Friday, July 29, 2011

The Ondine's Curse Dress

Now, I am aware that the Ondine's Curse is another name for a truly horrible genetic disease (congenital central hypoventilation syndrome), and I'm not trying to make light of the tragedy of that disorder. But truly, sometimes I feel like this nautical-inspired dress has been cursed by a vindictive water nymph. And I'm not even done with it yet! Let's make a list of all the things that have gone wrong, shall we?

  1. I accidentally hemmed two(!) of the shoulders instead of the sleeve openings. I ended up cutting the hemmed part off, thereby shortening the back. Which was fine in the except it was a really dumb mistake to make in the first place.
  2. I thought I was being smart to use some leftover-from-a-gift-wrapping grosgrain ribbon for the collar trim. Well, it turns out I was short about five inches. So I made a trip out to Yardage Town to get more, only it turns out that while they have 1/4" and 3/8" wide ribbon, this mystery leftover ribbon is 5/16" wide. Which means I just had to buy all new ribbon. So much for being green. 
  3. While laying out the bedsheet to cut out the circle skirt, I discovered two random rips, possibly from Walnut, who makes it a habit of sleeping on and digging in my fabric. I had to do some maneuvering to avoid the rips, which meant that the skirt is not actually a full circle. 
  4. I attached the white waistband piece without measuring the length of the bodice. I don't know what I was thinking, but I continued with adding the skirt and zipper without trying it all on, leading to trying on an almost finished dress with the waistband hanging around my hips. Thankfully, I'd only basted the zipper on. It wasn't difficult to fix, just time-consuming when I'd already spent too much time on the dress. Also, on second thought, I probably should have interfaced it.
  5. Changing the length of the bodice meant changing where the waistband closed, which led me to discover that at the place it closes, the white band is slightly larger on one side. Yaarrrggghh. 
  6. After giving up the waistband for lost and attaching the zipper, I found that the two sides of the top of the bodice somehow ended up half an inch off. A quarter of an inch I can deal with, but half?! I ended up taking it in at the top where the facing attached, which resulted in...
  7. The facing on one side being much longer than the other. It's on the inside, so nobody will see it, but still! 

And then after all this, I realized that the dress is actually very low-cut. Thankfully, I don't have any cleavage to speak of, so it doesn't look that risque. Also, my shoulders look huge. I guess this is what happens when I don't use a pattern and think that I'll "just whip something up." I think I've learned that I am not at the whipping up stage yet. I don't know enough about how 2D shapes translate to a 3D body to be able to accurately predict what my finished piece will look like, so I end up having to make all these little shoddy adjustments to make it work. Maybe Tim Gunn would be proud, but I'm not. Now, if I were at home, I would run to my mom and have her step in and magically fix everything with her miracle seamstress-ing skills, but I can't do that in San Diego. Well, I suppose at 27 years of age, I'm too old to have someone else swoop in and solve my problems for me. Bother.

I still need to attach a white bias strip at the bottom of the dress and hem it. Knowing how things have been going, I'll probably end up sewing the bottom of the dress closed or something equally horrendous. I've probably just jinxed myself, huh?

If you're reading about my string of mishaps and you've ever had a similar, seemingly-cursed project, please tell me about it so I can feel better :(


  1. haha. I can totallllly relate. I'm sure everyone can.

    most frustrating ever ever.

    I think the worst was when I spent HOURS making a dress for my daughter only to have the head hole be about 3 times too small....

  2. @Grace Marie Ouch! That sounds so frustrating...I hope you were able to cut it larger!

  3. I can uderstand your frustations with making this however, many people who have children with this disease do not find this a horrible tragedy. In fact we as parents find that this curse is our mighty miracle. hopefuly this dress will be your miracle as well.


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