Funny story: As alluded to, two or three months ago I tried making a big deal of getting all purdied up for Steve’s birthday. We were planning to go on a date, just the two of us. I quietly worked on a new dress to wear, in a style he would appreciate, as a surprise. I thought it was a sweet idea, but suspected he might be less thrilled when he found out that Seraphina has been telling everyone we know about daddy having a “secret dress”.
It turns out he just laughed. Which I knew he would. But the story is funnier the other way.
So, I do this thing sometimes….just because we are totally weird…where I randomly surprise Steve for special occasions by dressing up in the style of a different era, complete with hair, make-up, etc. And I direct your attention to our ’50′s Valentine’s day (yikes. Kind of wishing I hadn’t looked. 4 years and baby #5 had some serious impact!). No idea where this started or why (actually, after re-reading that post, I think it started then! The blog is educational!). Like I said, we’re just kind of weird that way. In honor of his birthday this year, I went with the decade in which he was born. I was going for a Joan from Mad Men kind of thing, but Christina Hendricks I ain’t! What I am is a middle aged mother of five, so you basically get what you get.
Sewing a fitted dress when you are nowhere near an average size and shape?? Holy moly. I shortened the bodice, the skirt and the sleeves….brought in the waist, let out the high hip, brought in the low hip….did a full bust adjustment…a slight sway back adjustment (should have done more!)…made it narrower through the shoulders…lowered the neckline by two inches when one of my two muslins felt too choke-y* and correspondingly altered the collar. And probably other things that I can’t think of because I’m blocking out the trauma.
*Just for clarification, I don’t think this is a flaw in the pattern, it’s just that people with a history of breathing problems (me) tend to get freaked out by anything too close to their throat.
My darts are all….I don’t know…awful. Yup, that’s the word. Terrible, atrocious and mortifying would all fit as well. Even though I know how to sew darts properly and I swear I did them the “right” way. Somehow they are still totally wrong. I want to blame the fabric, but I’m not sure that’s fair. And I don’t like where they hit. I think I should have altered that, but I double checked pictures of the pattern and that is where they are supposed to be. Side note: I seriously, seriously, seriously need a pressing ham if I’m going to insist on continuing to make women’s dresses. Seriously. An invisible zipper foot would be good too.
I felt the fabric would be just perfect. I was wrong. It’s a stretch sateen….which quite predictably shows and amplifies every little flaw, both in my figure and sewing ability. The dress looks ok (and only ok) if I am standing still having just straightened it, but the moment I move at all it shifts and bunches and clumps-clings in funny and awkward ways. This is probably evident from the photos above.
So much work for something so horribly disappointing! I think I’ll be sticking with super simple sewing for a while now.
But yes, he liked it. Though I suspect he wasn’t actually looking at the darts, so I’m not sure how much his opinion should really count for. Just sayin’.