Simplicity 9723 features a dress with two styles of skirt, and a jacket. At PatternReview.com, two people have reviewed this pattern and they have had mixed things to say. One, its extremely historically inaccurate. Two, there have been various issues with the pattern, which I was glad I read about before getting started. The bad comments were almost enough to make me search for another pattern to use for Halloween (yup this is the basis of my Halloween costume this year!) but in the end I decided to go with it and make corrections as needed. I spent a small fortune on fabrics for this project and so far I seem to have overbought across the board but the fabric allowances given on the envelope back are given for multiple pieces of the costume together-  there is no measurement given for just the jacket, its the jacket and skirt together. This left to me guessing at the amounts needed and at this point I have an extra yard+ of silver pleather as well as a good 1.5 yards left over of the black poly-cotton broadcloth. The jacket is done in a bright silver metallic pleather with a reptile texturing toRead the rest…

After making yesterday’s post about my old ball gown, I repaired the waistband, and spent a ridiculously long time ripping out the stitches on the two panels that hung down the sides of the bodice. You’d think ripping about about 24″ of stitching would be fast and easy, but apparently the girl-who-can’t-follow-directions not only sewed the bodice together all wrong, but she also kept changing the stitch length on different seams making some of the stitches very tight and very difficult to pick out. That’s not so bad though, right? Just slow going? Oh wait! And then it gets better. On one side of the bodice, I used pleats to make the panel fit. On the other side, I used gathering. What the hell was I thinking? Oh wait. Not only was I not reading or following the directions, I was not thinking either. I’m kind of embarrassed to have done this, even if it was years ago. I remembered as I put the gown on my dress form that when I wore it to the ball, we had to use safety pins to hold the skirt up to the bodice in the back because there was a big gapRead the rest…

About 5 years ago, little new-to-sewing me decided she was going to attend the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball for a second time, and she needed a dress. She decided to sew up a pattern she found, but apparently she had no idea how to follow directions. Today I pulled this dress out thinking “Hey! Halloween is coming up! Maybe I can sell this!” and found the waistband a mess, which I repaired. After doing so (and gathering a waist of 175 inches down to about 36 inches is a pain in the ass!) I discovered I had originally put the zipper in between the wrong two panels, that this skirt has a definite front and back. That means I will have to undo what I did, and move the zipper to the right location or else the zipper has a very odd placement when worn. I also took a good look at the pattern envelope and found I did not even come close to putting the bodice together right. I knew I never dd the pollinading (however you spell that) but apparently the two purple panels hanging over the hips are supposed to go around the entire bodice exceptRead the rest…

Yesterday I mentioned I was thinking of re-working an old dress I made a few years back and using it for my Halloween costume this year. When I initially sewed Butterick 4315, there were quite a few areas I was not only sloppy about, but just didn’t put any effort into at all. Part of the reasoning was that I was on a tight time frame, and I didn’t have my own sewing machine so was driving 50 miles round trip for a few hours a week to work on it when I could. The whole thing was rushed and there were parts I didn’t even complete. The waistband, which you can see on the left there, was uneven, lumpy, had no interfacing, and the gathering of the skirt itself into the waistband was super uneven and sloppy. There were raw edges poking out here and there too. The zipper wasn’t much better, with weird stitching around the top where I ran off the side of it three or four times and just kept going in a new line trying to make it stick. Today I picked out the zipper, and took out the waistband. I cursed myself for usingRead the rest…

As I stated on the front page of this blog, I have a dress form that I bought several years ago. When I bought it, it was hard to find one that was the right size for my body. Most of the dress forms were for much smaller bodies than mine, and the full-figured ones were much too big. When I did find one, it was expensive. Anyway, today I realized I hadn’t adjusted my dress form for a while, and went out to take it in all over. Guess what I discovered? After taking in the waist adjustment all the way, it was still too big by an inch! And the bust and hip measurements can only be taken in an inch or two more before they won’t go any further. On one hand it makes me sad because I’ll have to buy a new one if I want to continue using it, but on the other hand, its great because of how many inches I’ve lost. That opens a whole new thing though, because finding one that picks up where this one left off and goes down to a size I know I won’t shrink out of anyRead the rest…