Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abject Failure

Years have passed since I last touched a sewing machine. Well, strictly speaking, that is not exactly true, but after sewing every single day for four years in college (B.S. in apparel design from University of Delaware, thank you very much), I really needed a break, and pretty much didn't touch fabric or my sewing machine for years. Then my sister got married and asked me to make her wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses, and after that ordeal (just the pressure of sewing four dresses on a deadline), I once again retreated from the sewing world.

Enter July 2010, when I decided that I would make a dress to wear to my friend Lucia's wedding.  I pulled an out-of-print pattern (Vintage Vogue 2241) that I have in my stash and have never made and decided that this dress from 1931 would be "the one."  And, after days of pouring over it, drafting and re-drafting the pattern, sewing multiple muslin versions (the count is up to three now), I am beginning to think that the ban on sewing was probably a good idea.

One of my biggest problems was that my pattern was purchased in 2000, when I was definitely a size smaller.  The top seemed to be fine, but the hip area was way too small.  No worries, I thought, I'll just grade the pattern to a larger size.  Well, now the hips fit but the top is too big.

This problem is one big headache, because there are no side seams.  Laid flat, the pattern looks like one big rectangle, which is great in theory, but how many people's bodies are shaped like rectangles (meaning their hips and bust are the same size)?

The frustrating part is that I know patternmaking, and yet, I still don't know what to do next.  I'm ready to forget this dress and move on, but for some reason, I can't admit failure and move forward.  I won't get this finished in time for the wedding, but I may try to work on it some more once I'm back from the wedding.  Of course, then I won't have anywhere to wear this dress, but every girl should have a beautiful gown in her closet, right?




rachael said...

ugh, tough one! i went through a phase years ago where i was determined to make my own pattern for (of all things) a button-down shirt. after four muslins, i threw in the towel.

Sierra Sullivan said...

That is a shame because this dress is really beautiful! Maybe you could go to a tailor or seamstress and see if they can help you?