I wasn't sure whether to write this post but after much prompting on Twitter, here it is!
I don't have a lot of sewing fails really. I'm quite methodical and usually make a muslin but the end result here isn't good and I'm not quite sure why!
The pattern is Christine Haynes Emery dress. I love it so much and every other blogger has raved about it and the perfect fit (Roisin amd Tasha's versions are gorgeous). I bought some lovely but relatively pricy John Kaldor fabric in the Sew Essential sale in January and Emery seemed like the perfect pattern for it. I love a boat neck, could easily change up the skirt and there are collar options.
Luckily I decided to make a muslin using some cheap poly crepe I picked up. I had an idea in my head for a lace overlay on the collar and I used a silvery grey lace for this.
|OK so ignore my weird face - this is the only side pic|
As the bodice is lined I used a navy cotton - the cheap poly against the skin would not be pleasant! I love lined bodices as in addition to looking and feeling nice, you can use them as the muslin. I tissue fitted to work out length issues - I added 1" above the bust dart and 2" below and did my usual 1/2" FBA. I think this is where I went wrong however. I think I made the FBA too big (more like 1" - I really shouldn't eyeball. My eyeballs don't have a clue - or a tape measure) which accounts for some of the problems. I suspect adding length above the bust was less correct than moving the dart down? In the muslin the main issue appeared to be bagginess under the bust. I get this quite a lot and got some good advice to curve the bust darts to remove some bagginess. I think I made it too curved - probably due to excess at bust so it didn't press well. I did a square shoulder adjustment and added a little to the sleeve to match (and as I felt the sleeve might be a bit narrow anyway). I didn't muslin the skirt but added 3" in length after measuring.
The collar didn't attach easily either. I was easing the bodice into it a lot which gave some weird wrinkles - I asked about this on Twitter and no one else seems to have had this problem. I wonder if the crepe was stretching but the interfaced collar wasn't - the crepe stretching could account for a lot of the other problems!
I also didn't attach the collar correctly - the centre front seam isn't in the right place when I look at other collared versions - Lauren and Kathy's and it doesn't press or sit very flat. I think this caused problems when I hand sewed the lining at the waistband. Also the shell seemed to need to be eased to the lining which suggests the shell stretched.
There were a few good things about it - the fabric has great drape and eased nicely into the waistband with even gathers. The sleeves went in perfectly first time. The invisible zip is perfect.
The end result? A wrinkly pile of meh.
Just to be clear these are not issues with the pattern. It seems well drafted and the instructions are clear. I'm totally not giving up on it as I reckon I can fix the issues.
But I don't think this version is fixable and I suspect this is partly my too big FBA, partly the fabric and partly carelessness in attaching the collar and bodice.
What do you think? Could I /should I try and salvage it? Or start again with the right FBA? I'm not super attached to the fabric. It was and feels cheap and is tough to sew with and pin into. But I love the idea of the lace collar!
Can you give some fitting tips? Maybe a broad shoulder adjustment needed given the pulling at the shoulder? One observation is that the people who have blogged about getting a great fit were narrow across the shoulders which i am definitely not! Or is it just not a good style for me and I should give it up?