Dress Form

The Bane of My Existance

gownAbout 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 except where the blue panels are in the front. I think because of how I put it together I can rip a few lines of stitches out and fix that too. As it stands now, the panels hanging down on one side is noticeably longer than the other.

I honestly cannot comprehend how I screwed this up so badly except by flat out not following or probably even reading the directions. The pattern I failed to follow is Butterick 4315. (Click to see the envelope) I am hoping I can fix this in a few days time without completely taking it apart, and really hope I can sell it. Its been hanging up in my craft room since it became my craft room and every time I see it I kind of cringe. I can’t believe I willingly made myself a purple and powder blue (with glitter) ball gown.

She’s Here! My New Dress Form

dressformsThe dogs failed at telling me that UPS was here this morning (!?! they usually come at 7pm) and had dropped my new girl off at the side door. I checked the tracking on it on Amazon, and saw the note that she had been delivered in the morning. Sure enough, there she was there in her box, waiting for me just outside the door.

The new girl is much easier to adjust, and will work for a long time- her smallest measurements are about where I think I will be when I reach my goal weight, and right now with her let out almost all the way, she fits me fine. The bust needs to be a big bigger, but the waist and hips adjust perfectly. I also love the color of her! I should get plenty of use out of her just like I did the old girl.

I also spent a lot of time messing with Butterick 4087, and I think I found a solution. As I said in my earlier post, I tried crossing the straps, but that caused a gape in the front, which told me the straps needed to go straight down. I ended up adding a piece of fabric across the back connecting the two straps, and I think that will solve the problem. Tomorrow I will take photos in daylight so I can actually see how it really looks on a body. A dress form can help you a lot, but its not my final say in how something fits. Either way, this is not going to be a pretty apron. Its had too many issues and almost nothing has gone right. I just want the damned thing to be wearable.

Simplicity 2365 View C

This is my next project. I’m doing view C, which is the long length with the short sleeves. My fabric is a lightweight blue shirting material, though I’m suddenly drawing a blank as to the pattern even though I was just looking at it… lol. I think its a small plaid design. Anyway, I am hoping to get it at the least cut tomorrow and maybe start the sewing. 🙂

I also spent some time shifting money around and trying to make money appear from nowhere because as I may have mentioned before, my dress form which has served me faithfully for years is suddenly too fat. All my newly made clothes will not fit on her. Some things can be squeezed on but they can’t be zipped or fastened. Enter this. Dritz Sew You Dress Form, Small. The one I really wanted has an offset leg so you can do pants and whatnot, but honestly, I’ve never made pants besides loose-fitting PJ pants and I didn’t want to wait any longer on this, and considering I don’t make pants (yet?) I really couldn’t justify spending about $100 more. I’m hoping the naysayers are wrong in the reviews- the reviews are vastly positive overall for this model and it was a toss-up between this and one other, but this one I am at the top edge of the measurements, so I can work with it for a long time. I may have to pad the bust a little, but its easier to add padding than make it smaller. 😎  I’ll be making only slightly more than minimum payments on my credit card this month, but it won’t kill me to do that once in a while. I usually pay a lot more than the minimum.

Anyway, tomorrow I also get my new ironing board, so will be ironing out my new duds as well as cutting fabric!

Vogue 1235

I had planned on getting this dress  (Vogue 1235) started weeks ago, but finally yesterday I sat down to cut the pattern. As I was cutting it, my fears and apprehension about doing a Vogue pattern pretty much melted away as I saw how few pieces there were, and how easy it looked. I ended up sewing the whole thing in the same afternoon, aside from a few small tweaks I made to it today.


I did run into a few small issues, and I did make a few minor changes as I went. The way it wanted the pockets sewn in was confusing, and I stopped following the directions at that point. It just made more sense to put the pockets in the way I’ve always done it, and not try to sort out the instruction’s method.

I opted to leave out the contrasting waistband- this piece sites over the dress, and isn’t integral to the dress. The fabric I chose for this part really did not work well and just looked bad.  I also left out the waistline elastic, and the zipper, as the dress pulls easily over my head without it. I shortened the straps by about 5 inches too- as they were, the neckline would have been way too low!

The folds in the bust and pleats in the front of the dress proved to be easy enough to do, but as usual I had major issues with the gathering in the back on the dress. I can never get my gathers right no matter how hard I try.



v1235detailI also ran into minor issues with fabric bunching up on the bottom side and I had t rip stitches out and sew it again more carefully- its something I know I need to be more careful about because it happens a lot, and I will definitely be on alert about next time I work with a knit. Ripping stitches out of this was not fun!

I still haven’t hemmed it, and not sure if I will. Its not like it will fray, but the neurotic part of me says to hem the dam thing so I can stop thinking about whether to hem it or not.

Anyway, it turned out nicely. You can’t really see the detail in it because of the pattern, but there are lots of tiny folds in the lower bust, and pleats across the center front of the skirt. There was a lot more small detail in this then I expected, but it was still fun to make.

Sadly, I’m a little disappointed in it because it looks store-bought. Apparently I picked a perfectly commercial dress looking fabric for this one.

And not so sadly, my dress form is officially tooo small to use since I’ve lost 5 freaking pounds! Guess I need a new one soon. 🙂

A Small Victory

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 any time soon can be tough. I’ve already started looking around.

I’ve also decided I am going to make a few items of clothing, then wait until I drop another size before making more. I’m also really going to focus on separates and pieces that are more versatile rather than the crazy printed dresses I’ve always favored in the past. In the last few weeks, I’ve made McCall’s 6400, which will fit for a while, Simplicity 3797 (which was a bust for now but will look better when I’m slimmer and can take it in a bit), Butterick 5011 (which needs a little fine-tuning still that I’ll be doing shortly), the circle skirt, and right now I am working on a fully lined version of McCall’s 5330 skirt, the button down view. I have all of the fabric cut, and sewing will go quickly as there’s only a few darts and its very basic, but I’m waiting on buttons to get here so for now its pretty much on hold. After that I’m planning on two more items (thinking a jumper for one )for this Fall/Winter and calling it good until I’m down to a pattern size 18.

I’m also contemplating re-using my Labyrinth Masquerade Ball dress for Halloween. I’ll need to take it in pretty much everywhere, but that won’t be too much work. And I’ll actually do the last few touches of the dress like it was supposed to be, not how my lazy ass did it the first time. Its a beautiful dress, but it makes me sad that I only got to wear it once and that I bought a hoop skirt to also use only once.

I did the dress in a powder blue and a medium purple, and if I remember right the blue has glitter in it too. Basically when I cut the dress, I didn’t measure myself correctly and cut it much too big. I never tried it on until it was pretty much finished, and then I didn’t have time to tear it halfway apart and make the needed adjustments. I also never did the over-skirt pieces up so they have that full-bodied look; they just hang.

I have to go to my Mom’s in the next few days anyway, so will pick it up then and bring it home to adjust it. And then I can be a freaking princess for Halloween! haha