Okay I couldn't leave well enough alone...I mean it was really bugging me that I couldn't get B5620 to fit. So what do I do...I go to the nearest fabric bin (the one in my bedroom) and pull out another piece of fabric (woven silk from Fabric Mart a few seasons ago) and proceed to make another dress.
The first thing I do is cut the pattern pieces down...size 2x on the top (it was so obviously loose on the 1st version) and a 3x on the bottom. I lay the fabric down and cut it out. I proceed to sew it up. Already I can tell that this is a much smaller version...that's good, right? Since I'm not using a border print and I've just made this dress, the construction is fast. I mean about 2 hours worth of fast.
I slip the dress on for the first fitting and WTF! Seriously, the dress is still too big in the bodice and too tight in the waistline. Pulling out the pattern instructions, I see that the pattern has made an allowance for this possibility...I should take in the upper bodice seams and let out the waist area seams. So I do this. And yeah right...that's still not working...
At this point I'm disgusted and head for bed. A good night's sleep always makes these problems solveable. So after work Friday evening, I'm ready to tackle the challenge again...how to make this dress fit. I remove 1/4" from seams...I add 1/4" in other places...I try the dress on...no good. Something is off here. So I pull out one of my favorite princess seam flare dresses, Vogue 9220, to compare and right away I notice that the front seams that go over my bustline are slightly off in the Butterick dress. Because of that I'm missing the bust definition that I need. Also on the B5620 dress, when you stitch the side fronts to the front piece, they form a cupping almost like bra fronts. When you hold the piece up, it's formed like a mannequin...ummm this is a little off-putting. Because when I made the V9220 dress, I did not have this experience.
Now I'm disgusted and feeling like I just can't sew...and it hit me...this must be what newbies feel like when they make a garment and it doesn't look like the pattern envelope. It's been awhile since I've felt like this...there really was an anguish that washed over me and made me feel incompetent. I swear I had to go and physically touch the last few garments I've made to realize that I do know what I'm doing.
So what to do? What to do?? Well, my thought is that I'm gonna salvage this dress. I've got almost 4 yards of fabric invested...that I could just let go of...but I don't want to. It is obvious now to me that something is off with the pattern drafting. It is also obvious to me that this is why I use TNTs so much...but I digress.
Another night's sleep and I fix the dress as best as I can...even tho' there were some serious moments when I thought about taking the scissors to it and making it a skirt...I realize that a cardigan can camoflage alot and I'm working the camoflage for all it's worth.
Here's a few pictures of the dress as it is now:
A hand on the hip always
makes a dress look better
Except two hands on the
hips are even better
No spanx, no holding my breathe
...reality speaks and it sucks!
As you can see I added some sleeves...tho' I'm not sure about them. I may take them out and just add more binding to the armholes...but I don't know. What I do know is that I'm too close to this dress. I need to let it sit. I've done what I think I can to fix it and it's still not working...and I wonder if Connie Crawford's patterns aren't designed with apple shaped women in mind. You know women with large shoulders and large bustlines but who are slimmer through the waistline and thighs unlike this pear shaped woman who carries all of her weight in her stomach, butt and thighs.
So I am running, not walking, not stopping to think to hard about this to my TNT patterns. I have a wonderful floral print on the ironing board (last step in the pretreatment process) and a coordinating linen blend. I think a nice jacket and dress from some TNT patterns will help me focus.
Then and only then will I come back to this. Maybe it should be sleeveless. Maybe it should be cut off and made into a skirt, to salvage some of the fabric...but it's not working as is...and I know that if I'm not comfortable in it, I won't wear it.
Finally, please don't buy this pattern. I really believe that something is wrong with the drafting. Your comments were very kind and very real (Rachelle! *LOL*) but the first dress is ill-fitting and I'm well aware of that fact. I may go back in and run one more line of stitching down the bodice front to get rid of some of the excess fabric...however, I'm happy wearing it with a cardigan. I love the border print and the flare of the skirt. As many of you noted, it really is the dress' saving grace.
Next up...questions and answers! There have been a couple of questions left in the last couple of blog posts and I really should answer them, right! *LOL*