I made Cashmerette's Washington dress. I was not originally sold on this pattern. But then I saw the dresses that Jennifer from We Bought a Manor and I was smitten!
I picked up a bright floral stretch twill at JoAnns and then I walked around and around trying to find a knit that worked with it. I really didn't want white, so - then what? I went with a dark plum that was in the print. I knew I had a textured pleather in the stash cupboard.
At the end of May I cut this dress along with several others. And this was the first one I sewed up. I waited about a week before wearing it - and it just didn't feel right. Something was off. Not sure you can tell in these photos - but the dress is just too big. The top of the waist piece falls just a bit too low, I could pinch out 2" on each side at the hips, the curve on the waist piece was wrong.
And I'm telling you now - those issues? They were totally my fault because I don't trust my measurements.
JB did a great job with these photos - because the dress looks good here. But I took a selfie the day I wore this and sent it to Carolyn. She asked some very good questions like what don't you like, what doesn't fit. And then she said, "May I ask why you chose a dark top?" Honestly - I got very defensive - which wasn't fair - I asked her opinion and I wasn't happy with the dress as a whole. I love all of the individual parts, but as a whole - just wasn't in love.
So then - then I did something that I never do. EVER.
I unpicked this dress and remade it. What?! Yep - you read that right - I unpicked this dress and remade it. I told you - I love all of the individual parts.
So first - I pulled the pattern out and retraced it - 2 sizes smaller in a straight size 16. In the original dress - I traced an 18 in the bodice, grading out to a 20 at the waist and a 22 at the bottom of the waist band.
Then I went to the fabric cupboard and found a piece of white lace that was beautiful. It was a small piece - just a bit more than enough for the top. So an entirely new top was cut and sewn. I did make the sleeves a bit wider, but no other changes to the top.
I overlapped the skirt and waist band pieces and laid them over the skirt and recut them.
I had to redo the hem and this time I added lace to it. Which you can't see. Now - this cracks me up - which I first finished this dress - I put it on and went upstairs - as I do whenever I finished any dress. JB looked at it and said I like that purple thing you have under it (the top is completely see through lace, I was wearing a camisole under it). Then he says "You need a purple bra to wear under that!" This from the man who thinks a dress is tooo short if my knees show! do not understand.
I think the second version of the dress is a bit snug. It feels like the waistband is riding up to find room. But it sits better at my waist now, not too low, I don't feel like I have 4" of extra room around my waist and hips and I'm still eating Whole 30 - so I'm gonna assume it will be much more comfortable soon.
So - did you figure out what it was that I never do? I have NEVER remade a garment. Once it's done, it's done. If something doesn't work when I wear it - I make note (usually mental) and make changes the next time I use the pattern and the garment goes on to the goodwill box. These pieces deserved to be remade. I am so happy with the second finished dress! Thanks go to Jennifer at We Bought a Manor for inspiring the original dress and to Carolyn for always being a supportive and honest friend. And finally - to Jenny for making wonderful patterns for curvy girls!
So do you remake something that you love that doesn't quite work right?
June 12, 2016
May 27, 2016
Since last last year - I've been thinking about doing a Whole 30. If I lost a pound or two that would be a bonus - but really I had some underlying health issues.
I have thyroid issues, I wasn't sleeping more than about 3 hours a night, I had heartburn more often than not, I woke up with a migraine level headache 14 out of 15 days and I had no energy at all.
I really, really had to work up to this. I first mentioned it to JB in August last year. I googled some blogs, I looked at recipes, and I watched as a few of my sewing friends on InstaGram went through their Whole 30s and posted food photos.
I bought the book in January and started reading it. All while just thinking about it. Finally - I picked a date to start. Carolyn was coming to visit and there were some food events happening and I didn't want to be 'that person' - so I started my Whole 30 on Monday, February 29th. With the exception of a few days around Day 30 - I haven't even really had a hard time. I also haven't had heartburn or a headache since early March. I'm sleeping 7+ hours of sleep a night and I have energy. I've even started working out regularly. I feel good. Oh - and the side benefit - I've managed to drop 25#.
I've done all 5 of my reintroduction days with no real horrible results - although I did have a slight allergic reaction to sugar - which seems strange but honestly refined sugar makes the roof of my mouth itch! Last Sunday - I had dairy, grains & sugar - thanks to a sewists brunch and quiche and a lovely cake. I had to try both of them. Sunday afternoon I was sewing and having issues with fitting a garment - nothing unusual - but honestly - I was livid, and so angry! Now - a few days later - I'm wondering if it was the combo of foods that I hadn't eaten in a while.
At this point - the middle of May - 10 weeks after starting this 'experimental journey' I feel great and am mostly still eating compliant - by choice. It's not horribly hard and honestly - I enjoy how we are eating and am surprised at how good real food tastes!
So - have you done a food experiment? What were your results? Did you immediately go back to your prior eating? Did you find it hard? Do you think my observations are weird? Talk to me - I want to hear about it.
May 23, 2016
AKA - The Bronco's Dress.
Once again I was a tester for Cashmerette. I am currently having a love/hate relationship with pattern testing. There are a few reasons for this. A. I've mentioned before that I really, really dislike putting together PDFs and no matter how careful I am in trimming my pages, I always have trouble putting them together and getting them to lay flat - BUT I realize that is on me and not the pattern. 2. I often feel like testing feels like a job and takes the relaxing out of sewing for me. Those issues aside - when I saw the line drawings for the Upton dress I was All In!
At that same shopping trip with Niema where I bought the Nicole Miller animal print - I also bought this Nicole Miller rayon twill. I loved the colors.
The Upton is a sleeveless dress, with a 4 dart bodice front, and both waist and shoulder darts in the back. There are 2 neckline options (V or Round). There is a waist band and the option of a deep box pleats or a gored skirt. If you need to have sleeves it would be easy enough to add a sleeve - I'm a big fan of adding the football shaped cap sleeve to sleeveless dresses - it adds just enough that if your job dress code requires sleeves, you'd be compliant.
And - the Upton has all important pockets and is lined through the waist with a back zipper. I would add either belt loops or thread chains to a future make because I like wearing a belt but like to keep it on the waistband.
In the view I made (V-neck, box pleats) there is no neckline gaping, no need for a swayback adjustment and it's a fun, twirly, girly dress - but subdued enough for work wear.
Due to the testing period - I finished this dress right before the Superbowl and is my habit, I wore my newly finished dress to the Superbowl party we went to. Because my fabric is navy blue with pops of orange - JB dubbed it The Broncos Dress! Apparently what I wear influences the outcome of the SuperBowl because the Broncos won. There has been a request to make an Eagles dress :\
If I remember correctly (I really should start drafting blog posts as I make things, rather than try to remember 5 month later!) I assembled and traced the PDF one weekend while I was prepping my fabric. The next weekend I cut it out and sewed it up. There is a beautifully inserted orange invisible zipper - which has never been undone because in it's too big state - the dress slips right over my head without unzipping.
|See how good the back looks?|
- This is a great dress that is easy to wear
- It feel feminine and flirty
- In the scoop neck, gored skirt in wool it would be a workhorse
- This pattern will be used make a great TNT to do 'inspiration' dresses ala Carolyn