Monday, July 13, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I just celebrated my 40th birthday two weeks ago. I had a girls night out, a movie night with my husband, sister and brother-in-law, and another movie/dinner date with my husband—more of a birth-week(s) celebration – which is how I like it.

I had grand plans to finish sewing something for the ladies night out, and almost did finish a top (Ugly-see below), but then decided that it was the perfect opportunity to wear my Giselle, and I'm glad I did as I don't often have an opportunity to wear it, and it's a great eating dress!

The Good.

The top I finally did finish is jut the top 2/3 of the Giselle (by Kate and Rose Patterns). I had some sheer-ish crinkle poly that I picked up on a whim a year ago in my stash that I had earmarked for this project. I'm glad that I finally got around to it because I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

I used two layers on the front bust and midriff, and one for everything else. (I guess you would technically call this underlining?) I just put the two layers wrong sides together, basted the edges and treated them as one for the rest of the construction. The fabric is so flimsy that is worked out well. I followed the rest of the construction instructions as they were written. I even machine stitched the bias binding. I normally hand sew for more control, but I really didn't need to this time. Thank you stay stitching.

I cut the first tier of the dress minus about two inches and after trying it on, I found it a bit on the short side so I just cut a 4" strip the circumference of the bottom, folded it in half, attached it and topstitched the seam up towards the top. Easiest hemming ever.

After wearing this top for a whole day, I maybe should have interfaced the midriff as it kind-of collapses. Not a big deal, just something to remember for next time – depending on the fabric I use. I remember that I did interface that area on my dress and it wears really well.

I love this top. There is no gaping AT ALL at the neck. It's a deep v, but I didn't have any wardrobe malfunctions all day. Really, this is a lovely pattern that I recommend. I'm sure I'll make it again. I'd like to try it in a knit.

The Bad. 

Ugh! I'm so disappointed. I've made this top successfully a few times. It's a free pattern from Cation Designs. In previous makes I'd broadened the upper back but this time I really noticed that I need to lower the arm hole 3/4-1". My other makes somehow came out wearable (even a much-worn favorite in my wardrobe), but this one did not. My sister has anther new top folks! I didn't loose much as all fabrics came from my stash and were all from second hand sources so really – just a day of sewing.

I made a couple of other changes like adding a 2" folded band to the sleeve (again, to avoid time consuming baby hems), and the small 1m pice of fabric came up a bit short when cutting out the front and back so I added some textured sheer black triangle panels to the sides.

The Ugly.

This was going to serve as both a fit muslin and a possibly a birthday top. I know the fabric is screams: "Fresh Prince of Bel Air!!!", but there's something inside of me that believes that somehow there's an appropriate usage for all fabrics and colour combinations in existence.  Sometimes you can't polish a terd. The black also ran after washing. Blerg.

I thought Butterick 6209 had some potential.
I have a wedding to go to in August and I thought it would be easy and comfortable to eat and dance in (but especially eat). It turns out its super gapy at the neck. I had a client meeting the day I wore my muslin to work and I think I must have flashed my bra about a thousand times during the course of the meeting. I have no problems with low cut (check out the Giselle above), but if I want to make this for real, I'm going to have to tack some shit down. 
That being said, this is an interesting pattern. I like the seams at the back, and there's no darts and no closures people! 

I cut out a 12, but blended to a 14 at the back armhole to accommodate a broad upper back. The fit was very good with this adjustment, though I'd have to recheck it if I make the sleeved-version. Everything fit together well, and the instructions for the neckline were good. I feel like there's got to be a better way of assembling this part though that doesn't involve as much hands sewing. Cutting it short for a top version left me with a stupid looking flare at the bottom hem so I took that in quite a bit (maybe 4" total) blending to nothing at the armpit seam.

Will I attempt this as a dress? Despite the gape, Yes. I've already bought fabric. I think I need to do a forward shoulder adjustment as the top slid to the back which made for constant fiddling. This may help with my neckline-gape problem too. I'm going to add small cap sleeves to my version.  After an exhaustive search at Fabricland for the suggested fabrics, I found some crinkle cotton in earthy green and cream (not on the suggested fabrics list) that will make it possible for my dress to do double duty (casual and dressy) depending on what accessories I wear with it. The drape will work and after washing, it's looking like I won't even have to iron it very much. 


  1. Happy birthday! I think the fabric for the last shirt would make a pretty cool skirt with some black tights!

    1. Thanks Kyle! The magpie in me still loves this fabric... preferably accented in sequins.

  2. Oh mercy- I just bought the Butterick- hope it treats my birthday next week better!

    1. I look forward to your make with it. It's on my cutting table again too!