Thursday, May 28, 2015

Green Polka Dot Dress

I have been wanting this dress for so long. For probably about a year now I've been thinking about the green fabric with it's lovely white polka dots. I've been thinking about how I would wear it as much as I wear the mac and cheese dress and how much I couldn't wait to have it in my wardrobe. When I finally got my hands on the fabric I'd been looking for, and when I'd finally narrowed down which two patterns I was planning to mesh together to make it, I couldn't wait to start.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this dress it's this: perfect is the enemy of good. I wish I could sew perfect dresses. I can't. Not one dress has ever been perfect. I always see my own mistakes. This dress, however took that to a new level.

I attempted to use the top from the Butterick 4443 that I've used several times. I planned on pairing that with a rounder skirt from a different pattern. The bodice has been in the past, a bit shorter than I'd like, so I lengthened it. And since all the dresses I've made with that pattern are getting a little tight, I tried to scale it up a size. Apparently I did that wrong, because it was both too big and very awkward fitting. Huge disappointment.

So, my trusty seam ripper and I took the bodice apart, took it in where it seemed most appropriate and put it back together again. Better fit, but not great. It's big under the arms, and around the neck, but snug (yet wearable) in the waist.

The skirt did not line up with the bodice well. I have side seams that are more like back princess seams or something on the skirt. There's also the bunching that happens right on my tush, like that needed more padding. *rolls eyes*

Then the zipper. Okay, I'm going to let you in on a little secret...I have zipper anxiety. I know that sound like some weird sex phobia, but I swear it's all about sewing. I hate zippers. I'm not good at them. Invisible zippers are always visible, lapped zippers are a bit lop-sided and the idea of sewing a fly makes me cringe. I know this is something I have to get over, so I have a plan to practice sewing closures all summer in hopes that soon they won't be any trouble at all.

This zipper, it was a doozie. I put it in three times. The second time, was after a few glasses of wine. Lesson learned, don't drink and sew. Don't drink with a seam ripper either, you'll just stab yourself in the hand.

So after 2 takes at the bodice, 3 takes at the zipper and giving up on skirt alignment, I have a dress. I won't say it's an amazing dress, but it's a dress. I know that in the retail world, I would probably have found a dress that had similar fit issues and was of a far lesser quality and I probably would have paid for it with big bucks a few years ago. I've bough dresses that were worse than this. It's not amazing. It's wearable. It's okay. It's good.

If I get ambitious enough, I'll come back and fix those things, but it won't be any time soon. If I were to try to fix it all now, I would just get frustrated and somehow, the whole thing would end up in the trash. So it will stay flawed for now. What I got out of this experience is something I think that we all forget doesn't always need to be perfect. Sure it would be nice, but that's not practical. Sewing is a learning experience and what I learned with this dress was to not be so hard on myself.

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