Preface - If you follow me on Instagram you might want to skip this blog post. You've already heard my mini sob story. Enjoy your favorite tasty treat and join me back next time for a fun FO post. Mmmmm chooooocolate.

Most of the stuff I post on the blog are successes. This is because I'm super anal retentive about muslins, have been sewing for decades and am a pretty good judge of what works with my particular set of fitting issues. But this month I took a gamble on a pattern and lost in a major way.

Here's the "offender" right here, Vogue 5290. 
Looking at the fashion illustration again I still know why I bought it. The ladies look so pretty in their world with no gravity. Also I want a matching turban hat for something in the near future. And gloves, lots of gloves.  Have you all figured out that I'm an accessory junkie yet?   OK, let's move on.   When buying this design I knew that the bottom half was a gamble.  I'm a 40 year old woman with a nice c-section fat shelf and a big ass. I probably need hip/admondon gathers like a fish needs a bicycle. But this puppy was $12 bucks and I thought, "Let's roll the dice baby!!!! We can always sew it in a big print!"

It wasn't until the hard copy was in my hands that I realized the design also has gathers in the side seam of the waist. Oh crap, that usually doesn't work with my short torso/low bust combo.  I don't have enough waist to gather material up on!  Despite the number of red flags waving I decided to continue to roll the dice.  Vegas baby, Vegas!

So yes I did spend my Sunday grading this pattern up to my size. Then all of my free Monday sewing up a muslin to find *Insert Drum Roll Here*  It was a GIANT HOT MESS!

Oh you lost big time baby.

Issue 1 - Side seam ruching still a terrible idea on me.  It doesn't even read as ruching because pretty much everyone told me the torso was too long.  Yeah it kind of is because the ruching doesn't say in the waist area.  I could take the ruching out but then I need to add bust darts and ain't nobody got time for that.

Issue 2 -  V shaped abdomen yoke just as bad as it could possibly be on a mature figure. Just say no to "Lady Grotto" ruffles from now on Heather.  You live in a world with gravity and cake.

Issue 3 - The top half of the bodice feels terrible.  Several of my Instagram followers suggested swapping in a different skirt because they thought the bodice was pretty.  I can tell you that it just looks pretty compared to the dumpster on fire that is the bottom half.  The armholes are way too small, the yoke band doesn't sit on my body right and the shoulders jut out at a weird angle.  I've graded up enough patterns at this point that I'm fairly sure that wasn't the problem.  My gut feeling is that this design was made for a very different shaped figure than mine.

So that's the story in a nutshell.  It could have been worse, I could have wasted good fabric on this pattern and thrown it directly in the trash can. At least with muslin you can make a sad horn sound and move on with your life.  To rebound from this I'm sewing another version of Hollywood 1413 with 3/4 length velvet.  HAA HAA I'm a Mad Woman!  So look forward to a post that's 80% me bitching about hand basting velvet and tasting velvet fluff in my mouth. It's gonna be fun.

Sewing to Match your Accessories - Hollywood 1064


Early this summer I looked in my closet and realized a few things.  A - I have a lot of navy hats and shoes.  B - I have no navy clothing to wear with said hats and shoes.  C -Then I looked through my stash and found no navy fabric to sew up matching clothing.  Which then begs the question why do I have so many navy hats and shoes?   Hmmmmm, a real chicken/egg scenario there and not all related my paypal history. Maybe Froggie is buying them while I sleep.  (Froggie says, no. He only buys green hats and hides them in the closet so he can sleep in them later.) Oh well, guess we'll never get down to the answer of "why so many navy accessories." In fact it's really just a fabric buying opportunity in disguise! Guess I "have" to go buy that navy cold rayon on Etsy now. And so I did.
Cold Rayon could alternatively be called "The fabric that makes everything else feel like shit." You know, if you're not into the whole brevity thing. One touch and I thought about throwing out all the rayon challis in my stash. This won't happen because I'm a hoarder from a long line of even bigger hoarders. However cold rayon is now the queen of my stash and rayon challis is it's lowly peasant. 
Queen cold rayon told me right away that it was supposed to be a 40's style shirt dress, so I got to work finding a pattern that was pretty close to the Trashy Diva Sweetie cut.  That wasn't too hard since that particular style is pretty faithful to what real 40's shirt dresses looked like.  I settled on Hollywood 1064 because it had gathered yokes, a shirt collar, 3 button front and was available in my size.

To make a version a little more like the TD dress, I drafted some square pockets so that buttons could be placed on them. The front waistline was also tweaked a bit by changing the waist ease from gathers into tucks. Finally I shortened the sleeve a bit and left off the cuff.
My original intention was to keep this dress as neutral as possible, but it seems that I can't resist adding pops of bright color. Hand to god there were navy button/buckles in my cart but somehow these green ones showed up at my house. I couldn't let them go to waste.  Oh and they needed matching green top-stitching. Or maybe queen cold rayon decided that.  Probably the only reason I persevered contrast stitching patch pockets on rayon. (Don't do this to yourself....ever.)
Other than that pesky pocket top stitching this dress came together without any problems.  Queen cold rayon was right, it was meant to be a shirt dress.

Hollywood 1064 with a few minor design changes.

Fabrics used
Vintage cold rayon I purchased from Etsy.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment to both shoulder and sleeve cap.
2. 1/2" extra ease added to waist and hip.
3. Reduced sleeve cap height by 1/2".
4. Changed front waist from gather to 2 tucks.
5. Drafted 3.75" x 4" pockets for front.
6. Shortened sleeve by an 1".

Confession - I did decide to switch the top stitching to green halfway through this process and had to do it on a partially assembled garment. Haa haa! I make everything harder for myself!

Husband Comment
"Looks like something that would be good to wear in the rain."  - referring to the print that he feels looks like rain drops. I think it looks like leopard print. :)

Bonus son comment - "I love it.  But in Minecraft that blue dress would be diamond armor. Unless you enchant it because then it will be purple." - maybe I should call this the Minecraft minute.

My Final Thoughts
So I which organs do I need to sell to get more cold rayon?  I was saving them for retired LEGO sets but fabric might be more important.  Look how happy I am wearing it!
Also my navy shoes and at least one of my navy trimmed hats is now on the blog. Success! Only 4 more navy hats to make assembles for. I'm sure that will only take another month or.....OH MY GOD IS THAT RED FABRIC!   Never mind, it's going to take forever.

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