I was naughty and it was therefore my own fault that I got caught. There is no one else to blame but me and karma came my way and kicked me in the ass. I stole. Plain and simple. And I won't do it again – promise.
It's just that I wanted to sew a nice dress, and I didn't have the right pattern. Burda magazine isn't available here (although I have now signed up for an international subscription), and my fabric shop doesn't sell patterns apart from a few things for kids. And I had this fabric just calling out to be made into a dress. All these are excuses of course – I still stole. 🙁
While doing a search for a Burda magazine subscription to send from overseas, I actually came across a place where I could download a PDF of previous Burda magazines AND the patterns that came with them. It was wrong of me I know, but I saw this dress and I had to HAVE IT.
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These pictures don't look so great – but in the magazine -6/2012 there is a fabulous photo of the model coming down some stairs with this dress on, and it just looks so flattering, drapes so nicely. It had to be mine
So I printed out the PDF of the (stolen) pattern sheets and cut out the pattern pieces according to my sizing being very careful with all of those competing lines. And I cut the fabric and sewed. Of course it was awful from the start. The dress is supposed to fit around the body under the bust with a zipper at the middle back. So if I made up the right size, why was it 4 inches too big there? Same old story every single time with commercial patterns – they are always HUGE. I still don't get it.
So I adjusted the back and the sides and got an approximate enough fit around the body. Although the zip is crappy and I planned to redo this later. But then came the right mess up – the bust pieces are self lined and once attached at the front (in a VERY deep V neck), they are supposed to go over the shoulders and meet the back of the dress and be gathered in there – see pattern illustration above.
Except mine didn't reach. Not by an inch or two, but by 6 inches or more too short. What the hell? Is my bustline so much lower than the average person? This is a Burda pattern for their Tall range so there should have been plenty of length.
And I didn't have any fabric left over to either cut new straps or put on some kind of extension. They did however just meet behind my neck so I had to reluctantly make this into a halter dress. The pattern is the same as the one on the Burda site for the longer version with the halter neck here.
In the blue dress above where the bust pieces go up and over the shoulders to form ‘sleeves' they sit nice and flat against the chest and are angled more up and outwards. But if instead they are then pulled into the middle to tie behind the beck, they don't sit nicely at all. As you can see the halter neckline version is all gapey and very revealing at the front. And so was mine – downright nasty.
I hate to have an unfinished project, so I finished off with a modesty panel in the front and a couple of little tubes on each side above the bust to gather in the fabric into the halter straps. But the bust pieces are just all wrong for me, they are so flat and shapeless, and I look all saggy and flat chested. Overall the dress is very bad and will NEVER be worn other than for these photos. I'm even pretty reluctant to show them here because they make me look so odd. It's already been screwed up and thrown in the scraps pile.
So I wasted a very nice piece of fabric and hours of my time and got all frustrated for nothing to show for it. As I said – Karma.
My continuing challenges with getting commercial patterns to fit me has just about driven me to fabric violence. Even if I make up a test piece before sewing, and find that it doesn't fit, I often have no idea what alterations are needed in order to get a good fit, especially with everything I make generally starting off huge – do I need to re-cut the entire lot in a different size or can I just ‘take it in' and adjust? How can I pick a good size to begin with so that I need less alterations – I follow the sizing on the pattern envelope and clearly its not working for me!
I thought about the last time I had a real challenge when sewing – the cowl neck dress. It finished off very nicely, but the fabric was a nightmare to sew with – so I signed up for more sewing training and took the Sewing With Knits course from Craftsy. I've still to actually finish some of the course projects from the free patterns included, but I learned so much that all of my knit fabric sewing projects have been a great success since.
It's about time that I learned how to fit clothes properly and how to make the correct alterations – it's going to save me a LOT of frustration, and also will save me a lot of wasted time and wasted fabric. So I decided Craftsy can help me again and they just have so many great classes to chose from, but one seemed to fit the problem perfectly: Sew the Perfect Fit.
I am really excited by the class description and content:
Learn how to alter your patterns to achieve a flattering fit for your body. Fit specialist Lynda Maynard teaches fitting techniques you can use to customize any pattern to your shape.
“Let's be honest: Sewing patterns rarely fit perfectly right out of the envelope. Real people don't match the mannequins for which garments are tailored. Luckily, sewing instructor Lynda Maynard teaches techniques you can use to determine fitting issues and adjust a muslin directly on the body. Learn how to use grain lines to make proper alterations, and how to reflect those changes on the Vogue pattern included FREE with this class. Set yourself up with a wardrobe that fits and flatters your own shape, so you'll always look and feel fabulous!
What You'll Learn
- Determining proper fit
- Constructing and preparing a muslin
- Spotting common fitting issues
- Adjusting a muslin directly on the body
- Transferring your adjustments to the pattern
- Truing for perfect pattern and grain lines “
I've got quite a few projects in mind at the moment, and have started some and failed spectacularly, so this is just in time. My blogging has dropped off a little as I don't have much to show for my sewing time recently. But if I can find the time to watch these classes, I KNOW that my next projects will perhaps take me longer to work on, but in the end will fit me properly and be something I can be proud of!
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy