Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coming out of a nasty flu with a new dress.

Ignore the unfinished hem. I'm
fixing that as soon as I hit publish.
This week is February break. I had hoped to spend the whole break having fun, doing things, and generally making the most of having so much free time. However, by Friday afternoon it became apparent that I was stricken with whatever sinus-filling, nasty, gross flu that everyone else has already had, and I spent the last few days curled up on the couch being miserable. That's why it's taken me so damned long to post about my latest achievement: a new dress.

This is based off of the Crepe dress by Colette Patterns. I write "based off of" because I had to screw with this pattern a LOT to make it work for me. As usual, I'm still choosing "beginner" and "easy" patterns because I know that I have to make all kinds of wacky adjustments because I'm such a non-standard shape. The more I sew, the more I learn why this is, and I think this dress really hammered a few things home:

1. I'm high waisted, especially in the back. After hours of screwing with the dress I just couldn't get anything to sit right, and after reluctantly taking the entire waist apart and re-doing it 2" higher, every single problem was magically solved. Steve loves my booty, but man, it makes it hard to fit clothes.

2. I need a v-neck or low scoop neck or I look like I'm wearing a prairie dress. Thanks for that, giant boobs. I re-cut the neck so it had more of a plunge and it looks great. I absolutely hate the original neck in either version of the dress and I'm glad I trusted my gut.

Hershey Kisses make great pattern weights.
3. If I go by the usual "bust, waist, hip" measurements, my dresses will be enormous. Maritza told me that I'm actually at least 2 sizes smaller than most pattern measurements say that I am because of my giant rack. In this pattern, my boobs and butt call for a size 18, but my shoulders, waist, arms, and ribcage call for a 14, maybe even a 12. Once again, I made the dress in the larger size and had to take in each side about 3.5". One of these days I'll try making the smaller size and expanding the chest to see if that's a wiser course of action.

4. The skirt is deceptively large. I actually made the skirt a lot closer to a circle skirt because I figured an A-line wouldn't be roomy enough. I had to take out TONS of fabric because I was swimming in it. Apparently my math skills aren't so hot, and all those "I'm back in math class" nightmares are pretty appropriate. My bum could probably fit the original skirt shape and I'll probably try that next time.

I made this version in a stretchy bamboo denim I got at Gather Here. That store is AWESOME and I want to go back soon. I want to make another one of these in different fabric because it's a very flattering dress. Also, I'm a real stickler for doing something more than once so I can really understand the process and hammer home everything I've learned. I'm thinking maybe a dark fabric with some kind of polka dot pattern with a darker contrast trim to slim my waist.

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