June 12, 2016

Something I've Never Done Before

 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?  


  1. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible because I UNDERSTAND what it's like to make a garment - it's like your child - so criticism of anyone's child is difficult. Though I'm so happy you remade this dress because it's stunning now. AND I understand about the closer fit...you will get used to it! Because you look fantastic in the closer fitting dress. It shows all the hard work you've put into eating better!!!

  2. I liked the dark purple top, but the pleather at the waist didn't show as well as with the white top. That is a nice looking dress, and even moreso once you got it to fit right! I hope you get lots of wear out of that dress this summer!

  3. Oh, and where are our puppy pictures! I only know you've gotten them home because of Sue!

  4. I adore the redo! The white lace on top and the twill print on the bottom look fabulous and the black pleather waistband really pops. Looks so good! :D

  5. Do this again with a dark brown corduroy with wale running down. Beautiful. You look so good.

  6. I don't think I've ever re-made a garment either. Good for you! I really like the dress with the dark plum top, but it is too big, your second version fits much better! I think the lace looks really fab too! Hooray for remakes!

  7. Oh wow! I like the first version, but I'm really smitten with the second. How beautiful!! My first Washington was all big as well and I the waist too low. I never want to redo anything either after I've made it.... I still have a beautiful striped moneta hanging in the laundry as it needs a lining....

  8. I love your final product! (I actually love the plum top, even though it was too big and didn't do your waist justice.) I find myself reaching for my Washington dresses when I need something easy but "classy" -- I'm glad summer has rolled around so I can pull them out of storage!

  9. I really like your finished dress, I prefer it with the white lace, looks more summery and I always tend to a lighter colour up top. I've never unpicked a whole garment yet but would if I loved the fabric enough


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