Thursday, August 06, 2009

My space-age, Swiss-Milkmaid dress

Every so often, I make something that I look at and say - what the heck?

This dress (that I affectionately call the space-age swiss-milkmaid dress) fits that bill. What a disaster! Everything about this dress was painful and flawed. Ah well. It will go straight to the back of my closet, where I'll never wear it, but at-least it was a muslin, and at-least I got to finish a UFO, started way back in March.

Let's review it, shall we?

Fabric: One yard of a yellow cotton, about $4ish.

Pattern: BWOF 04-2008-118.

Pattern notes:
Ouch, this really, really stretched my sewing skills. First, all the curved seams in the bodice involved in setting the white band really challenged me. The skirt, with hidden welt pockets behind the a mock-welt pocket, and a inset-seam to get it all together, coupled with unclear pictures and typical BWOF instruction (I really was guessing at the assembly most of the time) - that was a disaster. Along the way -

- I realized the dress, cut in a size 38, but with no petite adjustments, didn't fit. I therefore had to rip the bodice and skirt apart, take an inch off the bodice bottom, rip out and re-sew the bust darts, cut an inch off the skirt top, and then put it all back.

- I sewed one of the pockets wrong, so it was upside down. It was bizarre. And there was no good way to adjust it, since it was already a welt-pocket. I adjusted by just cutting into the pocket fabric, and flipping it. Not pretty.

- The yellow - too thin. I wanted to line it, but at the end of the day, I was done. It was all I could do to finish it. (In the pictures, I'm wearing a slip.)

Also, my skirt - disaster. If you look at it, it puckers like crazy - at the side mock-welt-pockets, at the front, and pretty much everywhere else.

Actually, who am I kidding? The bodice is a disaster as well. It is all a disaster, honestly.

Time taken: Clearly, forever. I had to keep putting this away, I was getting so frustrated with it. Let's go with about a week of work?

Good things: It was a muslin. I didn't ruin my good cloth.

Bad things: Where do I start? It isn't just that I made a ton of mistakes with this. At the end of the day, I learned a lot, and that was worth-while. No, what frustrates me most of all is that this looks pretty horrible on me, for all that work. Either yellow isn't really my color, the pattern isn't really my pattern, or more likely, all of the above.

Question for everyone - the pink & orange fabric still exists. Should I make a version of this dress, keeping the bodice, and using a plain skirt? Or, should I just call this a dismal failure, and move on?


elbereth said...

Well, my first thought at seeing the photo was, "yellow looks so nice on her." The second was "it's lovely and doesn't look as described" (altho' I did enjoy your post title)! I'm sorry to hear it gave you such grief. If you're not too disheartened on the pattern, I'd vote for making it again. Maybe after a break. From this side of the blog, I think your dress looks great and I think that the yellow/white combo was a good choice. Sounds like you learned a lot and finished in spite of everything. Pretty impressive to me!

Tany said...

I'm sorry the dress didn't work out for you... Last year I was planning to sew this dress but it turned out I didn't have the mojo for it. Elbereth is right, yellow is very becoming on you and maybe you'll give this dress a second chance in the near future.

Summerset said...

I had thought about this dress, too, but summer is almost over here. I like the yellow on you, but because of your issues with this pattern, maybe it is time to move on. Make something else in yellow.