Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things that backfire

I don't always never get as much sewing done as I planned. That's just the simply truth and I need to own that. So when I looked down at my December sewing stack, I knew I needed to scale back. I quite simply have run out of time to turn out a fancy Christmas party dress for myself if I'm going to continue working on this advent scarf, make pinky a smocked Christmas dress, and pajamas for the kidlets by December 25th. Instead of fancy party dress with a fluffy petticoat, heirloom lace yoke, and possibly some beading, I decided I would do a simple sheath. 

To be honest, I wasn't all that enamored with the pattern when I first laid eyes on it. It's somewhat unremarkable despite the presence of those chevron pleats. But the fabulous thing about being a sewist in the internet age is you can google any pattern and a wealth information floods your sewing starved soul. What looked rather inspiring on the cover can be made into something surprisingly pretty. Judging by the many gorgeous versions of New Look 6067 out there, I was confident I could make a beautiful dress that wouldn't take up much of my time.

It just so happened FabricMart was having an awesome Black Friday sale on a pretty linen jacquard that is close in color to pinky's dress. Yes, I said linen. Yes, it's winter but look at this stuff! Besides, I live in the south.  Having a dress that can be worn all year round is a boon. (The fabric is still available too!)

I picked up the pattern the Saturday after Thanksgiving, standing in line with my 25% off coupon at Joann's and cut out the bodice almost immediately for a tissue fitting. Some patterns leave me feeling like Busty the eight dwarf so I knew I'd probably have to make a tweak here and there but some of the reviews mentioned it was roomy in the bust and I'd hoped to skate by. 

Dress, bra, same concept, same depressing results

NOPE. Denied. Not having it.

Okay, so FBA. I got that. For those of you who don't know, FBA is an acronym for full bust adjustment, aka hacking up a pattern to make it fit the sisters. Leila at Three Dresses has links to quite a few here. They are tedious but not terribly complicated UNLESS YOUR PATTERN LOOKS LIKE THIS!

Bodice piece before altering

Sweet baby jesus in a manger, what did I do? What did I do? So now a simple sheath dress has turned into a massive muslin requiring overhaul of epic proportions. I might have cried, I might have argued with God, I might have tried to convince my cleavage it should take a winter vacation to Florida whilst I slept. But when I returned to the google, these precious, beautiful versions of New Look 6067 taunted me, beckoning me, you can do it, you can FBA. Stop being a wuss.

Ignore the crooked lines. They are simply
proof that being able to sew a straight line
is rather irrelevant to one's ability to sew.

Never one for wussdom (unless it involves the possibility of huge old bugs falling in my hair), I decided to give it a go. The Mahogany Stylist did an FBA on her pattern but I have a long torso and need extra room lengthwise as well as width. So I took a deep breath, traced off a copy of the bodice piece and gave it a shot. 

Don't mind the blur, sorry about that.

Surprisingly, my first inclination was the correct one. I lengthened the bodice first, choosing to cut above the pleats to avoid having to redraw them. Then I slashed the center of each pleat all the way up to the armscye sleeve allowance and spread those pieces (just nod along if you don't sew, I won't judge.) 

Yes, those are my polka dot socks. Hot, amiright?

My first attempt wasn't quite big enough but the technique was sound so I slashed anew and spread a bit more. Then I pinned it all together and tissue fit it. So far, so good. I suspect I might need to add to the waist but as I'm planning to sew up a wearable muslin, I'll work that out then.

Look at the difference!
New pattern piece in white

Simple dress my left butt cheek. I should have known this would happen but can you say it isn't worth it? Check out these versions and tell me this isn't worth my time.

Beck and Lundy's Gray and Yellow
Vacuuming The Lawn's Brown Ponte
Sewmanju's Tessuti Gridlock

There are also a few here at Sewing Pattern Review.

If you're wondering about the advent scarf, I had a minor setback and frogged the whole thing. But I hopped back on that trike like a good girl and now I have days one and two finished. I'll do day three tonight, day four and five tomorrow and be all caught up.



  1. I love the linen you purchased for that dress!

    1. I hope it's as pretty when it gets here. I'm hoping I'll be ready to cut when it arrives.

  2. Looks really good! Thanks for the shout out! And I love the Mohagony Stylist! Love her taste.

    1. You're welcome. Your FBA links helped me get my head around what to do.

  3. That's a great pattern, and I love the fabric you chose :)