Anyway, so that I didn't have two identical dresses, I thought I'd put my a-line skirt on the nightmare muslin and the intended skirt on the final red dress. This dress has a lot of positive reviews and they all look great (that should have been my first hint as to just how much I'd have to alter it to fit me). The first version I saw was The Sew Convert's version here. Loved it, straight on to my (very long) wish list.
The wearable muslin (which I do actually wear around the house):
|Vogue 8728 - the unironed, wrinkly muslin. (Looks like I haven't even pulled the back bodice down, or put it on straight, ah well)|
- that whole thing about cutting out tear out interfacing and sewing the gathering to the interfacing to get the right length, then tearing it out? No! I just gathered it until it corresponded with length.
- attaching the bodice to the waist - folding it over and top stitching? Right sides together and zip around with the overlocker for me.
- top stitching around the waist on a knit? Ah, no, I'll skip that thanks.
It's not very obvious from the last pic but I didn't bind the entire neckline - I decided to leave the gathers raw (on purpose) because I liked the look and thought it would be one more thing that set it apart from the red dress. Here's a closer pic:
|The 'raw' gathers at the neckline.|
|Sewing the gathers down on to the ribbon.|
The fit issues:
I started with a size 12 but the lower bodice was far too big and baggy.
I ended up reducing the lower bodice to less than a size 8.
|V8728 - My new lower bodice|
Of course, then I had to make corresponding changes to the upper bodice:
|V8728 Upper bodice adjustments.|
The back is where I had to take out a truck load of fabric (I think I might have a narrow back?)
|V8728 - Back pattern piece adjustments.|
I took the side seams in to just under size 8. Due to gaping at the back neckline, I needed darts there. As the existing darts weren't enough, I had to enlarge them too which resulted in two seams in the back of the dress. (In the red version, I just took approx 2", yes 2 whole inches! out of the centre back by making a new fold line 1" in).
|V8728 - Back with two seams (no, those blue dots aren't actually on the fabric - that's just me trying to point out where the seams are) - I could not believe that they actually matched, first time.|
No zipper necessary with the nightmare fabric - this would still stretch out to a size 46 if it needed to, it's that stretchy. This version was hemmed with hemming web because my machines do not play nicely with this fabric if there are less than three layers.
On seeing this dress tigerboy's eyes bugged up and two grabby hands came up "Uh, honey? It really show cases your ........!" I assured him that it was only this particular knit, due to it's thinness.
So, on to the red version:
Now that I'd made all of the fitting changes, I was on easy street, right? Cut it out, sew it up and enter the competition. Well, no, that's not what happened.
I made it up, with all of the changes (except I forgot to shorten the upper bodice in the centre more and not lower the lower bodice top centre) and the intended skirt:
|V8728 - Frump city|
Frumpy, frumpy, frumpy! When I showed tigerboy? Worried look on his face "It's not finished yet is it?"
|V8728 - Red elastic and jersey belt|
|V8728 - With thick belt.|
So, maybe the belt needs to be thinner? New belt coming up!
|V8728 - with a thin belt - still frumpy|
Well, stuff it, maybe I'm just not used to this silhouette on me - I'll hem it and wear it. Verdict? I felt frumpy all day. The skirt kept ending up between my legs when I was walking and driving me nuts. The belt kept sliding up because the waist on this dress is actually below my waist. Complete fail! Then, to make matters worse, I threw it in the wash (with disgust) and out it comes with the hem all down - hemming web does not like this fabric (likes it enough to stick to one side of the fabric though). Complete, complete fail!
Skip ahead a few months (well after the competition is over) and I'm sick of seeing this pile of red on my sewing room floor, chair, bench etc. What to do with it? Let's just call it quits, chop off the milk maid skirt (chop, not unpick), cut that down to an A-line, reattach and hem. So, that's what I did:
|V8728 - with A-line skirt. I'm sure the torpedos aren't as prominent in real life, I think that was the way the light was falling on the deck that day.|
|V8728 - doing my "did it take the photo yet?" twist.|
Still looks like I should be serving steins at Oktoberfest but at least it no longer looks as though I just came from the milking sheds as well.
The problem here (one of them, anyway) is that I should have made that top bodice piece wider (for more gathers) and deeper, so that I did still end up with gathers over the bust, instead of big blank spaces where I've filled them up - live and learn.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the gathered skirt is not for me. I've read a lot of tips that say to do little tucks instead (and I now remember that I did try that for the red version before I resorted to the A-line - it still looked awful) which is what I'm going to try for the burda dress I'm currently making but so far, it's not thrilling me either.
Who likes the dirndl/gathered skirt look? If you don't, what do you do instead?