Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Wrap Dress

When I received my package from Goodwill Online a few weeks ago this New Look Pattern 6861 was among the goodies inside. Wrap dresses seem to be in style right now. Even though this pattern is probably out of print (I think it may be from somewhere in the 90's) I decided if I shortened the length it would be just about right. I purchased this pink rayon circle fabric at the Sewing Expo I went to last year. I love the feel and drape of this fabric as well as the colors. This pattern seemed like it would be a good use of this fabric. I spent yesterday putting it together.

This was actually a very easy to make dress. But of course I seem to complicate things by discovering fitting problems when the dress is almost complete. I plan to adjust my pattern now just in case I ever make this one again. As I mentioned I knew that the length was way to long for the look of today's wrap dresses. So I shortened the length of the pattern by 10 inches. Also the pattern was one size to small so I added a bit to the sides as well. There is nothing worse than going to all the trouble of making a dress to discover that you can't get your big toe into it. And normally in the big four pattern companies you wear a few sizes larger than ready to wear. You just need to go by your body measurements for the size you wear and ignore the size you wear in ready to wear. I know for most of us women we don't want to admit to wearing several sizes larger. But it is just a number and no one is going to know what size you made unless you tell them. When you make it yourself you don't even need to put a size anywhere on the garment. Enough said about that.

Well since I joined Stashbusting September over at T-Shirt Diaries I am not supposed to buy any new stash and just use what I already have. I had everything I needed except for the perfect color of thread. Even though there are many shades of pink in my fabric the two shades of pink thread I had were a bit off. I had one that was to light a shade and the other was a smokey pink while all the pinks in my fabric were bright. The smokey pink blended well enough and I even had enough matching serger thread to go with it.

All was going well and I was trying the dress on as I sewed to make sure it was fitting as I wanted. My main concern was the neckline. Those crossover necklines can be fitting problems by being to gaping and floppy. And they tend to be very low cut. Since I am fairly short this seems to be something I run into quite often. At every stage of trying on I thought the neckline was lying smooth and covering well. But when I tried it on after sewing the facing on it turned out to fit terribly floppy and ill fitting. I am also a bit short waisted and this flaw showed up after I had the dress all finished except for the hem. And for some unknown reason I decided to sew the sleeves on before sewing the front facing on. I knew I could get the dress to fit me but it was going to take some time.

I have worked in clothing alterations most of my life so I was determined to get this dress right. I had to reduce the front neck edge by about 2 inches. To do this I had to remove the sleeves and take the shoulders apart and remove enough of the facing to make room for the new seam. When I had that all done every thing fit smooth and even the waist line was brought up to where it belonged. Now I felt like I could wear this dress in public. Now I need to work on altering my waist line as these wrap dresses would look so much better on a thinner frame. But that is something that will take much more work than making this dress.

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