Well Readers, I am humbled. I thought I was doing so well with the making of this dress, but it is so riddled with errors that I cannot imagine wearing it in public. Readers, I would appreciate your thoughts about this dress. Keep in mind that it’s not actually finished… the sleeves and skirt still need to be hemmed and the seams pressed. I was working on this dress last night when I got to this point of being able to try it on as a mostly finished garment and it wasn’t until then that I noticed all of the errors. Josh had a male friend over for a social engagement and when I showed them my dress, they assured me that no one would notice the errors… but I’m pretty sure that anyone who sews or has an eye for garment construction would notice, and would be appalled.
First off, I need to do my normal apologizing for my photos. Not only is the black fabric hard to photograph, but behind me on the wall is my dark green decorative ruler holder which makes it look like there is something strange going on with my left shoulder.
Anyway, I’d like to start off with the positive… I love the fit of this dress! The pattern is Simplicity 1882, which is an “amazing fit” pattern that has separate pieces for each bust cup as well as separate skirt pieces for “slim fit,” “average fit,” and “curvy fit.” I used the piece for the A cup and the “curvy fit” skirt piece and the dress fits me very well right out of the envelope. Which is very awesome!
The black fabric is some stretchy twill that I’ve had in my stash for about a year. I am very happy with the pairing of this fabric and this pattern – - the fabric has a nice slinky drape that is well suited to this dress and it feels very nice to wear. Even though I don’t need anymore fabric, I would like to procure some more of this fabric and make a well-made dress.
As I’m looking at these photos, I’m wondering if there is excess fabric at the front of the skirt or if that’s just how I’m standing. hmmm…
Here’s the side view, where one of the errors is pretty obvious. Josh and his friend said that this particular error is not a big deal, but I think that it is a big enough deal to actually be a deal breaker and I’m kind of annoyed that I didn’t even notice it until I had the dress almost fully sewn.
Back view. I’m sorry that this fabric is not very discernible in these photos.
Yeah, there definitely seems to be excess fabric at the front of the skirt. I wonder what is up with that…
Anyway, except for all of my errors, I love all of the style and construction details of this dress. It has a contrasting collar and flaps for the pockets (OMG, I love these pockets!), princess seams that actually fit and flatter my bust, and a really nice waistband that works well with my proportions. The sleeves are funky and I’m going to change them next time. I also like the degree of fullness of the skirt.
Now the errors! (And again, I haven’t yet done a pressing on the seams and the fabric is covered with fuzz from the sewing / serging process, so ignore those for now).
Here’s a close-up of that error from the side view photo. Somehow on just one of the pockets, I have the wrong side of the fabric on the right side. If I had done this on both pockets, then I don’t think it would be as bad, but to have the wrong side showing on just one of the pockets I think is a big deal breaker for the wearing of this dress in public. I’m wondering if I need to get a better light to have next to my sewing table… the only reason I can fathom for how I did this without noticing until the dress was almost finished was that perhaps my lighting isn’t good enough.
This next photo shows four errors, but I’ll only discuss two now, and the other two with the following photo.
One PAINFULLY OBVIOUS error is that I did a very poor job at matching up some of my seams. This is one of those sewing skills that I need to do research on how to do better. For the front bodice, I had to rip out and re-sew the princess seams and the waistband several times before they were satisfactory. But this particular seam, which is where the front bodice and front skirt meet the back bodice and back skirt, don’t match up at all. Part of that is due to another error that I made (discussed with the following photo).
Another PAINFULLY OBVIOUS error is that my stitches are showing through and I obviously forgot to check the tension on my serger. Perhaps if I had used black thread rather than white and purple it wouldn’t be as painfully obvious, but this is still a grave error to make. Shame on me!
This is all really embarrasing, by the way. I feel really ashamed.
The next two errors I don’t think are as painfully obvious, but they do significantly impact the other errors and the overall appearance of the dress.
The first error was somewhat intentional. After I had cut out what I thought were all of the pattern pieces, I realized that I hadn’t cut out the pieces for the back bodice and that I had cut everything out in such a way that there weren’t big enough fabric pieces leftover for my two back bodice pieces. I returned to the fabric store from whence I had procured the original black fabric (approximately one year ago) and procured a somewhat similar fabric for the back bodice. I couldn’t find an exact match but convinced myself that this new fabric was similar enough that it would be okay. Well Readers, even with my sometimes low standards and lackadaisical approach to stuff, it is not okay. It looks like crap! It looks like my pocket with the wrong side showing.
The other error, that I also didn’t discover until it was too late, was that I somehow forgot to attach the back waistband pieces in between the back bodice and back skirt until after I had already installed and fully finished the seams of the zipper. For me, installation of a zipper is a point of no return. And let me just boast that I did a really good job on this zipper. And I used my serger to finish all of the seams. There was no way that I was going to rip this out. I rip out a lot of seams in my sewing life, ripping out zippers is too much. So on this dress, I have a finished front waistband and no back waistband… no wonder my front and back didn’t match up at all.
I would like to direct your attention to how I managed to match up the darts on my back bodice and back skirt. At least I can do something right. And I love all of my serged seams! The twill fabric was actually very prone to fraying, so the finishing of the serged seams worked very well.
As with most things in life, there are some good things and some opportunities for improvement with this dress. I’m trying hard to not be disappointed with all of my errors and focus on the positive (a dress pattern that fits right out of the envelope!). I’ve already started cutting out the pieces for version two. Both fabrics from my stash, I’m going to have the below plaid linen as the main fabric and the navy linen as the contrasting fabric. I intend to take on the challenge of matching the plaid across seams, as well as improving the quality of my sewing from the error-ridden black dress to this one.
What do you think, Readers… any words of wisdom? Words of sympathy? Have you ever all but finished a sewing project only to realize that it was filled with egregious errors?