September 16, 2009

And the dress saga continues...

I did get the dress cut out on Sunday, and mostly sewed together on Monday. As you can see, this is already a huge improvement over the last attempt. I'm trying not to be bitter that I'm doing much better with Joann's-brand polyester shantung that cost me a total of about $15 than the now-possibly-useless silk charmeuse that probably cost me around $50.

It's still not perfect, though... while most of it fits (and looks) much, much better than the silk version, I'm still having trouble with those blasted side darts. Despite hand-basting them together by hand and several tweaks to the slant and depth of them. I'm still getting those points at the end. So this is leading me to two conclusions: a) if all goes well with the skirt fitting class I'll be taking over at Pattern Review over in a couple weeks, I should probably look into taking a bodice-fitting one as well as the pants one, and b) perhaps in the future I should stick with princess seams instead of double-darts whenever possible.

This whole thing has been a really discouraging experience, honestly... I can't help feeling like I shouldn't be having this much trouble with such a simple pattern. I keep telling myself that it's because it's one of those really tailored, classic silhouettes, and my style generally isn't so classic. And I know a big part of it is that I went for a higher-quality (and far more expensive) fabric than I tend to go for and it failed in spite of making a muslin. I don't like feeling like I wasted that money. And it really doesn't help that getting this wedding together has been a very frustrating and not very enjoyable experience for my entire family. Right now, I just want nothing more than to get it over with. So I just need to finish this (hopefully ended up getting eaten up by handwork and further attempts to get the darts to lie better), and then maybe this weekend I can get the wrap taken care of. And then I need to find something to sew that's just fun... I'm debating between just whipping up another article of clothing, or holding off on that (since I start the skirt fitting class pretty much right after the wedding) and starting on some of the sewing for my room. Which has the bonus feature of not having to be fit on me. :P


  1. I know your sewing is usually impeccable and not this is not meant as an insult, but are you pressing the darts out on a ham? Tiny stitches at the end w/no backstitching? Dart maybe a bit to wide right at the end? I'm trying to think of anything that's given me trouble in the past.
    I feel your frustation!

  2. I didn't backstitch the ends of the darts, but I didn't think to reduce the stitch length. Will have to try that next time. And I was pressing them out on a ham. The darts could be too wide at the end-- I was having a ridiculous amount of trouble with getting them to lie anywhere remotely close to right. Wondering if maybe I need to learn how to do an FBA... I might be right on the borderline of needing one or something.

    And I know it's not meant as an insult-- I appreciate the constructive criticism!!

  3. There is nothing worse than one of those annoying projects you just want to finish! The Shantung looks much better than the Charmeuse did, since there's a lot more structure to the fabric.
    Another thing to bear in mind, is that you've stared at this dress for hours and you know your body and the fit you expect, but most everyone else wont. A slightly off dart is not going to be noticeable unless someone were inspecting the garment, which I highly doubt would be the case. You'll be moving around, not standing still for everyone to dissect your sewing. I'm sure it'll all come together nicely.

    I vote for sewing something for your room next. It'll be more relaxing!

  4. Hang in there! Backstitching usually adds bulk, I think tiny stiches at the end will help the darts. Try the "Full Busted" Palmer/Pletsch Interactive DVD--it is excellent! I featured it in my blog. Look at it this way, you will have learned tons when you finish this project!

  5. It looks like point of the waist dart is higher than your bust dart point. This may be the issue. The waist dart usually ends about 1/2 inch below the bust point.

  6. I just checked....the waist darts do end a little lower than the bust darts. I don't think it's a full half-inch, though. Maybe if I let it out a little there...

  7. i'm not really good in giving advice for ur sewing problems. as i always face that frustrations too. however, i love the style and color of the dress. good luck! :)

  8. it is starting to look great!! It is frustrating when things don't go the way we want them to right away...


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