Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Pantone or "The Jose Cuervo Gold Margarita with a Splash of Gingham" Dress

Friends, working on this dress had me craving a serious margarita. I didn't even post this on the Sew Weekly due to my "meh" feelings about it. 

Fabric: Some lovely opaque gold and "margarita" green gingham curtain material from Textile Discount Outlet
Time: 6-8 hours

Version B of this pattern is a sleeveless dress, but I don't do well with sleeveless.  I prefer sleeves any day, and since I stayed up until 12:30am putting these together, they were staying on.  I also lengthened each tier of the skirt by three inches in order to make sure the hem did not hit me mid-thigh. 


Friends, I had such high hopes for this dress.  Off the hanger, it looks amazing.  The fabric shines and shimmers, the ruffles stand at attention and spin beautifully, and the sleeves are intricate and fun.  

Once I put it on, though, we got all kinds of problems... like the inability to bend over without having a wardrobe malfunction.


It's also extremely baggy up on top.  I don't think the wardrobe malfunctions would be nearly as common if it fit my shape a bit better. I think I should have looked more closely at the pattern envelope - it looks a bit loose on the model, but I had no idea HOW loose.


To put it mildly, Rob is not a fan, even though it does spin so pretty.
 

"It has a square baggy shape on top and a triangle on bottom.  You typically look best in a dress that accentuates your hourglass shape.  If you didn't have the fabric belt, it would be entirely too boxy."

Friends, I have to agree.


The picture below basically outlines the issues Rob had with the dress.  It doesn't flatter my torso and it makes my hips look larger than normal.  I think that might come from not ironing this dress AT ALL and just hurrying to be done with it, but even so, I like the skirt portion even if I am not wild about the top.  I like form fitting but I thought I would give this pattern a try.  I was lured in by the skirt - it's the skirt's fault.


To be truthful, he also made the point that the sleeves don't really work for this dress. I can see now why this dress works better sleeveless as it lets the skirt have the spotlight - when I look at it now, I almost don't know where to look.  There is no one focal point, when the focus should really be on the fabric.  The style might be too busy for the fabric I chose.


The fabric is so pretty, but in the end there was barely enough for this dress.  The middle layer of the skirt is pieced together rather poorly in the back.  Because of the drape of the fabric, you can't really notice it, and it's well hidden under the top tier.  I had originally planned on making a vintage Butterick ballgown, but no matter how I laid the pieces, it just wasn't going to work.


A close up of the sleeves.  The sleeves are great, the skirt is great, but when combined with the lackluster top, I guess I am not so in love with this dress.


So here is my game plan for fixing this dress into a piece I love:
  1. Stitch the front closed.  I like covering my bosoms
  2. Detach the skirt, add more pleating in the back, take in side seams
  3. Put skirt back on, but open left side seam for a zipper
  4. Find gold fabric and make a wider fabric belt
Friends, have you ever made something that you loved the different parts of it, but hated it when it was all put together?  This might be my first time in that kind of situation and I am trying to wrap my head around it.  
I am off to get a much needed margarita :)  Have a great night all!

25 comments:

  1. Great review, I had this dress on my to do and now I can see what type alteration I would need to make.. I love the skirt part, fabric and sleeve and have to agree.. The top is not very flat erring

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    1. Atleast the heels work well with the dress. Pretty :).

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    2. I know, right? Well I'm glad I could help you out with alterations! At least something good came out of this process :)

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    3. Thanks Ben! The shoes are my favorites - they go with everything ;)

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  2. I hate it when this happens! I feel like most of what I made last summer ended up this way. More power to you for trying to fix it up! Normally I'm too bummed out to put in the effort after all that work. The fabric looks awesome, though!

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    1. I figure I will fix it up once I get over the disappointment of it not working out, but something must be done! Cannot let the fabric go to waste!

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  3. Can you split it into two garments? keep the bodice and the top tier as a shirt, but maybe a little more fitted an then have the bottoms two tiers be a skirt by themselves?

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    1. I think I might have to keep the top tier as part of the skirt if I split it into two portions - otherwise, my seriously shoddy job of piecing together the middle layer would be on display. And it's bad. Really really bad. But I love the idea of two garments! The shirt would look good with jeans I think, and the skirt would be for dressy occasions - I somehow envision myself running around in the skirt and saying "Fiddle dee dee" a lot a la Scarlett O'Hara. Hmm.

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  4. I love the fabric and I thought the dress was fantastic in your animated shots, but agreed with the critique when it was head on. I think your changes will be perfect though!

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    1. Thanks Christine! It's so hard to critique it when I want to love it so much, but alas, I need to be realistic about these kinds of things.

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  5. It's not *bad*, but you're right, it's not doing much for your figure. It sounds like your planned alterations will help. It is disappointing when that happens but you can make it better! The skirt is wonderful, so at least you can do something with that!

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    1. Thanks Donna! I'm definitely going to work as hard as I can to save the skirt...If only I could get those hours back that I spent struggling with the top :)

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  6. So glad i didn't fall for the spell of this dress... i too am a pear shape and could forsee that the ending may not be pleasant if i took it on I think you have done a terrific job though hope your changes can make it the fabulous dress it is meant to be! Susan

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    1. It was the ruffles, Susan! They lure you in! I only wish I had avoided this pattern, though I do love the skirt, I'm not sure it was worth the headache! Thanks for your support - I'll need it when trying to make these changes work!

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  7. Quiet a different style for you Meg. It does look pretty although it does look a little loose! Cute sleeves though. x x

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    1. I thought I would try a change, and then I realized that change can be bad. Aren't the sleeves adorable? I might have to frankenstein those in with another project at some point. i love the idea of tie sleeves for summer.

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  8. I can see its good and bad points. And the fabric is just WOW. Maybe it would be better if you took the skirt off and made it just a skirt? Then you wouldn't have it fighting the sleeves. Then if you really felt like it, take the top and put a new skirt on it?

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    1. I like the idea of making it into a skirt. You ever have that moment of clarity where you realize what must be done to save it, but then you realize you'd be without the sleeves and can you really live without the sleeves? And then all of a sudden you're like, "Whatever. I can make sleeves for anything. Save the skirt." That's how my brain is going this morning. It's a little crazy up in there with all the caffeine. I don't know if the top could be saved, but I'd be interested to see if I could turn it into a wrap blouse with a gold band at the bottom. AH CAFFEINE! YOU WORK WONDERS!

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  9. Oh, so sad that this excellent idea just didn't come together for you. I agree that the skirt is amazing. I don't mind the sleeves with the skirt. I think you need to detach the whole top -- sleeves and all -- and make the bodice more fitted. Lots of darts? Tucks that release fullness at the top? Create princess seams to control all that fullness? Then re-attach the skirt. And also make the wider belt. In gold. And maybe some fringe somewhere, and/or sequins ... just kidding. Or, am I?

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    1. SEQUINS!!! Gold sequins would be perfection! Gold sequin trim waistband?

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    2. Dear Lord, yes! And a matching headband, or Sikh-style turban. Make a matching cummerbund for Young Robbie. Glue some onto your shoes. In the late 1970s, it was a fad for a while to glue tiny sequins onto your eyelids (with the same adhesive as for false eyelashes) as a sort of sparkly eye-liner. You could glue on one as a beauty mark, or for fancy eyebrows ... I just throw out these ideas so they won't crowd my brain anymore. Feel free to ignore any or all of them! Happy Easter.

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  10. I'd probably just cut it apart and make a skirt. You could turn the top into, you know, a top... but would you wear it? (Not that it wouldn't be wearable... just would YOU wear it, know what I mean?)

    But I think you could add a wide waistband on the skirt portion and enjoy it more.

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    1. You know, your comment struck a chord with me. I think it was the "wide waistband" part and I suddenly realized a whole outfit based around the skirt. Perhaps a gold satin sorbetto that could be tucked into the waistband? Thanks for getting my mind running about this - I was stuck on the skirt idea but apparently adding a thicker band is my cup of tea!

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  11. Looks like a great fabric and I love how it looks spinning! and the cute bows on the sleeves! :) I understand your issues with it, though. Maybe it needs a midriff band? I like the idea of a gold-sorbetto-and-spinny-skirt combo, too!

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  12. well said, rob. though, my mouth watered at that fancy fancy skirt.

    i like your gameplan, because this must be salvaged! after several years of sacks, in new patterns i always cut based on the finished measurements of the garment rather than the envelope size. (this doesn't work if you're a 34" bust and cut the bodice with a finished size of 34". ask me how i know.)

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