Friday, January 25, 2013

sewing on the edge (warning: viewing these photos may cause dizziness)

I can be impulsive. No kidding. While I like a good plan, and I make lists and try to be organized, sometimes when I get an idea, or there is something I want, I will calculate and figure a way to do it right then and there…plunging forward into something without thinking it through.

Good thing I have a steady, reasonable husband to settle me down on most things…like not letting me start painting a bedroom on a whim at 10:00 at night.
Or planning an entire Disney vacation without figuring out how to pay for it.

So, here’s my most recent sewing impulse
I got this pattern,

McCall's 6600

Then I got this fabric, because I thought it was modern and fresh and colorful.

And here are my issues:
The fabric is a polyester something from Joann’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that not all synthetics are the same, you know? This stuff is like Kevlar. It’s soft to the touch, it’s got a nice drape, but pressing? Sewing? Serging???? Nothing but frustration.

In fact, it dulled my serger cutting blade so quickly that I had to abandon it to do a bias binding finish on the seams. That right there will suck the joy of impulsivity right out of you.

Pressing this stuff is maddening, too. I feel like I can’t get a nice crisp press. And you know how important it is to have a nice crisp press on things like collars, plackets and cuffs.

Impulsive personalities do not like to make a muslin. So I did not make a muslin.  I went strictly by pattern measurements, cutting a size 16 and then doing about a 1” FBA on both sides.
This dress is a tent. An actual tent. A very loud, geometric print tent.

I am SO glad I basted the side seams and tried it on first....before I finished those seams, which would have been my style on an ordinary day of living on the edge of spontaneity.

                                                                     Circus tent AFTER:

So, now I’m wondering…my first impulse was to do the drop waist with a drawstring…thought it would look cute. Cute like in this pattern drawing:

But what do you think? Belted at the waist or drop waist drawstring?
One thing I can tell you for sure, I would LOVE to sew it in a floaty silky ACTUAL silk.
Will there be anything redeeming about this dress?


  1. As much as I like the drawstring look, I vote belted. You will be able to do so many things with the dress that way. All sorts of belts, cardigans, jackets, etc.

    Good luck.

  2. perhaps it was meant to wear like a coat? but i would agree with Lori a belt would be more beneficial.
    I actually did think the photo was a coat like a spring trench, which would account for the "extra" it seemed to provide.
    good luck

  3. I love your chair coverslips. I think I remember you sewing them from a self-made pattern. Was it difficult or can you suggest a pattern? I love my chairs but ivory fabric with a large dog is...ugh! if I could wash it, well - that would be another story!

  4. I would pick the belt over the draw string. And I love the colors in that fabric, too bad it is a bear to work with :-(

  5. Oh my! That's a lot of fabric! Definitely go with a belt. Have you considered making it tunic or blouse length?

  6. I too would go with the belt option. Love the fabric so it's definitely worth the extra effort to work with :)

  7. Agree with the others, a belt would be good. I love the fabric, and you have a beautiful finish with the collar. Also I'm wondering if there is a bit too much volume and the side should be taken in? I'm sure you will end up with a lovely dress.

  8. Hmmm...good question! Definitely looks much too big for you! You could try belting it first? No doubt, you will make it look great!

  9. Low belt at the waist...but what do i KNOW?

  10. I say belt. Draw strings never seem to garher evenly for me and are a bit limiting in accesorization, like others have said. I love this print!

  11. 62 inches finished width on the size you made. Can you slim it up by taking in the side seams? That is way to much fabric. It is a beautiful print though. I know what you mean about wishing a fabric was silk instead of poly.

  12. Lovely dress and agree with the others.. a belt.

  13. Lynne, the CABI Spring '13collection has a printed shirt dress that looks like it has less fabric in the lower half of the dress. Maybe by taking out that excess fabric your dress will be spot on with CABI!!


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