Reality Check

So excited to sew knits on my new machine I bought the following pattern. I love the simplicity of this little dress and decided to try it out with a rust cotton knit from my stash before cutting my new Missoni fabric. I wanted to create a simple prototype for the many knit dresses I will be making this year. Since the dress was described as close fitting I cut out the pattern two sizes larger than my measurements indicated, knowing it would be too big.

 W R O N G

 I could barely squeeze into this thing even with my industrial strength Spanx.

After a humiliating reality check and ordering two diet books from Amazon I wrapped another layer of batting around the waistline of my dressform and got back to sewing. The eight simple steps of this pattern took eight long hours to complete and here’s the finished product.

Two years ago I wrote this Haiku:

Mediocrity

Never inflict on others;

Above all, your own.

Well, here  I am sharing a mediocre sewing project with the world, but since it’s part of my yearlong sewing journey, I decided being honest was more important than being perfect.

This is not a great start into my fifth month of sewing rather than buying my clothes for a year, but I’ll try to take away something positive from this experience. I’ll let you know what it is when I figure it out.

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20 Responses to Reality Check

  1. Your dress is cute! So sorry it did not fit as planned. Aside from that, this is a super cute pattern bundle. I am off today to get this and from your warning, I will be sure to check the fit. Muchas Gracias!!

    • Thanks. Unfortunately, the dress is cuter on the dress form than it is on me, but that’s the way it goes. I’d love to see your pics from this pattern and hope you have better luck than I did!

  2. Dorcas says:

    Blessing #1: You have a new machine!
    Blessing #2: You have MISSONI fabric!
    Blessing #3: You have a dress form.
    Blessing #4: You are accomplishing a huge goal.
    Blessing #5: You have time to SEW!
    There are more but you get the picture. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately and it makes me stay in the moment and enjoy even the pitfalls. I need to pay more attention to New Look patterns. Your dress is adorable!!

    • Hi Dorcas and thanks for the response. Indeed, I’m aware of my many blessings and there is much to be grateful for! Disappointments still happen and this is one especially after having put so much thought into this little dress. One positive thing is that I had the good sense to try the pattern on a cheap fabric and did not cut my Missoni fabric! A little more time for brooding and then I’ll move on. Many thanks.

  3. Carol says:

    Sorry it didn’t work for you after spending so much time and energy on it. Don’t give up on the pattern, it is a cute one! Like Dorcas said – at least you have TIME to sew. :-).

    • Carol,
      I am thrilled to have time to sew! My apologies if I appeared to be whining – disappointments are never pleasant. I should have abandoned the dress when I realized the fitting issues might be impossible to resolve, but I was determined to persevere and make it work.

  4. Debbie Fox says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. New Look patterns are notorius for being cut small. I went crazy a couple of years ago with a blouse pattern that I could never get to fit properly…I went by the finished measurements printed on the pattern, only to finally give up and actually measure the pieces, and there were a good inch smaller than printed. I think that they are drafted much smaller than other pattern lines, so measure twice and cut once!

  5. I’m glad to know it’s not completely me! Thanks, Debbie – I’ll measure twice next go around :)

  6. Valerie says:

    The design of the dress looks very nice. Did you check the amount of stretch of the fabric before cutting? Knits vary so much and it can make a huge difference to the fit. In another material it might swim on you.

    • Valerie,
      Thanks for your comments. I did not check the amount of stretch of the fabric. I’m not even sure the pattern gave guidelines for how much stretch was required, but this is something I will do from now on!

  7. prttynpnk says:

    I always think of New Look patterns as Junior patterns- they do not respect the hips! I’m glad your Missoni remains unbothered- the right pattern will come along- don’t thewy always?

    • The other New Look patterns I’ve made have been tops. Being so careful go by my measurements and to still have it too tight just bothers me! I agree – thank goodness I tried this pattern out on something other than the Missoni!

  8. Doobee says:

    I feel your pain – my first shirt for the year also was not what I had planned…shirt is now worn as an open sleeve jacket. Can you add a ‘feature strip’ down the front or back to save this dress at all, or are you ‘over it’ and don’t want to look at it again??? So, what will you use your Missoni fabric for now…..

    • Thanks for sharing and I guess we all have sewing setbacks. About the dress…. I’m either going to drop a few or cut it off and wear it as a shirt IF I decide to look at it again. I’m still deliberating what pattern to use for the Missoni….. will let you know.

  9. Elaine says:

    Did you look at reviews on Pattern Review for this pattern? I haven’t looked at that website in a whilte, but it is a good resource I think for tips about working with specific patterns.

    You looked wonderful in the bright red in the beach photo. How about trying that one in Kentucky blue?

    I wore a knit top that I made last year to work today and had compliments on it. It was a simple Burda Mag pattern I had traced. You’ve motivated me to dig it out and make another in a couple of hours.

    Happy Sewing!

  10. Hi Elaine,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I almost bought Kentucky blue at Mood Fabrics and that choice would have made all of my UK relatives in the state very, very happy, however, I’m a U of L girl (School of Music) and wear that color very judiciously :)
    As far as the Pattern Review website – I’m a member and use it regularly! I was in a store when I saw and bought the New Look pattern and did not check it out until AFTER I finished my dress. There was just one review which did not mention fitting issues so I doubt in this case, it would have been helpful to me.
    Moving on………….. and hope to be back with something that fits soon!

    • Elaine says:

      Well then, you should definitely plan a trip to a U of L game so you can wear the red one. Maybe KY and Louisville will meet in the NCAA. You are prepared!

  11. Bethsews says:

    Thanks for your honesty in sharing your less than stellar efforts…as you know from reading Pattern Review (and from life too of course)…we all learn so much more from mistakes than from success! and we appreciate learning from yours too. I spent 4 hours trying to sew up a Halloween costume for my daughter this year from a pattern I had never used, and ended up throwing the whole thing away and starting over with a T-shirt as the base (rather than the dress in shiny charmeuse-y stuff…she was a woodland elf) – of course I was doing it the day of Halloween….I was so MAD!!!! Maybe you can accessorize this out of its mediocrity (assuming this version does fit)….

    • Hi Beth,
      Thank you for your comments. Yes we do learn from mistakes – I just hate wasting time and fabric, though perhaps it’s not a waste in the long run. Halloween costume or dress…… disappointments are hard to take and I think the worst of it is feeling incompetent even if it’s not our fault!
      I just posted a dress I made yesterday to help me get back on track. Many thanks for sharing your experience with me.

  12. Pingback: LAST WINTER DRESS | Goodbye Valentino

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