There are a few things wrong with this dress:
- The armholes are so large. I would be really worried about potential side breast escape. This is especially bad because the back is so low that your choices of bras is really limited.
- The pleats in the bodice make little breast pouches that are entirely unflattering. The girls look like little crab apples in there. It is actually worse in person than this photo. And the photo is bad.
- With the fabric I picked out, it looks like a prison uniform.
On further inspection, I think the model on the pattern cover is obviously smiling stiffly because if she moves in any direction, her breasts may fall out of the over-sized armholes or the center since the photo does not show the little cleavage barrier that is included with the pattern.
|This is a little crooked|
- I picked out the wrong fabric. This is a stretch cotton, but this dress is clearly for a thinner more floaty fabric. While I am admitting things, it even says so on the back of the pattern. The bodice would probably be more flattering if the fabric were different. (but those armholes would be just as big, so that would still be an issue.
- I sewed the little piece in the front on crooked. Since documenting dressmaking and not just posting dirty pictures of myself was the goal, I wanted to get this sewed on for the pictures. I did it too quickly and it is crooked.
|Unfinished zipper and left armhole.|
- I didn't finish the left armhole or put in the left bias tape around the armhole. I didn't believe it would improve the dress, so I stopped sewing.
- I made the bias tape twice as wide as the pattern called for. It may have changed the look a little towards the "correctional facility uniform" end of the spectrum. When I sewed it the width the pattern called for, it looked way narrower than the picture on the cover, so I made it wider.
|Added length to the skirt with tissue paper extension.|
- I changed the length on the dress and added 5 inches. I know, I know, you shouldn't add more than 3.75 inches to any skirt because it will distort and be generally wonky. I thought I was more clever and knew better. I knew it was going to get wider at the bottom, but since I am used to sewing full circle skirts with the 50's dresses, the extra wideness wasn't really a concern.
- I didn't finish the belt. Phwaw.
Some cool things about this mess:
- French seams. This pattern called for French seams and I learned how to do them. These are really easy and look great. I still think I will use my serger for some dresses, but for a slippery fabric (like this dress is supposed to be made of), this is a great and easy technique.
- Bias binding. The pattern had bias tape on the bodice edges and I really like it. I am putting it on a little backwards in this photo, since you should sew it to the right side of the fabric, then bend it round to the back, but even with doing it backwards, it STILL looked great. I love this stuff!
Conclusion: I really do like the skirt of this dress. I like how the stripes are cut on the bias and meet in the middle back and middle front in V shapes. I am going to find a bodice from a different dress and attach the skirt, hemmed just below the knee, which will minimize my over-lengthening. I'll save this dress - stay tuned!