Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moments Of Vintage Pattern Woe

Sometimes our sewing can take a turn for the worst and we are left frustrated and panicking, wondering if the project will ever get finished and be wearable; wondering if we will want to wear it.
My first "I hate you pattern!" moment came when I realized I had just cut up all my beloved burgundy wax print that my good friend had brought back from Africa for me.
I can't even find the pattern to tell you which one it is other than it was a Butterick. This pattern and I struggled from the very beginning. Here's a list of what I learned and mistakes not to be repeated!

  • When you are cutting a pieced bodice on a single layer of fabric make sure you cut your pieces, including facings, in the correct direction so you can sew them together. ( I had to recut the facings twice)
  • Always do a fitting with tissue or muslin, measure the pieces, do something! Especially if your fabric is sentimental. ( I later found Gertie's post which has a great checklist for fitting vintage patterns)
  • Sometimes you need to ignore the bust darts and do your own thing! (Those were totally, terribly wrong and that part wasn’t my fault. It was a wild time getting those buggers adjusted.) 
  • When you get stuck, ask for advice! (Amongst the great tips I got in my desperate cry for help on WeSewRetro, I was reminded that clothing has changed over the years and our ideas of comfort and ease are different. This helped me with the final decisions I made with this dress.)
  • Don’t give up! (Even when you sew the left front on backwards and upside down and try to attach the midriff band upside down. Maybe one of my points should be, pay more attention to the directions?) 
Since I was on a deadline I kept plugging away and got it finished! I even added pockets!
I love my little helper!

Exposed zipper to give me all the back ease possible.

 While it’s not a dress to wear for heavy lifting or cleaning it was perfect and cool to take on vacation which is where I wanted to wear it anyway! I feel kind of regal in it. It definitely makes me stand tall, feel tall, and beautiful.

How about you? Do you have any sewing horror stories? Have you ever almost ruined special fabric? How did you decide to use it?
I hope this encourages you to keep on with your vintage sewing adventures, with a little patience we can still turn out some wearable garments!


Sassy Lassies Vintage Life said...

It is stunning. It is a glorious, one of a kind dress. Love all the details. Good for you for sticking to it. We all have sewing horror stories...I don't think I have ever had a real easy project.

EmSewCrazy said...

Thank you! Stunning, well that just made my night.
Just found your blog. It sounds like a hoot!

Cation Designs said...

I. Love. This. Dress. The colors and that surplice bodice totally make me think of Inara's fantastic wardrobe on Firefly! Way to stick it out, and I definitely have had my share of sewing horror stories!

Anonymous said...

Pretty! I like the length and colors. I'm sorry you had issues - we've all been there (I spent a solid month this summer making a top, which should have been easy but somehow wasn't!)

aaminah1964 said...

You look amazing, like a Hawaiian princess! I love the style, the pattern choice, the colors, just perfect. Wish we could find the pattern number of this because I would love to try it. Horror story? Let's see... I was making my daughters ballgown for a formal event out of very expensive tie-dye chiffon. Spent over $80 on the fabric alone. It was gorgeous. However, during the construction and sewing on my serger (which I hadn't gotten the hang of at the time), I didn't adjust the seam allowance and assumed it was the same for my sewing machine. WRONG! The serger cut too much off of each seam (there were eight panels in the skirt) and the result was a dress going from a size 6 to a size 2. Needless to say I was devestated. I am still mad about that years later, LOL!

Renie said...

Your dress is incredible. Stunning is the right word- perfect use of that glorious fabric! Enjoy!

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks! I am really enjoying your blog posts on how your sewing has grown in the last couple years.

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks, I'm glad you finished your top! It's a great feeling when you can finally say, I WON. Not you you evil pattern.

EmSewCrazy said...

I found it and am going to sell it soon. It is Butterick 6527. I highly recommend making a muslin!

Your daughter's dress story is so terrible! That would make me mad too!

EmSewCrazy said...