May 4, 2014

Finished Projects: From a Frumpy Fail to a Fine Dress Indeed

Last night at Workroom Social's Sewing Swap & Party in New York's East Village, the talented Gingermakes kindly told me she enjoys my tales of parental failure — that it's entertaining (and refreshing?) to get the real dirt on raising a daughter (and sewing for her occasionally) — not the edited-for-maximum-Pinterest-appeal version.

I can relate. As much as I find Pinterest to be a useful tool for bookmarking, it also makes me yearn for a time when the word "tablescape" was not widely used. It makes most of us feel terrible for the fact that our mantles aren't currently decorated with Mason jars stuffed with seasonal flowers, that the light fixture over our dining table is the same one the super installed before we moved in (and not, in fact, made from reclaimed Mason jars), and that our salads are served on boring old plates rather than (you know where this is going) in Mason jars. 

So in the interest of my earnestness cred, I'm sharing with you two finished versions of the same dress pattern: Pattern Runway's Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress. But, as you can see, one is what the kids today call an epic fail:


My husband suggested I stand like that, with my hands clasped together, because apparently every other pose was so unflattering....I looked in the mirror. It wasn't the poses that were unflattering; it was the dress.
I am not amused
Two sizes too big (I cut a medium based on what the pattern's measurements suggested) and sewn in the wrong fabric, I look like a full bag of laundry. The pattern suggested shirting as one fabric option, but the stiffness widens me. I mourn the loss of this fabric. It was so nice and clearly should have been used in some other, more appropriate way. The armhole is halfway to my waist. Blergh.

I went back to the Pattern Runway website. I still like their version of the dress. So I sized down to a XS on top and graded out to a medium on the bottom (I also added flare to the skirt because their straight-up-and-down skirt did not fit over my hips nicely at all). I found the perfect fabric at Metro Textile — a striped poly that actually feels like a heavy silk: 

Happy now?

So much better. The armhole is a decent size. The shoulders don't stand at attention like a row of tinted Mason jars just ready to be filled up with your love and homemade yogurt:


And this fabric, I think, actually looks like it wanted to be this dress. 

(Did I manage to fool your eye with my stripe placement? Do I look taller than 5'3"? I made my husband stand on the bed for these photos. No rest for the husbands & boyfriends of sewing bloggers).


The covered button (and my stripe-matching) are pretty great: 


What about you — Have you ever given a pattern a second chance after a first fail? Does Pinterest make you want to smash all the Mason Jars?

26 comments:

  1. I have a simmering disdain for Pinterest.

    Love the second version!!! It fits much better"

    I just finished (well almost) a top last night that is quite meh but full of potential. I will be raiding the stash shortly for another fabric. I'm hopeful.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully you can use what you learned on the first try to make the second amazing!

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  2. The second version of this dress is wonderful! Glad you were able to get a great second version. BTW, it was so nice to meet you last night!

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    1. Wish we had more of a chance to chat. There were so many great ladies there — I wanted to talk to them all! I could have used two more hours...

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  3. Hahaha, I'm so glad someone shares my feeling of being overfed with mason jars! Although my favourite mason jar pet peeve is using them for cocktails - or any drink, really. What's wrong with a perfectly usable, nicely designed glass??
    And the second dress is lovely, great save!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I always spill on myself when I drink out of mason jars. Not designed to be a glass!

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  4. ruggy's been collecting (hoarding) mason jars since 1998 so yes, smash the jars. smash them all.

    that yellow is perfect on you. NOW you gotta make hubs shoot you from below....

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    Replies
    1. I have a small head so I like above shots!

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  5. i will have you know that you look much taller than 5' 3" on the blog. :)

    i'm sure you can reclaim some of the "fail" fabric, it looks too nice to waste! too bad it wasn't a good match for this dress. but the second version--yes! very cute. i always struggle to find drape-y fabrics that don't require a lining!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I think I could use a lesson on fabric types and drape...

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  6. Love version 2 - glad you gave it a second chance. Hopefully you can salvage version 1 into something useful! And I think I started following you after reading one of your Pinterest rants a while ago - cracked me up :)

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    1. I'm hoping there's enough fabric from No. 1 plus the remnants to make a short sleeve button-up blouse...a must better use for that fabric choice.

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  7. Dude. Ya gotta make him SQUAT. That's what I do. Adds four inches to us shorties, and keeps our men in line. ;-) it was so wonderful meeting you last night!

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    Replies
    1. My husband has the legs of a Swedish farmer so hopefully he can handle a little squatting.

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  8. Tablescape!!! Ahahahahahaha! I bet it's really helpful for newer sewers to see how much of an effect fabric choice has on the final outcome. This story has such a happy ending- the stripey dress is fantastic! Oh, and you look way taller than 5'3".

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    1. I've been sewing a long time and I still occasionally make mistakes when it comes to fabric choice. I should probably invest in a good book on the topic...

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  9. Great second try. Can you get a skirt out of the first dress? It was really nice hanging out with you last night. On the subject of mason jars and lights see the 3rd photo down here:
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/04/heartwood_the_new_pizza_spot_in_the_donatella_space.php
    the lights in front of the kitchen are...mason jars.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LOVE those mason jar lights! I actually really adore the mason jar chandeliers. I just don't like the feeling of dissatisfaction I get from ogling other people's nicer, better kept homes...

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  10. Haha, mason jars! I love the second dress, and like how you took a second stab at a pattern. I tend to toss it aside sadly and move on. This is great inspiration to keep at it, thanks!

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  11. "No rest for the husbands & boyfriends of sewing bloggers."
    ... or the girlfriends of sewing bloggers. Whether it applies to heterosexual male bloggers and their partners, or homosexual females, it's good to keep the discussion open to everyone.
    Normally when I say something like this people accuse me of being negative. I'm just trying to keep all spaces open for all people, and non-inclusive language has the subtle (often accidental) effect of excluding people, even if it doesn't strictly preclude their participation.
    Keep up the great sewing, and I'm glad you persisted with the pattern. It was worth it!
    (Please post this comment in the interests of gently reminding people that your slip of the tongue/typing fingers is very common in the online sewing world!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I usually try to use gender-neutral language — spouse, significant other, ones we love — but every now and then, when in a rush, even those of us who embrace inclusiveness will use the language that comes from our own personal experience (in my case, that's a husband). I don't mean to exclude anyone. After all, anyone who helps a sewing blogger depict his or her work is aces in my book! me!

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  12. wow, fabric sure makes a difference. I love that second one so much!

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    ReplyDelete
  14. My Pinterest is mostly food, dresses, alternative beauty and natural hair. Not too many mason jars, tho I have more than my share of mason jars at home. Originally was for storing apple butter, now for drinking and centerpieces for company parties.

    I really like the second dress a lot. I am glad you gave it another go.

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  15. "tablescape" really????? What happened to us?
    That aside...how adorable is the second version? To be fair I don't think the first version is beyond salvation...have you thought about recutting it in the smaller size? The fabric is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
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