Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pattern review: Decades of Style 1948 Siren Sundress, another sad disappointment

Continuing the trend of patterns I tried but didn't work out for me, we have the Decades of Style 1948 Siren Sundress.
I don't think this is a bad pattern-- it's just not the pattern for me.  I have two major complaints. 

First, the neckline is higher than what I'd prefer.  This isn't the pattern's fault; it's just what the pattern had to offer not lining up with my preferences. 

Second, the fit through the bodice was a mess.  It was way too huge for me, and gaped horribly at the neckline.  I probably could have wrangled a good fit if I'd had the patience and interest, but I didn't.  In general, I think the dress was designed for someone much bustier than me, and with a V-neck wrap dress, the fit through the bust is crucial.  If you're relatively flat-chested, there may be better patterns out there for you.

Back to the box of patterns...sigh...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Simplicity 3359, 1950's day dress-- a sad disappointment

I spent an entire day making muslins of Simplicity 3395, a 1950's day dress.  I love this design.  Isn't that collar adorable?  I was planning to make it in black linen as a cool and sophisticated summer dress.
Alas, it was not to be.  I went through two different muslins and couldn't get it to fit right.  Not by a long shot.  I'm not entirely sure what the problem was, whether the pattern was poorly drafted, whether it was drafted for a body with 1950's underpinnings, or it was my inexperience fitting that kind of princess seams.  Either way, it did not fit, and it did not fit in some very odd ways.

Grump.

Back to the drawing board...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Inside a Halston top

A few years ago, I managed to snag an actual Halston top at the Crossroads in West Hollywood.  (Crossroads is a popular consignment shop and that particular one attracts the exactly the sort of crowd and clothes you'd expect a consignment store in that area would.)  The finishing on this particular top is done so well that I had to share it with the sewing world.

The basic design is simple-- heavy sueded silk charmeuse, two pieces, a front and a back, no shaping.


At the neckline, I'm not sure what the name for this kind of hem finish is, but it's brilliant.  It looks polished and it adds just the right amount of weight and stiffness.

The sleeve hem is also a clever solution to a technical problem.  The sleeve hem is set up to be on the bias, which is problematic to sew.  Instead, they hemmed it on the straight grain and folded over a wedge-shaped section of fabric so that it's only the edge that's pressed that's on the bias.  Problem solved.

The sleeves and the bottom of the top both get invisible hems.






And, of course, the side seams use French seams.





The top is a lot of fun to wear, and I will definitely keep these ideas in mind the next time I sew something from silk charmeuse!

Friday, March 18, 2016

They can't all be gems-- EvaDress E30-5918

I had such high hopes for this pattern, you guys.  See all that intricate seaming?  Those early 1930's styles make me weak at the knees.
But no.  No, it was not to be.
The lighting is making this dress look way more flattering than it actually is.  In real life, it looks like a sack.  A sack which clings to my belly and hips and de-emphasizes my bust.  It looks pretty darn bad.  Keep in mind that I have a two-hour walk and go rock climbing every day.  Out of shape I am not. 

As for the back...
Bleh.  Just bleh.  I even made a muslin first!  It totally looked like it was going to be fine!

Do you know where this dress is going to go?  It's going to go to that place so lovingly described by Maurice Sendak's beloved children's book, Where The Wadder Things Are. 

I'm pretty sad.  I was quite attached to this fabric, which is lovely in real life, white polka dots on jungle green in some sort of jacquard weave.  Silk, no less, and bought before I even started graduate school. 
Ah well. 

By way of a pattern review, I'm not sure I can recommend this pattern.  The design looks like it should be awesome, but it has the same problem as most early 1930's designs, which is that they're sacks.  Do you look good in a dress with basically no shaping?  If you do, great.  If you don't...you should look elsewhere. 

I have a few minor complaints about the pattern.  There are 3/8" seam allowances, which I feel is really not wide enough to manipulate precisely for lapped seams.  One of the pattern pieces is mislabled, but that's easy to catch if you sit there and think for a moment. 

Ah well.  Onwards to new and better things!