Monday, April 4, 2011

The Little Black Dress Headache

Friends, my brain hurts.

I worked all weekend on the Sew Weekly challenge, and by now, I would usually have something finished or at least be satisfied with the progress.  I am not satisfied, but rather disappointed.  I worked all weekend on a dress from this BurdaStyle pattern:
and since we are making it in black for the challenge, I pulled out the only black fabric I had in my stash: satin.  Friends, I do not even need to tell you how awful it is to gather satin for the skirt.  It is wretched.  Once the gathering was done (finally!), and the bottom attached to the bodice, I became concerned.  The neckline, which doesn't appear too low in the picture above, causes me some alarm when I try the dress on.  Also, putting in the zipper was a little challenging since I do not yet know how to handpick a zipper. I put it in by machine, so the fabric is distorted where I took out the basting stitches.  I can deal with it, but I think I am used to fabric that is a little more forgiving.

One of the biggest issues comes when I put the dress on.  Everything fits, but I think the gathers are causing my waistline to look boxy instead of defined.  I tried tying a belt around it, but the satin causes everything to slip around and it doesn't fit over the gathers very well.  My boyfriend observed that maybe if I could make the skirt stand out a little bit more, then perhaps the waistline would appear more defined.  I think this may involve making a crinoline, which I have never done, but I think I have some orange tulle that might work.  My boyfriend thought orange and black might be a little too "Halloweeny" but orange is my signature color, so I really don't mind :)

I suppose I'm just bothered that I am making more work for myself than is necessary.  By itself, I think the pattern is adorable, but I am almost positive that my fabric choice has left me struggling.  Creating a crinoline and possibly adding lace or embellishment to the neckline, as well as maybe adding a bow belt like this, would make the dress wearable for me.  I also need to make my vintage apron for the challenge, and I keep wondering when I will be able to get to that stage. 

Have you ever had issues working with satin?  What did you do when you had a project you weren't completely satisfied with?


  1. Oh dear! It sounds like you had quite a time. I haven't used satin, but I did have some issues once with some slippery polyester. Good luck!

  2. try this for the crinoline:

    I keep thinking about that pattern -- I look forward to see how your dress come out.

  3. Oh dear! Sounds like a few people have had problems with this pattern this week. I'm about to cut my fabric out for it, and I'm a bit worried after hearing everyone else's tales, especially about that neckline.... :-/

    Hope you get yours fixed up! (Although even if the crinoline doesn't fix the dress, you'll at least have an orange crinoline to wear, which has got to be a good thing! ;-)