Sunday, May 23, 2010

Third dress.

Using some fabric I'd found at a junk shop in town, I had a third try at sewing up the McCall's 8818 dress pattern.

I've worn it all week with a cardi, jeans and boots.

Its when the cardi comes off that the problems are obvious.


For some reason I just can't get the neckline right.
I've made this same pattern three times now and have had the same wrinkly, gathered chest issue each time.

I had to cut one of the back panels upside down as I ran out of the fabric.

I wore this dress down the street the other day and a woman stopped me to tell me that my dress fabric had been her tablecloth. My immediate thought was that this is definitely one of the down sides of living in such a small town, until she told me that she was so excited by what I had made that she was going to go home and go through her linens to see if she had any more for me. Yay!

As for the dress pattern, I'm not sure what to do.
I probably should have a few dressmaking lessons.
I've got to say though, that I am a bit hooked on making clothes for myself.

I hope wherever you are that you are having a lovely weekend.

59 comments:

  1. It's great! I like how even though you flipped the pattern on the back, it meets so nicely in the middle. That is a great story; I hope she comes up with a big pile for you...

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  2. What a lovely story behind the tablecloth. I often wonder about the origins of things I find at the oppy... I hope she lots of other lovely linens in her stash for you!

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  3. What a great story!
    I hope after that you get more fabric!
    I actually really like the way the back goes both ways, and I think the dress looks perfect :-)
    p.s. Do knit those mittens, they are so quick and have been very popular!

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  4. I actually really like it Kate. The neckline you worry about is not funky to my eyes at all.

    Ditto Flowerpress - back fabric going both ways is nice because it meets in the middle quite magically!

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  5. LOL when you said the lady recognized her tablecloth!! Brilliant that she is going to get you some more....don't you love small towns, I do :-) BTW dress looks amazing to me!

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  6. It looks great on! How funny to have been spotted by the very owner of the table cloth, and how great that she's gone home to look for more! Being a very novice sewer, I think the dress is perfect! We're always more critical of the things we make ourselves, no one else would notice any of the little imperfections...lovely shots of you too, gorgeous setting!

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  7. It's true you know, we're never completely happy with what we do. That's the nature of the beast that is woman!! However, to everyone else, the dress is perfect on you. It looks lovely, the colours suit and it's recycled! What more can you ask and at my age, I'm not even going near the 'wrinkly chest' thing :o)!!
    Lizzie
    xxx

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  8. when it looks that good from afar, who cares about a crinkly neckline......why to go kate:)

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  9. bugga done it again - way to go! REMINDER must really work on my typing!

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  10. I so love it, you are really lucky to be able to look fabulous in a dress. I love that the back panels are different and that the previous owner of the table cloth stopped you to say it was hers. How cool is that!

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  11. Oh Kate that's hysterical! Great news if you get some more fabric from her closet though. I think your dress looks fabulous and it suits you well. Now did you use iron on interfacing on the neck facing? Perhaps it's not stiff enough if you did. Maybe you need to double stitch the line next time.

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  12. lol, thats funny the lady recognised her fabric, but how great she's going to find some more for you. It was meant to be. I think the dress looks fine.

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  13. That is so nice somebody recognised teir tablecloth. It's funny how we get an idea fixed in our head of what something should be (a table cloth is a table cloth and can't be anything else) and you've got your 'neighbour' fired up with the possibilities for what's in her cupboard.

    PS Congrats to your photographer. They did a great job.

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  14. That is really cool that you ran into the woman who owned the tablecloth. And even better that she was so excited about it. I make clothes for my kids, but I am scared to make any for myself so far.

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  15. Funny story, I wonder what she will bring you? Hopefully something nice otherwise you might be decked out in a fugly orange & brown dress. Are you enjoying the sunshine today? Just went to the market with Rosie and had so much fun xo

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  16. I thought you were going to keep taking the layers off! Woo hoo :o) Stripper blog!
    Could you put little dart thingies in? It really isn't obvious but I know it's frustrating when you know you're not getting something right. We need to recruit a clothes sewing wench to the group.
    You look beautiful frolicking in the sunshine by the way.
    Ab xx

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  17. Love it Kate! The back looks great with the fabric at opposite ends. I hope you get a few more lovely things from the stranger in the street!

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  18. Great story!

    The fit in the neck area is just that the pattern was made for a "standard" fit, and you are unique.

    Your neckline is smaller than the neckline of the pattern. You will need to remove some area from the pattern in that area to make it fit.

    What you have to do is pinch out and pin darts in the upper part of the dress that make it fit better and travel out to a seam, armhole or neckedge(don't look at the darts, just look at the fit of the rest of the fabric); judge it by how it fits. Don't worry about how the fabric pattern looks, how the grain of the fabric changes, or where the darts point.

    When it looks and feels good, mark the darts (in a way that will not hurt your dress- chalk, thread tracing, etc.) and remove the pins. You will use the markings on the dress to transfer the marks to the pattern.

    First, trace a copy of your pattern to alter (just in case. That way you still have the original) Use tracing paper and a wheel to transfer the marks to the pattern copy. For each marked "dart", cut through its center to the point, overlap the dart legs, and tape. This removes the extra area, and will move the shoulders and neckline inward so they are not so wide.

    Cut it out in some cheap fabric that doesn't matter, but has the same type of drape and weight as the type of fabric you would use to make the dress; an old bed sheet works well. This will tell you if the alterations worked.

    Good luck! Your pieces are so full of life!

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  19. Go Mary!

    it looks fab! Whenever I take clothes to the op shop I always tkae them to another town for fear I will see someone I know wearing it!!

    Your dresses are divine! you are really clever. x

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  20. Okay the reason for the back of the dress being as it is is now your little secret. It is awesome just how it is! The visual effect of the light and dark being opposite on each side is so cool. Now I cannot tell what is wrong with the front, even when I click on the pic to make it bigger. I am wondering though, are you clipping the raw edges of the seam allowance around the neck after it is sewn together but before you turn it? That will cause the neck to not lay flat for sure. Clipping the seam allowance helps you to turn the fabric and smooth out the seam before topstitching it down. If that is not the issue, well then I am all out of ideas! I cannot wait to see what you come up with next!

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  21. I think the back looks great as it is. I also don't see the crinkle neckline, but if you're not happy go with what Mary says. It should work.

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  22. There are definitely some great things about living in a small town, but there's some disadvantages, too, and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference! Lucky that exchange turned out to be the former! Hopefully it will be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship :-)

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  23. I think it's gorgeous. The fabric is amazing & the back works really well. I actually think that the back makes it looks really modern. I can't see any problems with the neckline, but I think a wrinkly neckline actually looks really cool if you're layering it. Kinda well worn & comfy looking if that makes sense.

    Looks like you had a lot of fun on this photo shoot. :) I want to make myself something now.

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  24. I had a giggle at the tablecloth story, how funny, hope she's got some other stuff for you. Love the dress and the photos. Hope you're having a great weekend. xx

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  25. I really like the back, I thought you had cleverly done it on purpose! Sorry, no idea about the neckline, but it doesn't look too bad in the photos.
    Still laughing about the lady recognising her tablecloth! Too funny!

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  26. I love the fabric in that dress - and I also love that you ran into the original owner of the tablecloth too!

    Can't help with the neckline problems - can you do some of those fabulous pleats and make the gathering look intentional?

    Great work as always!

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  27. Such an awesome dress Kate, I'd be frolicking about in fields if I had it too, even with its 'flaws'. I have to say I've held off making any dresses or tops for the difficulties of fitting busts and necks and whatnot too. I should try to be fearless like you I think.

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  28. That dress is SO GOOD!!! How clever you are turning half the back up side down - great effect!!!
    Great to hear about the origin of the fabric, that’s so fantastic the lady recognized her tablecloth, she must have been suitably impressed!

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  29. I love that table cloth! and you MENT to have the fabric the other way round! Looks wicked.

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  30. The dress looks lovely and the reverse back is fun. Can't see anything wrong with the neck. Just wondered if you remembered to clip the curve of the seam close to the stitching. That makes a big difference in the way the finished curve sits.

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  31. wow, great advice here! I just wanted to say it is hilarious you running into the donator of your fabric, it has had me chuckling all afternoon!

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  32. Beautiful dress! I love the fabric AND the fact that one of the back panels is upside down. First I thought you had done it on purpose. Somtimes limits and "accidents" make us go outside the usual track and do something even better. (I think). Good luck with the neckline.

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  33. YAY!!! so excellent about the dress order! And the dress is gorgeous, I loved what i saw of it yesterday and I love seeing all of it here- gorgeous pics by the way. I love the non matching back, makes it so much more striking.
    xo

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  34. the thing with the lady recognising your dress fabric used to happen to us...we would put stuff in the op shop and then see someone walking down the street wearing it a few months later...OR visit the op shop...and oh look there's those bike pants we gave away 3 months ago!
    the fabric is awesome by the way!

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  35. I love small towns and old ladies who share.

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  36. Kate, I adore the back. It looks stunning. And lol, I live in Adelaide (yes, a city in spite of what people might call it) and wonder if I will see people wearing what I have taken to the op shops so I can see the issues in a small country town. But as we previously discussed, hasn't that moment metting that lady given your dress such a lovely being?

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  37. Bellissima! Love the contrast or opposite theme in the back. xo m.

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  38. Can't give you any tips but I love the story of the woman going home to look for more fabrics for you, fantastic

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  39. That's a wonderful story! Hope you get lots of yummy fabric!! I think it looks gorgeous. Maybe you need to look at the pattern in a new light or from a different angle...remember the movie Dead Poets Society where he made them stand on their desks to get a different perspective. Maybe a different view might unravel the mystery for you. Best of luck :)

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  40. 1.It is so amazing that you are making, finishing and wearing your creations. 2.I agree with the comments about interfacing and clipping into curves, and the comments about adjusting the pattern make good sense. 3. refer to point 1! I love your dress has a story to tell. that beats the pants of perfect dressmaking that never gets completed! Hope she brings you a bag full of new tales!

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  41. I adore that fabric. I just love happy accidents like your 'upside down dress'!
    Gorgeous shots of you (its always nice to see more).
    I was sitting in a cafe one day and there was an older couple that were deep in conversation regarding me and it wasnt until i heard the word tablecloth that the penny dropped. She must have had a twin to the one i was wearing at home, thems the breaks.

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  42. I´m sure if you take the dress to a dressmaker and ask him or her what your problem is they would be more than happy to help you fix it and show you what to do next time so it turns out right.

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  43. Yet another lovely dress, that fabric is great and the story also. I love the photos of you about in the meadow! I'm on the verge of making a table cloth into a skirt, they do make great clothes. Glad you are enjoying sewing for yourself, very satisfying indeed.

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  44. I haven't popped over to visit your blog for a while - always fabulously busy with cool projects you are! I love your dress, and love your story about stumbling into the "original owner". Too funny!

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  45. I don't think it could be more perfect..It looks adorable on you and what a cute story to go along with it :)...

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  46. Lovely photos! I don't do lessons but I would happily take a look to see if its a problem I could help with :)

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  47. I am yet to brave anything for myself that is not leggings or pyjama pants, so I am no help. In my naievity (and bad spelling) I would honestly have thought that just following the pattern would be enough....?! Ask Liesl. She'll know.

    As for the lady stopping you - I would have been mortified, I think, but I'm glad something good came of it, I wonder what she'll be sending your way now?

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  48. The dress looks FAB. I'm not sure what the neck problem is it looks fine from where I'm sitting xx

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  49. I think the dress looks great, and "unique" in the best possible way! Besides its the serendipity of making mistakes and maybe realising they paid off! The fabric is gorgeous.

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  50. The tablecloth story is a cracker. Just don't go converting any old man's op shop undies into anything wearable to swan down the street in.

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  51. you look gorgeous Kate the dress is fab great story about the lady down the street, I love the little reversible pinnie too, sooo cute

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  52. Did you ever read Susie Sunshine's blog (I don't think she blogs any more)? She wrote once about wanting to make skirts out of op shop sheets but lived in a small conservative (US) town, and was terrified that she'd run into some old fellow who recognised his ex bed linen. Then she wouldn't be able to rid herself of the image of he and his wife doing unspeakable (conservative Republican) things on her skirt.

    Makes me giggle every time I wear my old sheet skirts.

    I love your dress.

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  53. flipping the pattern of the fabric really enchanced the dress I think. I can't really see the neckline that clear but it looks good otherwise :)

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  54. Thats what I need to do to be able to wear my dresses-thanks for the idea! I have issues too-fronts not looking same as backs, one shoulder higher than other, the list goes on...how fantastic about the generous woman with her old linens!!

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  55. personally i think it's gorgeous. i can't see any problems with it at all.
    i love that the woman recognised her tablecloth - and how lucky you are to get more! i'm sure she is happy that it's being loved once again.
    enjoy your day
    l
    x

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  56. love your photos kate :)
    i would have thought the 'upside down' pattern was deliberate, i like it. had a laugh at your story of meeting the original owner!!
    turned out quite nicely.
    xx

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  57. I wore this dress down the street the other day and a woman stopped me to tell me that my dress fabric had been her tablecloth. My immediate thought was that this is definitely one of the down sides of living in such a small town, until she told me that she was so excited by what I had made that she was going to go home and go through her linens to see if she had any more for me. Yay!

    That's so lovely! I love the dress :)

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  58. wow Kate this is the best one yet love it so lovely x

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Kate XX

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