Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dress Number 2 in "The Cardigan Series"

Have you ever worked on a piece that made you doubt your ability to sew?  Well that was this dress!  When I stopped working on it two weeks ago, I had a shell with the lining attached.  The dress had a wonky neckline and the panel that I had cut on the bias was loose.

After waiting two weeks to work on the dress, I thought that I had worked out a solution to the loose bias front piece...add some interfacing to stabilize it.  Well that was the first thing I did yesterday morning.  I cut a piece of ltwt. fusible knit interfacing omitting the seam lines and pressed it to the backside of the front panel.  Problem solved.  The panel immediately took on the hand of the side panels and hung better.  However, when I tried the dress it was a scooch too tight.

This is when I should have been forcefully removed from my sewing machine...but no I plod on!  See at this point I had already hemmed the lining, inserted the sleeves so basically the dress was finished.  I only needed to hem the actual dress...THAT was when I decided to try the dress on...SERIOUSLY!  I mean it was my TNT dress pattern...I never try it on during the construction process...IT.ALWAYS.FITS!

Well it didn't yesterday.  So after I get over my initial shock...shock, it was more like an earthquake! *LOL*  But after the aftershocks subsided, I get out my seam ripper and start to rip.  Yes, rip as in rip the sides out of the dress, the lining..and least we forget the rayon hem tape that is on the lining!  It was alot of sewing to undo and at this point I realize that I am NOT a patternmaker...I just play one in my sewing area!

After basically ripping the dress apart...I press the seams flat.  I pin it all back together and stitch the tinest side seams that I can..and then I stitch them again...you just never know.  I hold my breathe and try the d*mn dress back on...and it fits.  No more stuffed sausage look...well okay that was an exaggeration if I only needed to add about an inch to make it work but still...

So I should be good right...nope.  The neckline is still wonky.  I thought that some of the excess would be removed when I added the sleeves.  Can we just say that I was delusional yesterday and I didn't even have anything to drink stronger than Mountain Dew.  I now have two choices...rip the neck and shoulder out and restitch the yoke or cheat.  *Hanging head in shame*  I cheated.  I just couldn't face my seam ripper again.  It had grown to comfortable in my hand and I just didn't like that feeling...so kiddies, don't do this at home!  Don't imitate me *sigh*  Do the right thing in this situation okay...

How did I cheat?  I placed a fold in the neckline, matching the piping as best I could.  I stitched it from the back and then steamed the heck out of it to make it flat.  Then I went rambling around in my button collection looking for the perfect button to make it look like it was a planned embellishment instead of the laziness it really was.



I think the only thing I did right construction wise was to insert the sleeves using the pinning technique that Ann described on her blog.



I have to tell you, she's right!  This works like a dream!  I got two sleeves inserted perfectly without having to hand baste them in...which is what I normally do and then sometimes I still have to rip one out and insert it again.

You want to see how the dress ended up dontcha!  And I'm sure some of you have already scrolled down and looked...but here goes:



Alone



With a black cardigan

Last night when I went to bed, I thought it was just okay.  However, today after walking around in it, taking pictures and sitting to make sure the side seams would hold, I'm alot happier with it.  Stockings, heels, some make-up and jewelry always makes me feel better! *LOL* 

One last picture of it:



and tomorrow I will show you Dress 3 - which was a much easier sew!  *LOL*

47 comments:

  1. Well, it doesn't look like it caused you all those headaches - and your "cheat" definitely looks like a design element.

    It's especially cute with the cardigan.

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  2. It looks great! Pull thyself out of the trees and gaze upon the forest- it looks great!

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  3. This is super cute and your save on the collar looks great.

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  4. I agree with the others; it looks like it was supposed to be that way. It's a lovely dress.

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  5. It looks great! And I wouldn't call that a cheat - I would call it a 'save'! :-)

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  6. Definitely not a cheat. It's an inspiration! Sorry you had such troubles, but the end result is worth it - it looks fantastic! I love that bias panel and the piping. It's very flattering on you.

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  7. I did not scroll down to see the completed dress until I had read everything. I'll bet you're surprised.

    You did exactly what I would have done. I would have looked for a way to cheat. I detest ripping out stitches.

    And you know what, it looks fantastic on you. We wouldn't have known you cheated if you hadn't told us.

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  8. Well it looks fabulous! The vertical piping is great and I love the mix of straight and bias-cut plaid. Glad you kept going with it.

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  9. Hi Carolyn,

    A quick Hello from Paris, just to say that I look everyday your blog since a month and love what you do.

    This dress, as usual, is nice and you look really smart.

    I'm beggining to sew and your blog give me great ideas.

    Keep sewing all these nice things.

    Cristina

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  10. Oh what a beautiful dress. The piping looks so great! It's perfect with the cardigan!

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  11. This is a very beautiful dress. Good for you for not giving up! The extra work was definitely worth the trouble. And the little detail you added looks just like it's meant to be that way.

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  12. The dress looks gorgeous on you, of course! It was worth all the pain after all. I do know what you mean though about there being some times that you should just step back from the machine - I was thinking that myself on the weekend when I unpicked something for the third time...

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  13. Phew, good save, I really like the little fold in the neckline, no one but us will know you cheated!

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  14. Very pretty and very flattering!

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  15. I love the bias plaid in the center, so it seems it was worth it all in the end! What a stunning dress :-)

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  16. Doncha just hate when the sewing gods feel the need to inject a little humility into your life? Man, I've been there too - personally, I typically swear...a lot...when it happens to me! Nice fix to produce a lovely dress.

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  17. I definitely have worked on a garment that made me doubt my ability to sew one too many times.

    The dress came out great and like the others I wouldn't call it a cheat but a definite save.

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  18. Great save, looks great layered.

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  19. It's extra good considering all your re-working. I think it's really nice looking on you.

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  20. Good save, turned out great. You look great in your dress.

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  21. You managed to make lemonade out of the lemon and that is always a good thing. Nice work.

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  22. The dress looks great! I would have done the exact same thing if I had to undo the stitches. Very nice!

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  23. You look quite THE FOX in this dress. What cheat??? Definitely worth the save, whatever it took :)

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  24. Laawwwwd have mercy! I feel your pain. For all the trouble you had with this dress, it turned out really cute.

    CarlaF-in Atlanta

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  25. This is such a gorgeous dress. I love the piping and the bias front panel. It may have been a pain to make but I do hope you think that the end result is worth it because you look so lovely in it. And your neckline fix wasn't a cheat - it was an inspired design decision!

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  26. I'm glad you came back to this one and didn't let that fabric get the better of you. You know some fabrics are like bad little elves and play tricks on you when you're not looking. Good for you getting the better of it. Your dress looks expensive and fabulous on you.

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  27. The only suggestion I have is that if I let the seams out that much, I serge them. Just a little extra "insurance" against seam failure. I agree about the sewing gods. I recently "bagged" a jacket I was working on. It's a wool boucle that will be a B* to rip out... haven't decided if it will ever revive. I'm off all next week -- time for my sewcation!

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  28. I totally love your collar save--I think it looks like an intentional design detail. How very slapdash of you!

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  29. Despite what you went through it turned out really nice... I love the fabric and the piping...

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  30. I'm laughing in my seat - the seat here in Baltimore MD....LOL...good thing the dress is so dang nice looking! "do as I say, not as I do"???

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  31. The final product is worth the fustration! Great job, you like pretty.

    Angie R.

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  32. After all frustration this is a beautiful dress. Like the combinatino with the cardigan

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  33. A+ for the clever fix! I wore out my seam ripper yesterday on STUPID mistakes made by sewing after 10pm. I do not like spending too much time with my seam ripper either. But your dress looks great!

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  34. You managed very well to adjust the dress. It looks great on you and no one will doubt that. A possible cause that your TNT pattern did fit as always is the center front panel which is cut at the bias, as you know bias cut pieces needs much wider seam allowances since it grows in length but shrinks in width. Your fitting solution was very successful.

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  35. It's not cheating...it is "making it work". Good job, looks great. But shame on you for not trying on as you go...lol.

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  36. I am glad you figured out how to fix it. It turned out awesome. Il love plaid fabric.

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  37. How do you always manage to pull it off? Love it! I have dresses swimming in my head and no TNT to use as a spring board - guess I better get busy. g

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  38. So glad it worked out. It looks great on you.

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  39. Carolyn, the dress looks great and the extra flourish at the neckline adds to it's greatness! With pin basting the sleeves, try from the inside. It gives even more control over the fullness. I am a confirmed pants wearer, but this dress and the lovely one above are tempting me to try dresses!

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  40. Sorry, forgot to sign my name to the above comment.
    KathrynT

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  41. Carolyn, the dress looks fantastic on you. If you hadn't confessed, I would never have know about your "cheating"! You are an inspiration.

    Cissie

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  42. Carolyn, this has happened to me too (where I use a pattern I've used before and I don't do anything different and...whoops, for some reason, it does not fit)and it drives me crazy when that happens, because the next time I use the pattern, it fits again and I have absolutely no idea what I did that caused the problem. I don't know if it's the grain of the fabric, or the grain on the lining or what.

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  43. That pleat looks like it was meant to be there. I LIKE it and it's a nice look on you. Lovely as always

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  44. It looks terrific! I can see it with bright red or bright yellow accessories. :D Love your blog and your wardrobe of excellent garments!

    Sew on!
    Becky W.
    Punxsutawney, PA

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  45. What a lovely dress! I tried doing the "pleat cheat" thing on a midriff banded dress, and it just ended up looking wonky. :( I might steal your lovely idea and find a pretty accessory button for it. If you didn't talk about the trouble you had with this dress, I would never know it- it looks beautiful and professional!

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  46. I should tell you now... I'm totally copying this look!

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