Let’s take a look at makes that didn’t work! I did a similar exercise years ago, and discovered every single make that didn’t work came down to either poor finishing or poor fitting, so I took some proper lessons. Best sewing thing I’ve done since actually learning to sew!
Ever since then I’ve keep a list of what I make and how it worked, but it’s good to take a specific look at what doesn’t work, to see what’s to be learnt. Feel free to comment honestly, whether to point out things I’ve missed, or just tell me I’m over-analysing :-P (And please excuse the mirror-selfies. My christmas wish list is basically ‘GOOD CAMERA‘)
Oh noes! My beautiful jacket? I’m so pleased with myself for having pulled the jacket off, but not so pleased with the actual jacket. Important distinction!
The fit just … Not Happy! Too big in the waist, and I’m not sure I can actually fit it close enough to look good either. The huge waist is the pattern itself. What looks like an hourglass pattern from the line drawings …
is, when you look at the actual pattern pieces, a box with godets at the waist. And I’m not a box with hips. Look at these piccies – boxes with godets (with apologies to the women who were so kind to do pattern reviews on it). Gah!
I also adjusted the neckline, the original long rectangular neckline was going to look awful when I wore it open.
The peplum-effect is off too. I based the shape on this Burdastyle top, that I’ve made before and found it quite pleasing, but I didn’t pull it off in the jacket. (May not be clear from the pictures.)
Lessons – good
- I can actually sew with cotton velveteen in this climate! Weehee!
- A colour that suits me so beautifully draws attention away from poor fit and shape.
Lessons – bad
- I’m mad at myself for not going with my gut instinct about the fit not being good for my body.
- More than two major changes to a pattern (waist, peplum, neckline) … might be better looking for a pattern closer to what I actually want?
The A-line knit skirt in the jacket picture got chopped up to make t-shirt yarn. Why? The style was stupidly hard to style nicely on my figure, and the fabric faded badly.
- a-line skirts with straight hems are hard to style nicely on my figure.
- Nothing fixes crappy fabric. Spotlight knit cotton is crappy.
Green dress with roses
Disclaimer: I ADORE this dress. It’s easy to wear, cool, comfortable, pretty pretty fabric. Looks gorgeous irl, takes me anywhere.
It just isn’t what I intended! It was supposed to be a loose slouchy casual dress, but irl it’s rather dressy. The slouchy look on the pattern envelope isn’t the style, it’s that it doesn’t fit properly on the model. *sigh* Caught out.
I drafted the collar myself. The shoulders ended up too wide – I have to push my bra straps to the edge so they don’t show. (And if they show they look terrible) The collar doesn’t sit well over the buttons.
- Pretty pretty fabric (especially poplin) is hard to make slouchy and casual! It is extra-important to use a casual pattern to pull it off. Or casual fabric. Perfectly matching hand-crochet trim and buttons aren’t gonna help either.
- Duh, necklines duh. I made this one up myself, so it was my bad.
No idea about the collar. Use a proper pattern? Only extend the collar to the beginning of the button placket?
A fitting issue -
Guess what it is! (It isn’t the waist being too tight, trust me, these fit me in the waist.)
I still don’t know how to fit my little short back (or back waist?) properly! However, looking at other photos where it is fitted nicely they can be summed up in one word: Empire line.
I think it might be worth a post unto itself actually, comparing what is well-fitted, and what billows, and try to figure out WHY!
Beautiful! But …
I even managed to fit the back nicely!
What’s wrong? The damned thing kept creeping up over my bust and towards the back. The front nearly choked me. And yes, the shoulder seam was supposedly in the right place.
I don’t know! Another top, from this pattern, did it too. (Yeah, vintage, from an op-shop, why do you ask? :-D)
What was happening with the above pattern was not enough fabric across the front shoulders, so it was ‘borrowing’ from the wider bust area, which of course was lower down, so the whole thing slid backwards. Is this what my lovely white top did? I don’t know. I just know I wish I did know to avoid it ever again! Because a similar thing happened with my ‘walkaway dress’ muslin which was actually a top.
That’s enough! I might do more in my sewing visual diary, see what I come up with. I think I’ll do the opposite next blog post and look at why things work!