Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Pyrrhic "Sew for Victory" Victory


After the success of my Sew for Victory blouse, I thought I'd go for broke and try a dress from this 1940s pattern. It's a fairly simple pattern, and I thought it'd go well with this yellow flower print I'd picked out. I really dug the diagonal darting on the sides of the bust, as well as the classic 40s cut of the skirt.








I went the whole nine yards with this thing: vintage metal zipper, vintage self-fabric belt, all of it, and I sewed happily along riiiight up until I started tailoring. As sewn, the waist was a little long, and the shoulders didn't sit quite right, coming off the form a little rather than lying flush against it.  Having done a not inconsequential amount of fitting/tailoring, I thought these would be pretty easy fixes, but man, I was wrong. The waistline debacle was my own fault--I raised it too much, then didn't realize it until I'd put in the zipper--but the shoulders were a nightmare. The instructions for the shoulder pads were, at least to me, indecipherable, so after trying a couple alternatives, I simply sewed a thin crinoline version rather than the stuffed shoulder pads the pattern calls for. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! 
The tough part here is that the pattern called for four end sections. I used the drawing in this direction to shape the pads, but they were still too oddly-shaped.
This is what I came up with originally, and it was close, but no cigar.
The pattern pieces created shoulder pads bigger than my palms.

The sleeve shape may have had something to do with the difficulty of fitting in the pads: because the sleeves are raglan cap style, they already broaden the look of the shoulders. Adding that much padding brings the line out even further, and because they cut straight out to the sides, adding height just pushes up the neckline, unless the wearer's shoulders slope downwards.  Aka this looked like a football uniform complete with sunken-in neck.


When all's said and done, I'm fairly happy with how this dress turned out, but boy, did I not want to look at it for a solid week after finishing.  This summer I'll be working on my sewing skills, so I hope to revisit it and fix the fit issues I still have here--it still doesn't sit flush against the shoulder/neck, and it rides up a little at the waist.

So, this one was more a pyrrhic "Sew for Victory" victory, but hey, it's my first dress, so I'll take it.

8 comments :

  1. Well, it looks dang cute now... I wouldn't have known it was such a struggle if you hadn't told me! And congrats on a First Dress Project!

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  2. Well done you, amazing job. The fabric is so sweet and you look great in it. Can you make me one? X

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  3. Despite all of the hurdles, it looks marvelous! Great color too!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  4. The dress came out beautiful, such a nice pattern. The fabric is perfect and very summery. Seeing it on you, I would never guess you had any problems :) Well done!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad the issues aren't noticeable-- makes it a lot easier to want to wear it again...

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  5. Beautiful dress, and beautiful you.

    I love your blog ;)

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    1. Thanks so much, and I'm so happy to find your blog-- you have such beautiful photos!

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  6. this dress is super cute ... well done!

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