Monday, April 8, 2013

In Which I Try Out Some C-Rowlz

   Why hey there again, how you doin? Didn't think I'd actually finish another post before October, didja? (Me either lol I'm pretty proud of myself!)
   So, waaaay back when, I did a post on me being a cheap-o and buying cheap-o mystery fabric and how I was going to make a dress out of it. The lady at Hancock Fabrics told me that they had no idea what it was. I don't remember what it was labeled as, but even I knew it wasn't telling the truth, and I am in no way a master of fabric content knowledge. But hey, super cheap fabric! Woot!
    And now, I give you Simplicity 1873:
I don't even know why I posed like this. I'm offering this voluptuos skirt up to the heavens maybe?
Most of the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity patterns I've seen have been super cute, and this one is no exception.
     Look at how cute that is! I went for view C, except I left off the little tab things and added the sleeves from view A.
    Yeah, it looks cute. Too cute. I've found that I normally can't wear clothes that are too frilly or cutesy because they make me look like a twelve year old. And that's way too easy to do as it it when you're a mere 4 feet ten inches of petite-ness, as I am. I did not keep this in mind when making 1873. I liked sewing the dress. I learned how to make sleeves and pleats. I used bias tape instead of facings (I hate facings). I hemmed the thing by hand! All in all, it turned out well. But I think it makes me look like I belong in the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.
    First of all, sleeves were a bad idea. I was thinking that, for practicality's sake, sleeves were a good choice that would make the dress more wearable. It was the first time I attempted a dress with sleeves, and while they worked out fine, I just don't like how they look on me. They're actually pretty cool; they start out wider where they attach to the armhole and then these tiny little darts make them narrow at the bottom. But I think the sleeves are the main contributing factor to the overwhelming cutesy factor the dress exudes. Puffy sleeves do not make me look my age. Maybe I'll take them off and see if I like it more.

10 darts for 2 sleeves! I put alot of work into those suckers!
   This is me copying the pattern envelope's model. The pose looks just a liiiittle different on me haha. (Please ignore the red eye. I'm just too lazy to fix it right now.) Is it just me, or does the way the model holds her hands seem a little weird? I've only ever seen Barbie dolls hold their hands like that.
   Ok, so my neckline looks super gapey in this picture. And it kinda is in real life, so there's another dislike. But mainly, I noticed that Miss Model looks about three feet taller than me in this dress, and she rocks it. I'm willing to bet she would've been able to rock those sleeves too, And yes, she is wearing heels, but my black heels are currently out of commission :/ And I'm willing to bet that she'd still look Amazonian compared to me without the heels.So maybe this dress isn't meant for the short statured
     As you can tell, that skirt is pleated. I like pleats more than gathers. I wore a pleated skirt 5 days a week from 4th to 12th grade (woooooo Catholic School! Represent!) so that's what my mind went straight to when I was sewing the them haha. I thought the directions explained them pretty well, and that's saying something since normally, I get really confused really easily by pattern instructions. Maybe this means I'm getting better.
This is the skirt before pleating. This is the first full-skirted dress I've made, so I was surprised at how long it was. Yeah, yeah, I know: that's what she said. But more importantly, I'm glad I was a good little seamstress and transferred all those markings because normally I'm not a stickler for that, and if I hadn't, figuring out the skirt would've been a nightmare. And what're those little blob shaped things you see? Why yes, I did add pockets to the dress!
    Like the sleeves, the pockets are an element I'm proud of, but that aren't quite flattering. After I cut all my pieces out I noticed a perfectly pocket shaped scrap and decided pockets were practical and I might as well add some. I followed the instructions for Colette's Hazel,  which has you sew the side seam up to where pockets are, sew around the pockets, and then finish down the rest of the seam, and TaDa! Inseam pockets!
    I didn't put the pockets in the side seam though. For some reason, I decided to put them in the front. I put them in correctly and all, but it turns out that my placement wasn't the wisest. The pockets are fully functional, but...
...well, it doesn't exactly work out with the pleats. But hey, now I know, and knowing is half the battle, right? ;)
    The thing about this dress is that I've had everything except the hem done since July. Then I took it to school where it sat in a box until sometime in November when I was like, why haven't I finished this thing yet? And then I wanted to be fancy and hem it by hand, which took hours.
    So all in all this was a super labor-intensive dress that I like, just not on me. But between all those sleeve darts, the pleats, and the hem, it took ages. Oh, and I even finished the seams with bias tape, which was also a first. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures, but let me assure you, it's there. And that took awhile too.
    I think I'm going to try taking the sleeves off. If I still don't like it I'll live. I learned new techniques making the dress and in this case, that's good enough. But if I can figure out a way to make it look good on me, it's gonna happen!