Here is the final thing. I did not choose the hunchback view, but somehow I sewed it:
I have wanted to make this pattern for a long time. It is on my list of 2018 sewing goals. About 6 months ago I bought a few inexpensive "shirt" fabrics. I decided to use one and sew this up.
So, it seems like it should be good, right? It looks like it fits very nicely. Unfortunately, there are 3 issues with this make. First, the fabric is heavier than I imagined. Plus it has some lycra in it. That was not so bad in one respect as it saved me from putting in a zipper. Which maybe I should have done one anyway, but I didn't have one and I was in the sewing zone and didn't want to get distracted. But the feel of the fabric with the weight and the lycra is too heavy. Something about the gathering of the shoulders is uncomfortable. I am very touchy I guess. The other thing is that don't you think I'm a little too old for this dress? That is how I feel.
Here is the final thing. I did not choose the hunchback view, but somehow I sewed it:
I did solve the problem by opening up the neckline, taking in the sides of the center seam 2 inches at the neck and tapering down to nothing an inch or so above the waist, and then sewing the neckline back up. It looks better now...but the other two problems aren't going away. I will try this dress again in a more drapey, lightweight fabric and see if it helps.
I needed a cover-up for a wedding I was attending in Seattle. My nephew was getting married in an outdoor setting (which turned out to be beautiful) and then holding the reception in a restaurant on the water (also beautiful). But they couple said "cocktail attire," which is not a concept I have any experience with. Googling around the Internets and asking a coworker led me to the conclusion that a sleeveless stretch lace cotton dress I already owned would work just fine, but I needed shoes and a cover-up to go along since the reception would be indoors and thus air-conditioned and cold, which I could not handle. I found some silver low-heeled sandals online, perfect for the occasion although surely never to be worn again, so I bought them (oops, but did not model them in the picture below).
Now I had to figure out the cover-up. Surely, I could just make some simple jacket in a nice sequined fabric. I wanted purple, but could find only black at Joann's. So I bought it and went in search of a pattern. I searched my stash...nothing quite right. I bought a new pattern--I'm not sure it was even on sale, which hurts--thinking it might work. Butterick 5529:
I knew it was a risky bet. It could look okay or it could look hideous. I searched to see who else had made it. The examples weren't too bad but nothing quite like what I had in mind. But then I saw this version:
Now the fabric was very different, but the DRESS was nearly identical to mine and so I was swayed to at least make a muslin. It was hideous. I made view C. It wouldn't stay seated on my shoulders and flopped around in a shapeless habit.
So I went searching for a new pattern. I wanted close-fitting sleeves and a simple but not shapeless body. I had wanted Blackwood anyway for some sweaters, but I hadn't bought it yet as I am trying to be good about buying anything until my fabric stash is reduced in volume and the patterns already purchased have been opened and tried. But as I was in need of a pattern for a specific project and an actual occasion, I was absolved of any responsibility or guilt and I went ahead and bought it. There was no time by this point to make a muslin. I made the shorter version but without the band. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It was comfortable and did the trick. It dressed up my outfit and I certainly felt I was in cocktail attire. The sequins on the sleeves did stick to those on the body on occasion, but it was not too bad. It kept me warm! I will definitely use the Blackwood for a sweater.
I see the bottom hem is a mess. Oh well. This will probably join the silver sandals as a one-time wear. If I do have occasion to wear it again, I will revisit the hem.
There are 25 million successful Monetas on the Internets. Mine is not one of them. I'm not even going to finish the neckline. I'm going to take it apart and reuse the fabric if I can. It's a knit bamboo, and a little heavy. The fabric feels nice on. But maybe the fabric's heaviness is why this dress is a disaster. Or maybe Moneta is a style that just does not suit me. Maybe 20 extra pounds don't suit me.
Here are some things that are wrong with this big disappointment.
I raised the shoulders 1.5 inches. When I make this again in another fabric, I will use this variation. I'm still not sure this dress will look good on my bod. I am hoping it is just that this fabric does not suit this pattern.
My sister bought a shirt for her daughter. She thought it reflected her perfectly. But the store only had size that was too small. So my sister asked me to make it into a pillow.
I'm frustrated with trying to find a good pattern for a top with a draped cowl neckline. I have a couple, one in particular, store-bought shirt that is perfect. I could use about 10 of those for work in different colors and prints. But I haven't found a good pattern yet.
I have had Simplicity 1716 in my stash for a while (like about 100 other patterns I've yet to sew). I have pulled it out, studied it, been dissuaded by the unsophisticated way it falls from the shoulders in the envelope image, and put it back in the drawer a number of times. I finally decided to use it after discovering some white jersey in my stash. I was overcome with the desire to make a white cowl and resolved not to use New Look 6901 ever again, and desperate for a pattern in my own possession that I could use. Looking at some reviews on Pattern Review and thinking the results people got looked good, I went forward.
Results: Meh. I wore this to work under a sweater (and over an undershirt because the white jersey is transparent), and it was okay. But there is too much foldiness. I accidentally cut out view F, which has extra fabric for ruching at the hips, so those extra folds don't help. But there are pleats with this pattern at the shoulders and at the bust to produce even more folds. The ones at the shoulders are acceptable, but the one at the bust is kind of weird, not because of the fold it produces but because of the pleat that sits at the side of the bust. Seems a dart would be more flattering.
At any rate, I can't see myself making this one again, although I will wear this top until I can manage to replace it with one I like better.
I had some gray and black wool jersey left over from other projects. I made this in a size T and graded out to the hips a little. It was very simple to assemble, minus the neckband. Is this really the best way to affix a neckband? I must figure out how to use that coverstitch machine! I can coverstitch hems, but I haven't figured out bands yet. I like how the shirt turned out, but there are some aspects of it that make me doubt whether it is a good style on me.
A perfect storm of factors led to the making of three more dresses from this pattern. Here is the first.
Here are some of the changes I made to the pattern to tweak the fit.
Meh. My true upper bust measurement says I should be starting with an 8. I never trust that but looking at these pictures makes me think the shoulders are still too big. I don't think I look so good in all this print. The black and white is okay maybe. I love the prints, especially the blue and black, but I think it just makes me look frumpy and fat. Maybe I AM frumpy and fat and it's not the dress. I said aloud that the last one, the pink and white (more red and white) looks like a nightgown, and my son, who was in the room, said "yes, it does."
Well, maybe I should not have cut into these fabrics! I should have waited until I had a pattern with a little more structural detail! Nah, I am making progress on my goal to reduce my stash.
This is a test garment. I really wanted a zip up sweatshirt jacket in gray but I also wanted a bomber jacket, so I made this out of gray fleece to see how I'd like it. I was hoping it would work for a casual zip up but it doesn't really. Basically, the fabric is too thick for that and as a bomber, it's too small, I think. It's every so slightly tight across my shoulders and I hate that. I see sooo many cute bombers that I think I will try again in a larger size with the right fabric. I screwed up the alignment of the collar on this one, so I will need to be more careful next time.
I cannot remember why I decided to make this plushie for my daughter. Maybe we were talking about books she loved in childhood, maybe her prodigious vegetable-eating habits got us talking on the subject of Bunnicula, or maybe it was something else. I know I saw a trailer for a Bunnicula series that has been made, but I think this plushie project predates the series. I made this plushie about a year and a half ago.
I searched online—isn't it hysterical and fabulous that I could find a FREE pattern for a vampire bunny plushie online??? I thought this was super cute. I found it on Instructables.com (not sure where originally, but yesterday when I was searching again for the source of the pattern). It is not Bunnicula per se, so I had to modify the design so it looked like him (her?).
I didn't have the eye button things—plus would I ever find glowing red ones if I looked for them?—so I just embroidered the eyes, which I like.
I think it turned out great! My daughter loved it.