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?