Monday, June 11, 2018

Butterick 6333 - A Sewing Fail

Before I discuss this sewing fail, let me announce the winner of Barbara's book, 
"SEW The Garment-Making Book of Knowledge: Real-Life Lessons from a Serial Sewist."  I used the Random Generator entering 119 entries...


...and the winner is:

TONI WADE!

Please forward your email address to me (my email addy is cnorman underscore 98 at yahoo dot com) BY THURSDAY, JUNE 14th and I will forward it to Barbara who will mail you the book! Congratulations!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

After making shirts during the first quarter of the year, I really want to keep using those sewing skills.  I have loads of shirtdress patterns in my pattern stash and after going through them I chose Butterick 6333 as one of my Sewcation makes.


Honestly, after making this dress I've decided that I don't like waisted shirtdresses. I have my own personal issues with my protruding backside and these type of shirtdresses just emphasize it and my abundant abdomen. So the sewing fail is due to style and not the pattern or fabric choice!


However, since I'm in a new phase of my life, I wanted to add a straight and a full skirted shirtdress to my wardrobe.  I thought if I could succeed in getting a full skirted version to work, it would allow me to play with fabrics, specifically border print fabrics that require a seam.


I like my Lenox version by Cashmerette Patterns and it is a full skirt shirtdress. However, I wanted to try the typical buttoned up neckline of a more traditional shirtdress without the waistband. 

Well after sewing this one up, I won't be making more of these AT ALLThis dress has confirmed my dislike of waisted dresses. I was so disappointed in this dress that I took an hour and found almost all of the patterns I'd purchased with that type of waistline and put them in the pile of patterns I'm donating to the Baltimore DeStash.

When I sewed for my corporate life, I would've never sewn this type of dress. I don't know why I thought by changing jobs this style would work now, cause it doesn't. I'm sure some of you will be tempted to write about how great it looks...and it did photograph well. I'm just not comfortable in the dress because it emphasizes my backside AND that's what's most important. So please don't tell me to keep or make it up in another fabric because I'm so over this pattern/style.

Also I wanted to show that not everything I make works and to tell you that this dress almost blew up my sewcation.  It was my second make and neither this nor the first one blew me away...so I started to doubt myself. Yeah it got that serious up in here. *LOL* But it was the beginning of my sewcation and I couldn't walk away from my sewing machine...if I did I might as well go back to work...so I sucked it up and kept sewing.

After making a few more pieces and getting to a sewing zen state, I came up with an idea on how to repurpose this dress. Hopefully, before the summer is over, I will have repurposed it and will share that here too.

One administrative note ~
For those who have had issues with leaving comments lately the note below was on top of my dashboard last weekend, "Blogger no longer supports OpenID. Existing OpenID comments and your OpenID settings may have changed." So if that's how you left comments, I'm sorry you will be unable to do so now. I have no control over this since I use blogger as my blogging platform and they are making the change.

Next up on the blog is my version of the Montrose Top.

...as always more later!




44 comments:

  1. It’s a pretty dress, but it’s definitely not ‘you’ in my opinion. Not bold enough? I agree it’s sometimes worth sewing something that doesn’t work out because then you know for sure and can concentrate on other things.

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    1. Catherine - yes you’re right the print is a little small for me...it definitely didn’t sew up the way I thought it would!

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  2. You sewed it well, and fitted it correctly. And it's just not you.
    I think I appreciate the 'fail' shares more than the successes from long time sewists, as it shows you went out of your comfort zone, gave it your best and it didn't work for you. The quote rolling around our family is from Samuel Beckett "Fail more. Fail better". It is the only way we learn. This is a splendid failure, for all the right reasons - your opinion.

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    Replies
    1. SJ, I appreciate seeing the failures too. That’s why I try to post them when I have them. No one is perfect and not every garment can be saved. Also not every silhouette is for everyone...and yes there are some fit rules but not everyone is comfortable in a tightly fitted garment and I think we need to learn to appreciate the sewist’s opinion about how they feel in their clothes. So thanks for understanding! 😉😄

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    2. "I think I appreciate the 'fail' shares more than the successes from long time sewists"
      Yes! It really helps "fail" analysis when you don't have the emotional involvement of having just spent hours on a project, and dealing with your own body insecurities. When I look at my own fails I'm much to close to the situation to evaluate objectively. But looking at Carolyn's, I can see and appreciate both the failure and the solution (in this case, just not making this style again).

      Seeing an experienced, admired sewist who nevertheless doesn't always experience perfection also gives me permission to accept my own failures, which in turn makes it more likely that I will be able for find a solution. Or, failing that, to accept the failure and move on.

      Thanks, Carolyn, for being such a wonderful role model.

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  3. Nope. It doesn't work. This style really doesn't work for most women, in my opinion. I went to a school where there was both a summer and winter uniform. The summer uniform was a shirtwaister like this one. Bear in mind we were ages 11 to 18 in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The dress suited nobody, which may have been the point as it was a very old-fashioned girls school. I think if you have a figure that's very slim and straight up and down and you want to suggest that you have a few feminine curves around the backside, then maybe this would work. But how many of us fall into that category?

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    1. I also had a navy and white striped shirtwaister dress for my summer school uniform. I didn't love it and it didn't suit me either. My mother eventually made me dresses in the school fabric but in a different style (shift dress body with a low waisted, pleated skirt). MUCH better and I was happy to wear this style, which was fashionable at the time.

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  4. Ok, so I have a completely different figure to yours, but I too cannot find a shirt dress I love on me. I love wearing shirts, and love all the dress versions I see being sewn by others. But I've come to accept it's just a style I don't love on me. After my latest finished dress sits around in my closet unworn, I turn every one I make into a shirt and then wear them loads.

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  5. I agree... Beautiful dress just not you. Such a bummer when the picture in your head isn't the one that looks back from the mirror. I'll look forward to seeing what you do with it. You did fantastic sewing on your week off, I'm quite envious.

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  6. If you don't mind a little fine-tuning critique. I have a large waist circumference and try to avoid anything that emphasizes it. The length of the sleeves on your dress hits at waist level, I think if you shortened them the dress might be a little more flattering. Also wondering if the skirt might look more flattering if you took it in a bit. I think we're about the same size and figure build and this is what I would try. Just a suggestion. Like the pattern though, think it could work on you (or me?) with a few fiddly tweaks. Good luck

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    1. Susan - thanks for the suggestions but what I don’t like is how closely it fits my waist and emphasizes my backside. Taking in the skirt’s width would only point to the area I dislike more. The sleeves are a non-starter if I don’t like the dress silhouette on me...and honestly I’m done with this silhouette now. If it doesn’t give me joy when I put it on I’m never gonna wear it...

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  7. Carolyn--I want to praise you for continuing on even through your first two makes of your sew cation were less successful. I recently went through most of my very large pattern stash and anything that doesn't work with my short-waisted rectangular or apple shaped body style (I am a rectangle when thinner, an apple when fatter--LOL) and got rid of everything I know I would not be comfortable wearing. the reason many of us sew is to create clothes that we enjoy wearing because of fit etc. so I am glad that you addressed this in your posts/comment replies. Have a wonderful week, Susan

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  8. I think it is a nice dress but you don't like it and it's not comfortable to you which is what counts. I bought the Style Arc 'Autumn Dress" pattern that everyone seemed to be raving about and hated it. I wore it twice before sending it to the back of the closet as a nightshirt.

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  9. Carolyn, thanks for posting a failed garment. We all make wadders so it just makes your blog much more real! Every once in awhile I try a new silhouette but it rarely works. I'm happiest sewing from my TNTs that guarantee success. I think this issue comes from reading stylish sites/magazines which I love and then trying to copy the latest trend, As a 70 year old plus-size woman I need to focus on looking the very best I can as that's what makes me feel young and vibrant. Choosing lovely fabric in flattering colors best for me. Karen

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    Replies
    1. Karen - Amen! I sometimes fall prey to the same thing - trying to be stylish or wear whatever the pattern companies/fashion mags say that we should. However, I'm finding like you that TNT patterns are my friend and that amazing fabrics in beautiful prints and colors work best for me now.

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  10. I personally also hate shirtdresses on me. Hate, hate. I feel like a prison matron in them from some 1970s ABC Movie of the Week (remember those?). I do like some waisted dresses but I'm very particular about which ones, and they are pretty much all knits. I also respect that YOU have already decided how you feel about this dress, and for your wardrobe, that's the most important thing. Bright side? All that room in the pattern stash for more patterns you do love. Haha.

    Irony ... I'm the Contest Manager for the Shirtdress Contest currently running on PR. LOL!

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    1. Debbie - so good to hear from you! And that is irony managing the Shirtdress Contest! BTW, I use to love those Movie of the Weeks. As for patterns, I'm starting to treat them like fabric...I need to cut back on owning both of those things! *LOL*

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    2. I'm actually here all the time reading, but usually on my phone which I find such a pain to comment with.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing a fail (to you) . It’s inspiring to me to know that I’m not alone in making something that just doesn’t work . I’ve had 2 recently & it caused a hit to my sewjo. Time to move on & get back in the saddle .

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  12. I appreciate you sharing your fail with us as much as your successes. The dress doesn't work for you and that's good to know for others with similar body types who can't identify their "why". Somehow the fabric is off, too. I'm still waiting with bated breath for that denim dress.

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    Replies
    1. Catherine - it's coming up towards the end of the month. I made so many things during my sewcation, that the rest of my month is full of garments. It took an entire day on Saturday to get everything photographed and edited.

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  13. TNT...you gotta TRY it before you know it is true. Now you know. Took me a while to learn this one myself. I still get lured in sometimes. Debbie Cook mentioned the word 'matron' and that was my first thought that the dress was matronly and that YOU are not.

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  14. I agree, that is not your best look. Your hands are gifted. I'm sure it's sewn well and there is someone out there who will appreciate it. Comfortability (is that a word? it is now!) goes beyond fit and ease--it's a marriage of peace of mind and peace of body. I've been in my body for 62 years and I know what works and what's a comfortable wear for me. Failure teaches us what doesn't work. Henry Ford said "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again".

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  15. I don't know why but I've always loved shirtdresses but they are not the best look on me either (I'm short, short and thick waisted). I think it is the idea of a shirt dress that appeals. The only ones I have been able to make work are circle skirts rather than the pleated version and very long (to create a rectangle look to the skirt rather than a square). But even with those corrections they still aren't right for me. Unflattering, matronly, as well as a heck of a fabric hog. I also appreciate your honest assessment and the message that sometimes not everything is going to come out as you hoped. I really enjoy your blog!

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  16. This was one of my favorite fabrics you'd chosen, and thought the pattern was great..... but you are right..... this is so not you. And that's okay. It's refreshing to read your honest post and how even with all the experience and skillset under your belt, an experience like this sort of set you back a little. But you didn't let it overcome you and spoil your week, and you've bounced back well. You've got a great sense of style and I look forward to seeing your other, successful!, Sewcation garments!! :)

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  17. Pretty dress but it's just not our dear Carolyn. I so appreciate your honest efforts and self critique. This why I read your blog and many others who share the same philosophy. Sewing is a skill constantly tweaked, improved and always self critiqued. To bear witness to one's own abilities is not always easy and thanks for sharing yours with us, the good and the not so good.

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  18. I don't like shirtwaist dresses either. They seem to accentuate what I don't want highlighted. At least you've figured out how to salvage that lovely fabric. I also tend to get in a funk when my sewing doesn't go well. Glad you moved past and it didn't ruin you sewcation.

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  19. Well I have always been a fan of shirtwaist dresses and this is no exception. I think it looks good on your backside. I know it doesn't matter what others say if you are not comfortable in it. It looks beautiful to me. I can picture it with either yellow or baby blue ballet shoes.

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  20. What a great post. I dislike wearing shirt dresses too for many reasons. You have to be happy in your clothes.

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  21. So interesting. I find who I am, rather than who I think I should be, or who I want to be, style-wise are quite different. Just recently understanding this. I have so many dress patterns. And yet I don't make them/wear them. I seem to be far happier in typically man-ish clothes. But.. still drawn to all the flowery prints, dresses, ruffles that I see on instagram. Everyone looks so lovely! I (hope) finally am accepting this. (wasting less $ on patterns that won't be used.) (The one acceptation to this is a McCalls 6886) So. Love shirts. Won't wear shirt dresses. Destash coming for sure. So - Thank you so much. IG sewistmarolijn I post rarely - no time but I follow you! THANK YOU!

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  22. Grace here. I also don’t like waist seams on dresses, especially shirt dresses. They’re so hard to get in the right place that they require a muslin every time. That seam does my figure no favors anyway.

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  23. I feel you Carolyn. I’m not a fan of full skirted looks either. Sometimes they work for me only if the bodice is fitted and skirt hovers at the knees. Visually, it doesn’t look bad, at all. But we know how we like to see ourselves.

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  24. Thanks for being honest about something that didn't work for you. It's easy for me to get frustrated when something doesn't work. I don't have as much sewing experience as you do, so it's very easy for me to get in that "I'm a failure" head space. When I see that it can happen to someone who is so accomplished, it helps me to know that I just need to keep sewing.

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  25. It's a pretty dress so if you donate it someone will be very happy to get it. :) I'm glad you shared your "failure" because it's often not something us sewing bloggers do. I love sharing them because I remember as a beginner being so frustrated and then I read a big sewing blogger talk about a failure and realized how normal it was. Not everything is going to work 100% for us. Thanks for sharing. <3 <3 You rock.

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    1. Andie - I've thought up a way to repurpose the dress so it's not going to be donated. And I think we all should share more failures so all sewists know that not everything works every time for every one.

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  26. Truly this style looks frumpy on most if not all the women I’ve seen it on in real life. Thanks for sharing your very pretty and beautifully made dress, if only as a cautionary tale for me. Onward!

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  27. When I saw you chose this pattern I was hoping it *did* work for you since I am of similar build and can never make myself like a waisted dress on me. I have several skirts that began as ill-fitted dresses. One day I will find The Dress Pattern, then LOOK OUT! lol

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  28. It is a lovely dress for someone else. I love the fabric but I can see how this does not work as well as some other styles you make. You mention you think you can reuse the fabric so look forward to seeing the remake! Enjoy the sewcation.

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  29. Honestly I agree with you on this one-it is just the wrong style for you. It comes across as a maid uniform, especially from the back. Not your vibe AT ALL. I do like the pretty fabric and I think it would make a lovely tunic top for summer, with white linen trousers perhaps. Very cheerful and sunny.

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  30. I agree. Those are also not Carolyn colors.

    Those rear pleats don’t look right on most people. It makes my rear look like a shelf. I .like. waisted shirt dresses, but the only ones that like me have flared skirts that are gently gathered at the waist.

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  31. Sewing our garments doesn't always work as we think it should, however we have to try different looks sometimes just to know for sure one way or the other! You do beautiful work & I'm sure you could donate this to someone & they would be thrilled! I really enjoy reading your blog & look forward to your next creation!

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  32. Yep, if YOU don't like it, move on! I am old enough to be a "grandma", but I do not want to *look* "Grandma-fied" (as my daughter would say when describing some styles that do not flatter me!!!) I have a rectangular shape and NOTHING that accentuates my waist looks good on me!!!

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  33. I liked seeing the contrast with the Lenox. That style did work for you. It was helpful to see how 1 change- from pleated to gathered skirt- could make the dress look so different. I made a shirtwaist with a full gathered skirt in a fabric I loved- and hated it when it was done. Now I can see why! I am on a mission to sew some dresses- because they will use up more of my stash. But I know what to avoid now. I am going to try for a few "unwaisted" styles and see if that works. Thanks for showing us your mistake. We all learned something.

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  34. Try mccalls 6885.....it gives the look of a shirtdress but without the gathered waist....so much more comfotable also! I think everyone except a size 2 has the same problem with gathers...

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