15.2.13

Christmas Dress Disaster

I'm pleased to note that I am not the only one posting Christmas dresses in February!

This dress is not such a disaster that it is unwearable (it was finished in time for very early present opening on Christmas morning), but because it was not the dress I wanted it to be.


This is what it was supposed to be...



I think that there are a couple of reasons why it didn't work.  Firstly, I am wearing the jersey slip from this dress, whilst the Patrones model is wearing a woven, structured slip.  I could sew a structured slip, if I thought that would fix it up. 

After I made a muslin, I opted for a shorter length.  Below-the-knee on me never looks as elegant on me as on others, but perhaps in a sheer fabric it would have been okay.

I think the real problem was fabric selection.  See the photo below.  See all those crinkles.  Well this was my first time sewing with a crinkle fabric.  It stretched and stretched as I sewed it.  I stabilised the neck and arm bindings with knit interfacing, but they still stretched out.  The second (or possibly the third) time I sewed them on I actually gathered the fabric onto the bindings.


The fabric stretches and stretches even more whilst it is being worn.  By Christmas lunch it was flopping off my shoulders and hanging about mid-knee length.  Then when I briefly hand-washed it, it crinkled up even more than before I sewed it, making it less sheer, and you can see in the top photo that it is quite figure-hugging and looks too short in the armhole, bodice and overall length.  Side view shots (not shown) indicate it is more figure-hugging than is flattering for me.

The Patrones hem is finished nicely with a strip of lace, but I could not get my hands on any to match, so I went with orange pom-poms instead (having rather given up on the dress by this point).  Last year I bought pop-pom trim in 5 different colours from a closing down sale, and I have used up most of it this summer.


 These photos were taken at low tide at Cape Wirrawoi.  We go there looking for lures in the rock pools, with the hope of replenishing at least some of the lures we lose fishing.  At least that is what I tell the kids, to get them there.  I hope that they are taking in some of the details of the marine life in the rock pools at the same time.
 


13 comments:

  1. I think it looks very attractive - maybe not the shoes!

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  2. I like the dress too. The shoes do add a great alternative look...

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  3. Bummer! When bad fabric happens to good sewing enthusiasts, huh? I'm current struggling with a badly behaving fabric for a dress myself, so I'm feeling your anguish. That said, that shade of tangerine-y orange looks wonderful on you :)

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  4. Ahhh, I have often wondered about crinkle fabric. I will stay clear of it. Sounds like too much of a bother. But what if you underlined it to stabilize the crinkle? Ah, I can't stop myself from thinking about how to handle it. Must step away.

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  5. Gorgeous colour and it looks good. I have only used crinkle fabric once and that was for a top, less fabric and yardage and thankfully doesn't grow.

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  6. That's too bad you had such trouble with it. I love the print you used and the line drawing is great.

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  7. My first thought when I saw the photo was 'what a cool dress', then I read your post. How incredibly frustrating, I've never used crinkle fabric but it sounds like a real pain.

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  8. Oh yeah. Been there done that with crinkle fabric. It must be sew able because you see it in RTW but I think it must be used for less structured garments where the fit is more forgiving. Like maybe tunic tops. Mind you, it looks fine in the picture. Is there enough in the skirt to make a loose swingy sleeveless top? The colour is great on you. Shame to waste it!!

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  9. While this dress grows in length, I would try to reinforce or line the top - if I had the energy after being so let down by the dress 'on the day'.
    I do like your styling.
    Sorry about this fabric being a pain, because the print and colour are great on you.

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  10. Well you happen to look lovely in it, its a pity is was such a PITA and that the fabric grows!

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  11. I am so pleased someone else had a Christmas Dress that didn't go quite to plan, I keep seeing all these gorgeous pics of cute frocks, doesn't anyone have a novelty print fail?! My Christmas dress is still on my dressmakers mannequin, mocking me. Print was suitably cute, pattern went together well (Vogue 1940s reprint, number escapes me), the pattern is just all wrong for me. Sigh.

    On the positive though, that colour is great on you. And perhaps lessons learnt re crinkle fabric???

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  12. I'm sorry to hear this was a disaster dress, it's such an attractive fabric and the colours really suit you - and in fact it looks very nice in the photos. If the fabric is stretching out does it feel like it looks better after a few hours of being worn? I made a V1086 dress out of crinkly fabric and just hated the way it clung around my belly and flopped around my shoulders and bust, even with a cotton slip underneath. However other people seemed to like it so I kept it, and the fabric seems to relax and cling less after vigorous wearing. Every time it's washed it does revert to clinginess though.

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  13. Oh, I can so relate. Sometimes I wonder if I should just avoid certain fabrics because it takes too much equipment to sort out the sewing! It's a really cool print, though. I love the contrast with the rocks. Great necklace, too! (And you're definitely not the only one late to posting about Christmas sewing... I haven't even gotten to taking pictures of mine yet!)

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