Thursday, 13 December 2012

The 'Less Haste, More Speed' Dress

 'Less haste, more speed' - I never really understood that saying until I made this dress. I don't know what was wrong with me when I cut this dress out (maybe I was in a post-flu medication haze), but for some reason I looked at the measurements on the back of the packet and assumed they would work for me.

I made version B, on the left
 How wrong I was...

The finished product's not bad, but it's full of little faults and mistakes the distract me when I wear it.

Here I am in my festive dining room - NOT! It's a recreation of a Georgian room at the Victoria and Albert Museum
I think this pattern was cut for a person with no curves and a lot less height than me. There's no room at all in the bust, so much so that leaving the waist dart in gave me a really unattractive 'squashed' effect in the chest area. So I left it out altogether. As for the height issue, the waist seems to sit much higher then it should. All of these issues could have been avoided if I had just done a few measurements and a few easy adjustments. Lesson learned!

On top of this, the pattern seems to have been drafted a bit strangely. Now I'm no couture seamstress and I've been known to cut corners, but I ain't bad at sewing even if I say so myself. But there were some things on this dress I just couldn't make happen. For example, the sleeve:
Frustrating, unwanted gathers!
 Try as I might, I couldn't avoid a few tiny gathers at the sleeve head. It just wouldn't fit! AAARRRGGGHHH!

Next, the collar and the facing:

Pleat at center back - sheer laziness on my part
No amount of clipping, stretching, easing, and all the other sewing tricks I was aware of would make them go together easily. It was as if they were cut for an enirely different size, or another dress altogether. In the end, I was really lazy and just added a pleat at the center back of the collar - it doesn't look too bad, does it?

I approach every project as a learning experience, and I always finish them knowing there are little bits and pieces I would like to change, or that could have worked out better. Then I take these bits of knowledge to the next project, and hopefully improve on them. But with this one, I think I was momentarily crazy and just went at it like a looney seamstress, and without any of my usual care. And you know what - it's actually not bad! Every time I wear it some of the faults kind of bother me, but several people have commented on it positively, and Mr Needles says it's one of his favourite dresses on me. 

Maybe I just need to relax with all the perfection stuff. 

See you soon!