Friday, April 24, 2015

Sewing Fail: Sewaholic Yaletown

I've been debating whether to share this finished dress or not, because I have a love-hate relationship with sewing fail posts. 

On the one hand, I love to see that everyone -- even the sewists I respect most -- have sewing fails, too. 

On the other hand, I mainly look to sewing blogs for inspiration and encouragement. They're a slice of happy in my day. 

I don't think I'll be doing fail posts often, but I do think I learned some good lessons with this dress.

First off, I am the first to admit that I'm a bit of a Sewaholic patterns fangirl. Their patterns usually fit me nicely and flatter my shape. So perhaps I was not super judicious in choosing this pattern. I figured if Tasia said it would be a good look for the Sewaholic girl, then it would look good on me.

That was my first mistake.

The top is super blousey and the v-neck is very wide. In addition to this, as you can see in some of these pictures, there is a big lump on the side where the top layer of the faux wrap is gapping really badly. No idea why this is!

The one thing I like about this pattern is the hidden button at the bottom of the v-neck, where the layers cross.

But my normal go-to look is fitted top, full bottom -- and there's a good reason for that. It looks good on me and it's true to my personal style.

I mean, let's be real here. Look at that first picture. I look like a lineman.

My second mistake was this fabric. It's a polyester from Blackbird Fabrics. And there's nothing wrong with it per se. I don't hate polyester as a rule or anything like that. Polyester definitely has its place. But this was not my favorite fabric to work with and the skirt has some major static cling. Which is sad, because Blackbird's stuff is not cheap. I've bought some awesome shirtings from Blackbird, but both of the poly prints I bought just did not turn out. (I bought some of the flamingo print and it got sucked into my serger. It wasn't pretty.)

Overall, I don't think I'll be saving this dress. The look, to my eyes, is very '80s, which is one fashion era that does not suit me.

And I don't think I'll be using this pattern again either.

My plan at the moment is to hack the skirt off, make a waistband and get a little wear out of it that way -- but we'll see when I get to that.

How do you feel about sewing fail posts? Have you made anything recently that just wasn't wearable for you? 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

McCall's 6696 With Vintage Fabric

Happy Easter! 

I am so glad that it is finally starting to feel like spring here. Dress sewing has kicked into high gear!

This dress is my second version of McCall's 6696, which is unquestionably one of my favorite patterns lately.

[I'm still struggling with a variety of blog issues, so in the meantime, I've decided to continue on with my backlog of completed and photographed outfits. The show must go on!]

I made this version with some 1940s rayon fabric I purchased on Etsy.

The fabric is very soft and has a fantastic drape.

I originally bought it thinking that I could wear it with tights and a sweater for the end of winter, but as soon as the dress was complete, I realized that this dress is unequivocally a warm-weather dress. It's just too floaty and drapey for cold weather. And the fabric is quite thin, which will be nice when it starts to get hot. (And for swing dance!)

Overall, this fabric was fairly easy to work with. It is rayon, but it's not very shiny or shifty, so it was fine to work with.

The only trouble I had was picking a thread color!

I finally settled on dark grey as somewhat of a contrast.

The blue has so much white in it that none of my blue threads really looked "right" to me. Dark grey seemed a good compromise.

The top-stitching on this dress is not quite perfect (I'm not used to working with rayon) and the dark thread does help disguise that, which is a side benefit.

This dress is a little big in the waist -- more so that my other version, which is just comfortably loose. The interfacing in the waistband and placket is what I normally use for shirts, but, in retrospect, I should have used something lighter. The waistband sags a bit sometimes. Honestly, though, it's kind of a "look." It looks a bit more casual/drapey like that.

I also had trouble picking buttons. I went with white, but I might change them out at some point. They are a bit more of a contrast than I expected.

Overall, though, I like this dress! It's the first time I've worked with real vintage fabric, so that was really fun.

Have you all tried working with vintage fabrics? Where do you buy them?