things ever.

C: I’m not happy with my zipper skills yet, either.

Solutions?  Adjust the length of the bodice.  Maybe adjust the length of the skirt.  Tear out part of the upper bodice and sew it so the added darts lay neater.  And, oh yeah, redo the zipper (which I’d have to rip out anyway for the other changes).

But not right now.  After all, it’s not like it’s ALL bad.

The Good

This has the bones of a really cute dress.  I love the shape of the skirt, even if it hangs a bit low.  All the long seams are French seams, which I’m proud of.  Even though the fit isn’t perfect, it’s still pretty well fitted.  The fabric is adorable.  And hey, if I lost a few pounds it’d fit perfectly, even though high-waisted me moved the waistline down.

I love you with your flaws, my dear.  We will meet again… soon.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. giddy permalink
    08/23/2010 3:26 PM

    I love the contrasting pieces. I hope you get it worked out to your liking; it already looks awesome! :)

    • 09/12/2010 9:48 AM

      Thank you! I’ve given it up for a bit; I’m kind of leaning towards the “lose a few pounds so it fits” solution as versus the “unpick and raise the waistline” solution. The former sounds easier.

  2. 08/23/2010 3:31 PM

    I have a couple sewing magazines that address the issue of bust shaping. Typically you add vertically to the bust area, while darting it out to the sideseam.

    It makes sense in the article.

    Let me know if you’re in town and want to peruse.

    • 09/12/2010 9:48 AM

      I’d love to peruse some time! Who knows when I’ll be up north again, though. Argh.

  3. 08/24/2010 5:44 AM

    What a shame because it looks like a really nice style and the fabrics you chose are cute. But if it’s that much of a pain to sew and won’t fit right at the end I think I can skip that pattern.

    • 09/12/2010 9:50 AM

      Thing is, it’s not entirely the pattern’s fault. If I had cut the waistline where it said (clearly, I checked) to cut the waistline, rather than cutting said waist for a different version of the dress, it would fit.

      I did have significant issues with the straps, though. Because they curve, there are parts that are on the bias and parts which aren’t, and I had trouble getting them stitched down flat. It’s not too noticeable in the finished piece, though, and I think the issues were largely due to my inexperience.


  1. McCalls M4444 and Breaking a Stalemate « Corvus tristis: Art, Craft and an Odd Bird

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