Here’s the pattern for the abject failure dress of the other day; see — it was the fabric’s fault (or rather, since cotton poplin is not yet known to have either consciousness or agency, my fault). The pattern, Butterick 7130, is blameless. Innocent of any wrongdoing, and without stain. Okay, with a little stain–the pattern’s pretty beat up.
I have to admit that I approached this pattern with considerable trepidation, when I first went to make it up. It looked a bit ambitious; I was daunted by the place where the bodice meets the waistband.
However, it couldn’t have been easier. You pull the gathers, you snip a bit to a corner, turn under the edge of the waistband, and topstitch it over the gathers! Easy-peasy! I only ripped it out once, and that was because the tension in my machine was wonky and I didn’t like the way the topstitching looked.
The whole thing, in fact, went together nicely. since I am shorter from shoulder to waist than the patterns think I should be, I always shorten bodices. I find the easiest way to do this (and a reason why I love kimono or otherwise non-set-in sleeves) is to sew the shoulder seam deeper — with a wider seam allowance, tapering off at about the bicep of the sleeve. I bet there’s a better way to do it, but not a lazier way, since this is a fix you can do even if you forget and have to do it after the facings are already in. (Not that I would know this from constant, repeated trials, or anything. Oh, no.) This also has the benefit of making a deep vee neckline less “where’s a safety pin?” deep.
I always meant to make this dress in a dull black silk, maybe twill or something with a little heft to it, with bloody-maroon topstitching and deep garnet buttons, so red that in certain lights they would look black. It would be a real black-widow dress, for sure. Nobody’d mess with you while you were wearing a dress like that. A dress like that makes a slightly raised eyebrow have the force of a right hook. Of course, sewing with black fabric bores me to tears and gives me the headache (I can’t tell you how many half-finished black clothes I have hanging around in UFO limbo), so I just keep making non-weaponized dresses that don’t have the power to make the insolent quail in fear. More’s the pity.
the first dress and the last dressMarch 12, 2008
HOW TO: make a three-panel skirt have pocketsFebruary 18, 2007
Secret Lives of dresses #14March 27, 2008With 80 comments