Monday, 22 September 2008

Butterick 4443 summer dress revisited.

I have been reading Kristy's blog, Lower your presser foot, with great interest and admiration. Now I cannot sew with the speed of Kristi - I think her last post was about whipping up 2 pairs of shorts in an afternoon (with welt pockets, no less) then a jacket in about 3 hours!!, but I have been inspired by her remodeling of past projects and UFOs into currently wearable items, to attempt something similar myself.
I have been going through my wardrobe, pulling out things that I don't wear, and trying to work out why. My post is intended to help me avoid similar mistakes, so will probably not be very interesting for anyone else. The first candidate is a dress, Butterick 4443. I made this dress 2 summers ago, first a wearable toile, then this version. I have nearly worn out the toile, which is a knee length cotton print dress that I wear about the house, but I also made a longer version, with more alterations, that has languished in the wardrobe for 2 summers unless I am behind with the laundry.
I think the first reason for the languishing was the choice of print. I bought this cotton quilting print thinking I would make something for my daughters. It has a white background, white and cream daisies with yellow centres and sage green leaves. I quite like it, but it reads as white, rather than cream and sage, so the colours are not my best. I can't change this, but I will try not to make the same mistake. It was a "what was I thinking" moment! (However, I have just made navy blue trousers, again not my best colour, just because I had the fabric, I think this is a recurring problem)
The second problem was the length. I made the original dress nearly ankle length, in an attempt to look less juvenile, I think. This was a mistake, as it ruined the line of the dress and looked dowdy and mumsy.
The third problem was my inadequate fitting alterations. If I recall correctly, I was in dire need of clothes when I made this dress, and took some shortcuts (There are notes on the envelope, as I had not yet discovered pattern review). I started with a size 12, did a FBA, then needed to drastically reduce the gaping neckline and armholes (should have started with a smaller size). I shortened the bodice about 1cm. I took the skirt in at the waist side seams only - giving an unexpected severe bias droop to the hem, which I did not allow to hang before completing.
The dress still does not fit well - it needs more neck and armhole adjustment, increased FBA, and I should have taken several darts in the skirt, all a lot of work! However, the hem I could fix. This took me 1 and 1/2 hours this morning,as my hemming assistant was a little distractable, so we pinned twice, and now I might wear this dress around the house :).Perhaps I should learn to throw things out and be wasteful.
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