If you read here regularly you may be aware that I’ve bought quite a few fabrics with the intention of making Steph’s Tiramisu dress. I’ve never bought as many fabrics for one pattern before (except S3696), especially before I’d even made a muslin, but I really love the idea of this dress as it appears to fit my comfy clothes criteria – jersey, easy to wear, hopefully easy to sew, etc.
Well, I’ve made my first version which was intended to be a wearable muslin, but it didn’t quite work out that way. This is totally my fault, because sometimes I’m an idiot 🙂
The photos make it look pretty good on Dolly, if you don’t look too carefully.
(ignore the gaping pockets – they are going to be removed)
I did add quite a lot to the length because I like to wear my dresses long, but other than that I cut the pattern exactly as printed.
Unfortunately, I made two stupid mistakes. The first was fabric choice. I knew when I was buying it that it wasn’t really right but hoped I would get away with it (one day I’ll learn). It is one of those thin jerseys that also manages to be heavy, so the whole dress is pulling down from the shoulders. I feel that if I wore it for more than about an hour it would grow in length by at least a foot, and the midriff would end up at my hips! The fact that it includes white stripes makes it worse because where it is quite fitted, such as across the back, it is also quite sheer and would need a slip underneath to be really wearable. I suppose a slip could be helpful because if it grew in length as much as I think it would then at some point I’d probably walk on the front hem, trip, and fall A over T, so a slip would at least preserve my modesty. The fabric is just too stretchy in all directions for this dress.
If you look closely at the photos (actually you don’t need to look closely – it’s really obvious), the underbust gathers that should be there, aren’t. They were there, I did sew them, but they disappeared on me. I did the gathering as I would for any other pattern and then sewed the gathered bodice pieces to the front midriff. At that stage, the gathers didn’t seem as though they were in quite the right place and I was very pleased to discover that they were still adjustable. Now, at this point I should have realised that was a bit strange and wondered why, but I was just happy that I could adjust them. I fiddled around a bit, got the gathers where I wanted them, went back to the machine and sewed over the seam a second time, then serged it.
When I next sat at the sewing machine I though that it was sewing a little strangely, and realised I still had the tension released for when I sewed the two rows of gathering stitches. At this point, I still didn’t think that anything might be wrong with the bodice. It wasn’t until I’d sewn the rest of the dress and then tried it on that I discovered the magic disappearing gathering. Because the fabric is just soooo stretchy and I used a stitch that could stretch out, the front midriff piece simply stretched out enough to encompass the completely unstable, gathered bodice pieces which promptly gave up their gathering. So I now have a saggy, unshaped bodice and a stretched out midriff. One really nice thing is that, even with my complete cockup, the neckline still doesn’t gape, the promise of which is one of the main reasons I bought the pattern.
If the fabric was better and I really though I would wear the dress then I know it would be salveagable, but I honestly don’t think I’d wear it (too thin, too stretchy). However, I absolutely love the chevron effect on the skirt so I’m going to cut the bodice off, fold over the midriff to form a waistband casing, and add some elastic – so I’ll end up with a skirt that I know I will wear.
I’ve been sewing so many TNTs recently that, in some ways, it was nice to be reminded why a muslin is often so useful – especially when it is so easy (for me) to do something that is just plain stupid.