Thursday, July 30, 2015

Self-Drafted Dress with Pockets: My Failiest Success Yet!

Behold!  A successful dress!
I'm not calling this my failiest dress ever without cause, though.  Read on to hear everything that went wrong!

The fabric is a delightful Japanese cotton that I bought on my trip to Japan.  It's medium-weight and has a somewhat nubby texture.
My original plan was to use this fabric to make the reissued Vintage Vogue pattern 1137.  I thought it would be nice to cut the bodice so that the stripes would form a V pattern, like this.
Unfortunately, the bodice did not fit. At all.  You can read all about my failure here.   

Luckily, I had enough fabric to cut a completely different bodice.  I used my standard pattern for a bodice with darts.  But, I figured I would jazz it up some, and add bands of white fabric along the top of the bodice, the tops of the pockets, and for the belt.  I thought I'd add some matching buttons where the straps would meet the bodice and in place of a belt buckle.

Of course, everything went wrong with the bands of white fabric.  The fabric itself would wrinkle with the slightest provocation, and the interfacing I used was too stiff to do bound buttonholes and to turn the belt inside out.  Oops.  So I abandoned that idea.

The one idea that I did keep, and that was successful, was the pockets.  I wanted a dress with large pockets, so I could carry all my stuff around and not have to bring a purse, or at least have a place to stash my lens cap.  I lined the pockets with self fabric, and then topstitched the pockets on the skirt so that the pattern on the skirt matches the pattern on the dress.  Now I have wonderful pockets!  They're not quite big enough to hold my DSLR with its smallest lens, but still, they're pretty great.

I was also very pleased with the belt and the belt buckle.  It's a vintage buckle, and it happened to be just the right color, the right size, and the right shape for this dress.  I've long since given up on buying every vintage button that comes my way, even the cool ones, but it's still worthwhile to buy every vintage buckle you see because they're so hard to find if you need one for a specific project.
I had also originally planned to do two straps over the shoulders, but when I tried the dress on, I really couldn't come up with any way to position the straps that didn't look bad.  So, I ended up using one of those straps as a halter strap.  However, this introduced another opportunity for failure.  The first time around I made the straps too long, and any weight in the pockets would pull the dress down further, which just led to a bad situation.  I had to rip out the stitching for the straps and sew them in by hand all over again.

Anyway, at the end of all that, I did produce a dress that I am very happy with!  Here's the front view again:
And here's the back view.
I don't know if there's any moral to this story, but if I had to come up with something, I'd quote Galaxy Quest:  "Never give up!  Never surrender!"

Happy sewing!

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