Lots of other sewing bloggers have been posting lately (or not so lately) about what to do with older me-made garments that no longer fit one's life, standards, or closet. When I read Puu's blog post, my first thought was my Betsey Johnson-inspired dress. I love that vintage bedsheet, but the bodice is too big, the skirt is too long, and I just don't like all the extra bulk at the waist that results from gathering something like five yards of fabric into less than a yard of waist. I've only worn it once, and I felt uncomfortable the whole time. But I don't want to get rid of it because I worked so hard on it! My first hand-picked zipper and everything! Obviously, the only solution is...
...to make myself another dress from the other half of the sheet. This doesn't really help the closet situation any, but I DO WHAT I WANT, THOR. Um. Right. At least it uses up yardage from the stash? Anyway, I was itching to do some pattern manipulation, too, so I decided to whip out my trusty McCall's 5845. I wanted the look of Butterick 5603's bodice without having to buy it, so I traced off the bodice pattern pieces, figured out where to cut across to get the underbust seam, rotated the pieces to eliminate the darts, and then taped it all together.
|Original pattern piece to the left, my hacked version to the right. Sorry about the curliness of my brown paper.|
|You can see where I snipped and rotated the piece, leaving the former darts to be gathered.|
|Back piece hack. I just trimmed a triangle off of the side of the top piece to compensate for filling in the dart. It worked pretty well, I would say!|
|See how the stripes don't quite line up? Argh!!!|
For a wearable muslin of my "new" pattern, this dress is pretty good. For future reference, I still need to make these changes:
- Extend the center back piece (I barely had enough room to add the zipper)
- More of a curve under the bust where the gathers are
- Less height in the top center front piece, more on the bottom center front piece, so as to get the curved look. As it is, I hacked the seam to make a random fold.
- I feel like the scoop in front looks a little awkwardly shaped? I didn't want to scoop it out more, though, for fear of gaping up top.
|Also, my piping is actually a pale pink, but it pretty much just looks white.|
So...final verdict, after all that work? It's pretty good for a spur of the moment "hey, let's hack this pattern!" pattern, but I think in the future I need to save this kind of pattern for a fabric that doesn't need matching. Also, does anyone have any tips for getting piping to meet properly at seams? I pinned and checked and tried to be very careful, but my machine just doesn't like all that bulk trying to make it through all at once and just squishes one pipe to the side. Also, it's very difficult to press open that seam and make it look crisp.
No pictures wearing the dress yet...it's gray and cold outside, probably to get us back for being a balmy 75 degrees in January. I'll just say that wearing this dress makes me feel like I should be herding sheep in a nursery rhyme. I don't know if that's a good thing.