I loved the chevron pleats on the bodice, and thought New Look 6067 would be perfect for recreating that look. Elaine had found this awesome polka-dotted sheet that featured rows of large African mammals on it, and I was so excited to make it into a dress.
|It was even the right color scheme and everything!|
|Gummy was also pretty thrilled about this sheet...when it arrived he spent a good fifteen minutes rolling around in it like it had been smeared in catnip or something.|
|Oh, I'm sorry, did you need this for something?|
I really, really, really wanted to love this dress, but since I only started sewing on Thursday, I didn't have enough time to fit the bodice properly, resulting in a wrinkly, bulgy mess instead of the sleek, fitted look that I wanted. And most unfortunately, the row of cheetahs actually detracted from the cool pleats.
|See those lovely pleats? Yeah, me neither -- I got distracted by the cheetah body parts.|
|And here's what it looks like on me. Eeeyurgh.|
Besides being poofy and weird, the bodice was also a little too long in front, but because of the pleat placement, I couldn't cut it any shorter without cutting off the bottom chevron. When I tried the dress on Thursday night, I was so angry with it that I just crumpled it up and threw it on the floor for Walnut to sit on. Except that he refused to sit on it, and usually he's a sucker for fabric on the floor. Yeah, that's how bad it was. Anyway, after some mental distance, I decided that having it be a UFO was even sadder, so I hitched up my bootstraps and finished the waist stay and hem today.
|Lining and waist stay. Oh, and seam allowances finished with rayon seam binding. At least it looks nice on the inside?|
|These photos are pretty dark and grainy since it was gray and drizzly all day, but I just wanted to get them done and out of the way so that I wouldn't have to think about this dress anymore.|
Moral of the story: just because you love the design and the fabric print, doesn't mean that they should go together! This would have worked so much better in a solid color, where the pleat design could really have shone. In other words, the African savannah sounds cool and exotic, but when it comes down to it, life there is tough and not everyone can hack it! Or something. Yeah, coming up with analogies is not my strong suit.
|Slouchy side view.|
Fabric: A flat twin sheet, 60/40 poly-cotton blend, and some more of my cotton voile leftover from my steampunk blouse for the lining.
Notions: A 22" zipper (my first dress zipper since oh, July), grosgrain ribbon, a swimsuit bra hook, and hook and eye
Techniques used: Putting in a waist stay, and I also tried just inserting my zipper without pinning or basting, as Tilly said professionals do. It worked, too -- this might actually be one of my better zippers in terms of matching at the waist seam and the neckline. Of course it would be, right?
Hours: Too many. Between trying to salvage the bodice to be best of my abilities, and trying to remember how to best gather so much fabric into so little bodice, and then the hand-sewing today...ugh. So much time that could have been spent making something I actually like and will wear. I'm proud of myself for persevering and not having a UFO, though.
Will you make it again? I really want this pattern to work, but I'm afraid I have such a grudge against it that I'm not going to give it another try, at least for a really long time.
Total cost: About $2, since the sheet was a gift and the lining was leftover from another project, so I only paid for the ribbon and zipper.
Final thoughts: I hate the bodice, but still love the fullness of the skirt, so if I find a cropped sweater or cardigan that I can throw on top, this dress might still get some wear.
|It's a teensy bit better when I forcibly pull down the bodice to smooth out the wrinkles...|