Tuesday, May 5, 2015

FO: Skewed Flowers Dress

I'm here with a new dress today :) It's a bittersweet thing, sadly, but we will focus on the good parts first.
I put in a lot of time to fit Simplicity 1419 (talked about and pictures of alterations here). I decided that this pattern was worthy of serious fitting work because it would be a good block that I could make variations on - it has just straight waist darts and bust darts, so it would be great for all the novelty fabric I have waiting that has patterns in stripes. I wanted to make it up as-is too with the fancy collar and whatnot, so after altering the pattern for my "dowager's hump" (ugh, that's so depressing), thick waist, and hollow chest, I cut it out for real. This fabric is called Flori-logic by Pippa Moon for Studio E Fabrics that I picked up at my trip to The Sewing Studio this past New Year's Day. The fabric was in their clearance quilting cottons, so it was 50% off and then an additional 40% off of that, so I grabbed the last 3.3 yards on the bolt for just $11.00 - score! The collar is just white Kona Cotton that was in my stash from an old UFO.
Yay, pockets!
I really like this pattern overall - the instructions were surprisingly good for a "Big 4" pattern, and I really had no problems with any part of the actual construction. My only issues were with personal mistakes, of course. Likes, likes, Megan, talk about the likes first, lol. So, there are pockets! I love pockets, man. Everything is better with pockets. I really like the skirt on this - the pleats are very flattering, I think, and help the fabric lay flat over my tummy.  The bodice fit came out nice, and I love the sleeves. Hmm ... what else? I like that i can wear this belt with it to break things up a bit at the waist, lol.

So, what makes this dress "bittersweet" for me? Well, just take a gander at the photo below. I'll give you a hint - it's in the neck region ...
My keyhole in the neckline is totally slanting to one side! Ugh! I was seriously so ticked off when I noticed this problem. See, here is how it happened - in all my fitting changes to the bodice fit, I had to redraft the entire neckline and facings - the keyhole has a large facing that goes from the shoulders to around the keyhole, and the original was symmetrical. All I can think of is that when I was redrafting the new facing, I never folded it in half to make sure it was perfectly symmetrical - I just traced and trusted. Never do that! Always check, people! Learn from my cautionary tale so you don't look like a doofus who can't see straight when you sew. By the time I realized the slant, it was way too late to help since you have to cut into the bodice fabric to make the slit. The whole collar and keyhole was finished. I will confess - I have been too embarrassed to even wear this out of my house. I would feel compelled to lean to the side when I was near any other humans. *sigh*
Here's a close-up of the horrendous slant. Another screw up on my part - I accidentally put the collar pieces on upside down. I meant to have the interfaced side on the top, but then somehow I didn't pay enough attention and I put them in the opposite way. Ugh. I do like the collar though, and I know that it wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't made the slant crooked. You probably wouldn't notice any problem with the collar if that hadn't happened. I used a gray satin covered shank button from my stash that I'm pretty sure came as an extra button on something someone else bought (my grandma kept all her buttons too and I inherited her stash). The gray matched pretty well, and I really just wanted the button to disappear. The last thing this neckline needs is another thing competing for the onlooker's attention, ya know? I was pleased with my sewing in all this process though, which is nice  to think of :)
Oh gosh, the back and side view. These pictures finally made me understand how Roisin of Dolly Clackett complains about her back looking derpy. Maybe it's that I now have a fitting diagnosis that I am, actually, a hunchback. I have awful posture, and that doesn't help. Also, the back collar has issues. Either way, I hate that back photo. I have a consistent problem with sewing zippers, and I may sound like a bonehead for asking, but it's never been explained to me. Do you put the top edge of the zipper tape along the edge of the fabric? Do you drop it down? I ask this because the zipper tape always ends up causing the back of my dresses to stand away from my (hunched) back. Hooks and eyes don't help, facings definitely exacerbate the issue, but I'm pretty sure that the underlying culprit is the damned zipper tape. If anyone could enlighten me on this, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, my zipper doesn't match up exactly on the collar - it was so frustrating, and I can only blame (yet again) my drafting issue since it made everything slant. It's not horrible (only about 1/4" if even that), and I have long hair, so I wasn't worried about it. I made a choice between having the top match or the waist seam match, and this area was easily hidden, so the choice was obvious to me.
My invisible zipper did go in beautifully, and I'm ridiculously proud of that :) Also, check out that waist seam matching action - ho yeah! As far as other details, I just turned and stitched the hem and the sleeves since the fabric has such a busy pattern. You really don't even see the thread.
So, there you have it. A dress. With a slanted cut at the neckline. It's a shame, because I really do like the dress other than that, so I am hoping that one day I decide to do a major hack and change the neckline to something more ... straight, lol. In the meantime, maybe I'll just look for a high collared sweater and keep it buttoned up all the way? I mean, it's a shame to not wear a dress that goes so well with my Swedish Hasbeens, right? I'm choosing to look at it positively as a learning experience - I most definitely learned the problems while making this! I'm hoping to use this pattern again with a plain neckline soon, so here's hoping I can put my new "knowledge" to good use :)

Fabric: 3.3 yards of Flori-logic by Pippa Moon - $11.09, white Kona Cotton - from stash
Notions: 22" invisible zipper - $1.50, lightweight fusible interfacing - $0.25?, grey satin shank button - free
Pattern: Simplicity 1419 - $0.99
Hours: A lot - maybe 20 total?


  1. I think this dress is really cute, and I really wouldn't have noticed any issues if you hadn't pointed them out.
    Could you just sew up the keyhole so it's not noticeable to you. You could also, take the collar off and scoop out the neckline and finish it with bias tape.
    I'm not 100% sure but I think that the zipper is supposed to end right at the top of your seam allowance, so if your seam allowance for the facing is 5/8" then the zipper stop should be 5/8' from the top of the fabric, doesn't that make sense? And your back looks just fine !

    1. Thanks Heather:) I actually was thinking I'd go for a scoop neckline, or maybe do something similar to the Blue Ginger Doll Odette. We'll see. And thanks so much for the clarification on the zipper placement. I've never had anyone actually explain it out like that before.

  2. Dress looks great, pity about the key hole. I think you should try sewing it up, that way you'd get much more wear out of it

  3. Orrrr maybe you could scoop out the keyhole into a teardrop shape? that could look really cute!

  4. I love the print and the fit! Now what I would do with the keyhole is what Amelie said, or get a big bib style necklace and wear it under the collar. It's such a pretty dress though. I also have the same zipper issue, and I HATE hooks and eyes

    1. Thanks so much :) I do love the fabric and shape, so one of these days I'll figure out changing the neckline. I wore it the other day with a cardigan buttoned up to cover the keyhole, lol. No one knew! I did have better luck with the zipper on my next dress when I tried putting the zipper lower, but that does require a hook and eye. At least it doesn't give me a hump, so I'll take it!


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