4 Jan 2012

project | simplicity 7773

One of the other things I want to do more regularly is talk about my sewing. In fact, I want to sew more. The idea in my head is that once a week there's an outfit post, a sewing post, and a house post and then once a month an essay on style. We'll see how well that goes, as you all should know by now I'm nothing if not fickle in my affections! I had hoped to be posting about a finished garment today, but I think an excess of stupidity got in the way.

My Sorbetto Surprise is on hold for the moment, I still can't get the collar quite right so I'm taking a break before it breaks me. In the meantime, I saw the below picture of Ale's Orla Kiely dress posted on her blog and fell in love (and, of course, pinned it to pinterest).

I immediately scoured my pattern stash for anything that could work and found Simplicity 7773, a 60's A-Line dress with back darts for shaping. I then scored myself some burnt orange corduroy from eBay and was ready to go ... it should probably be noted that the pattern did not specify that corduroy could be used for this garment. It may explain a lot.

This dress has taken me a while to get through, I constructed the dress part quite quickly, trying it on repeatedly to ensure it was fitting. The button placket almost killed me, I had to cut it three times (as I was shortening it and kept making mistakes) and I've ripped it out twice. It's still not right. Unhelped by my decision to be incredibly lazy and use poppers instead of sewing button holes. Bad choice. The corduroy's too thick for the poppers to successfully join, of the two on the dress only one has both parts. Neither actually works.

I finally got around to adding the sleeves. Again, I couldn't face the fiddling of trying to set in the sleeves properly, unhelped by the stretch of the corduroy, so I pleated along the top.

All together, it looked like it would be quite a good dress. Miriam certainly rocks it.

Me, unfortunately, not so much. The colour's pretty good on me. As with jewel tones, bolder colours seem to suit my colouring quite well.

But for those looking carefully, you'll perhaps notice that it's too big. The sleeve seam is falling off my shoulder, a sure sign I got the size wrong. Although, I'm unsure if this is simply because it's not done up or if it is actually too big. When I was trying on the dress, sans sleeves, the bodice seemed to fit properly. And why yes, those are my new glasses*.

The dress appears to be electrically charged and keeps sticking to me. This may be a symptom of my tights or it just may be a new quirk of mine I've not noticed before. And it's very loud. A strange complaint for a dress you might think, but I like to be able to move quietly (and it's one of the reasons I don't wear jewellery too). Yes, I'm weird.

In all it's awful glory. I'm unsure if this can be rescued or not. What do you think?

* One of two pairs my Mum bought me for Christmas, this pair are the ones my Step Dad refers to as 1950's news reader


molly said...

I think it has potential, but you should probably put some working closures on the placket. I think that would help you determine if it actually doesn't fit or if it just needs to be buttoned up a bit more.

January 04, 2012 3:00 pm
Jessa Belle said...

I don't know Tors! I am literally the worse seamstress ever so anything even needing the slightest adjustment sends me running in the opposite direction... as for the static... I totally know what you mean! I wore on of my 1970's pieces the other day, with tights, and it was the same issue... maybe it is the tights? I think you should keep trying with the dress... you have the skill put it to the test! Go big or go home right? Haha

Confessions of the Cupcake Countessa

January 04, 2012 3:40 pm
Clare said...

Anything can be rescued! I love the colour and am a big fan of corduroy. In fact, if your fabric came from a seller in Nottingham, I almost bought it. But I know what you mean about the noise it makes - very distracting. Little cap sleeves might help the fit, then it could be a dress for layering over long sleeved t-shirts. Great glasses!

January 04, 2012 4:19 pm
Minnado said...

I like it, how can I not like an orange dress?? I agree with Clare maybe shorten the sleeves so you can wear it over a long sleeved top and maybe cotton leggings would have less static than tights? Loving the new glasses too.

January 05, 2012 9:33 am
Lauren said...

Arh, I hate it when you sew projects like this. What a pain!
You're reight that it's a nice dress, but I do think it looks too big.
I have to say that I used a lovely corduroy recently and it was a massive pain in the arse. The buttonholes in particular just kept pulling out of the fabric! Given the all over too big-ness, I don't know if it can be saved without staring again... :( Good luck!

January 05, 2012 7:57 pm
Jessa Belle said...

You were awarded ------> HERE!

Go see why! Love & Lollies... Jessa

January 05, 2012 8:59 pm
Jo Bao said...

I think it looks to big on you dear, though I would suggest that covering the dress with cardigan or other knitwear would be alright. However, if there is static occurring while you are wearing the dress, then I would simply stay away from the dress. It doesn't "sound" that comfortable the way you described it. BUT, I think you should give the dress another shot and try to save it! The color looks fabulous on you and it really matches you. Never hurts to give 2nd chances!

Jo Bao ♥

January 06, 2012 8:39 am
Clazzerati said...

Ah this is the reason so many of my projects fail. I get to the end, am not happy with the result and then just give up! I wonder if you shortened the sleeves to the elbow if that might help a bit? You could add a subtle trim on the sleeves too? Just a thought. You have similar plans to me for the blog. I'm trying to have outfit posts on Monday and Friday, and then something more inspiring on a Weds such as a sewing project or the like. I think trying to stick with three posts a week is do-able, otherwise i get completely over-whelmed and end of feeling crap! xx

January 06, 2012 11:28 am
rach_t said...

i love the colour and the material... the ladies above have good suggestions, im useless at this stuff.. but how about belting it with a vintage belt? and i like the idea someone mentioned above of maybe shortening the sleeves, then make excess in to a little patch pocket... i admire you for being able to do this at all! i am totally useless!!
Rachel x

January 26, 2012 10:17 am
Molly said...

Hello, I'm log overdue a visit here, lots of posts to comment on! With regards to your lovely dress, its such a unique and unusual outfit and you've worked hard on it, I think its worth saving! Some ideas I have:
* For the closure try jeans rivet buttons (the hammer on type) or punch eyelet holes in, set with grommets and add leather or waxed cord lacing (you may want to ditch your placket altogether for that).
* I *think* the shoulders are slumping because there is no support in them - but a lot of heavy fabric. You could try a sleeve-head, even better would be a slim shoulder pad (not Dallas proportions) that lifts the whole shoulder around the armhole and sleeve. If that still doesn't work then you probably need to trim your armhole back a bit.
* It needs a wide, low slung belt. A visual point and a bit of shape.
* You could add a slip of anti-static lining - either attached at the shoulders and loose hanging or a separate that you can then wear under other things too.
* If you still don't like the dress, you could open it up down the center front and make it a long-line jacket. If you don't have enough fabric for a new placket you could try some contrast trimming, I think some plush dark brown or autumn coloured pattern velvet or suede would look great, I would add a layer of it to the collar and make deep cuffs for the sleeve with it too, maybe a patch pocket and trim around the bottom too if it wasn't overkill.

I have a dress which so far has had three different bodice finishes on it and I still haven't found one I like, I'm still thinking it over though and I will find one eventually... I hope you find a way of falling in love with this dress!

February 11, 2012 8:03 pm
lsaspacey said...

I totally agree with Molly about either adding sleeve heads (best option) or cutting back the armhole (without altering the armhole circumference. Unlike some above I don't think the overall dress is too big, it's just too wide at the shoulders, a problem I also have in a lot of patterns. Here are three different takes on adding sleeve heads:




February 15, 2012 2:41 pm

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