Sunday, April 13, 2008

B5179 or How to Over-Complicate an Easy Pattern



As I mentioned, I got lots of sewing done yesterday. This dress was item # 3. Described as a Fast & Easy, it really should have taken no more than 2 hours including cutting. But ask me how long it took me. "How long did it take you, Bonnie?" Oh, probably 5 hours and I almost ruined it!

The dress is Butterick 5179 and I made view C although I added the contrast band from View A and used the same contrast fabric for the yoke. The pattern was easy to follow but I added a little time after deciding the challis I was using was a bit too sheer and needed a lining. I cut out the smallest size and it still came out like a tent.I know the dress is sort of a flowy dress but what I got was WAY bigger than the picture indicated. Mistake # 1, didn't make a muslin.

No problem, I thought. I'll just take it in a bit at the waist to give it some shape and reduce the volume. I'll just wing it. Mistake # 2, don't wing it. Always measure. I ended up with a good waist size but it jutted out awkwardly at the bottom - I didn't have a cleanly graduating seam because I didn't measure. Plus, somehow I distorted the band at the bottom so it didn't line up with the side seams. I have no idea how that happened. Oh, did I mention, all my seams were serged at this point? Ugh. Mistake # 3, don't serge until you've done the final basting.

So, I laid the dress out and drew a clean seam on both the dress and the lining. And serged it. Tried it on and realized it was too tight! Mistake # 4, see Mistake # 3. Crap, by this time I'm seriously losing interest in this "Fast and Easy" dress but I want to wear it to the cheer banquet this afternoon so I persevered. I realized I had some extra room in the back center seam so I undid the band on the bottom (for the 4th time) and opened up the back seam, adding some width that way.

Basted it all together and WHEW, it fits although it's definitely not perfect. It's a little shorter than I wanted but that was because I re-serged the bottom band several times and lost length each time. The upside is the zipper turned out perfectly and the contrast yoke matched up perfectly.

So moral of this story is DON'T CUT CORNERS. You would think I would know this after admiring so many expert sewers but I got impatient. (My normal M.O.) I will actually make this dress again in the sleeveless version but I will alter the pattern up front to get the fit I want.

13 comments:

Summerset said...

Wow - you have been busy! All your new things are great. The dress was a great save - looking at it you'd never tell what it went through to look that good.

Adrienne said...

Wow! It looks fantastic though!!!

Vicki said...

Oh well, all's well that ends well (or something like that). You would never know to look at the dress that you had so much trouble. Another nice animal print!

Debbie said...

Well, the fabric is perfect and it looks great on, but I don't know that I'd have the perserverance to keep on going after mistake 2, 3 . . I'd have probably just picked out something else to wear to the cheer banquet.

Good thing you kept going because it looks great.

Lori said...

Bonnie, wonderful dress through all the mistakes. Sounds like Murphy's Law on this one. I agree with Summerset, you never would guess all the mistakes, it looks perfect.

gaylen said...

That dress looks great. I love the top and the coat. Can't wait to have a chance to do more than just glance at the pictures!

Meggie LuLu said...

Man!!! Sounds like you had a lot of trouble with that dress!!!

Linda said...

I ditto Summerset's remarks.

Jknits said...

I have so totally had projects that went like that! I always get suckered in by those "simple" patterns. The dress looks great, the giraff jacket looks fabulous and that trench is just beautiful. I'm envious of your sewing time. Enjoy them all.

Ande said...

C'mon now, it wasn't you! It was the evil Butterick 'Fast & Easy' shtick they try to promote us to get us to buy their patterns! LOL
You squeaked it out, girl! Through all that it looks great! Way to go!

Marji said...

It's a cute dress. Sorry you had all those problems.
But frankly, (and I'm a great proponent of fitting muslins), I don't think a muslin is necessary for a 2 hour dress - unless the fabric you're cutting into is super special.
So I'd bop mistake number 1 out of the arena.
I think it all comes down to mistake 3 - if you Measure the tissue before starting and compare it to your measurements, then you've got a really good idea how much ease they've added, and you can cut accordingly. (And the Fast and Easy categories are notorious for excess ease)
And you know - sometimes winging it is successful and then we all congratulate ourselves, other times, not so successful, and we beat ourselves up for mistakes. So I guess I'd bop that "mistake" phrase out of the arena too - it was just a less than successful 'winging it' time. but, you did save the dress, and it looks great.
Don't be so hard on yourself.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I have this pattern and am chomping at the bit for it to get warm enough to sew it. Thanks for a very *funny* post reminding us all of the things we should do before we dive in and sew!

Tany said...

In spite of all the trouble, it came out really gorgeous!!!