Saturday, 11 June 2011

Dots and duds

Woo it's finally finished! McCalls 2401 in bright red polka dot, that I started making in March

It wasn't a hard make, it just languished as an unfinished object for a rather long time. I started making the version with 3/4 length sleeves, but then the weather started to get warmer, and I'm afraid I just wasn't 'feeling it'. However a couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough, I'd make it without the sleeves instead. Sadly the facings etc are all completely different with the sleeveless version, so I had to make it up as I went along. As a consequence the inside is a bit of a mess, but you (hopefully!) can't tell from the outside. 

The good
I liked this pattern a lot. It has a very easy technique for inserting the zipper which I'd never seen before, but it took all the hassle out of it and I'll definitely be using it in future makes. It also has a sweet little split at the back. I have to say, I feel rather sophis in it, it is much more fitted than anything I'd normally wear. 

The bad
I was too lazy to make a muslin, so as a consequence there were a few fitting issues, mostly around the shoulders. I always seem to have the problem that the back gapes at the neckline and the shoulders look too 'blocky'. Does anyone know what type of adjustments I should be making, is that a common problem? I fixed the gapiness by hitching in the shoulder seams a few inches, but the blockiness is still there, I decided it wasn't worth unpicking all the interfacing to fix (lazy), plus I wasn't sure how to go about it. 

And now for the ugly....
I refer you to my last post where I announced I was making a top from the Japanese sewing book. Well. It's hideous. Just hideous. A dud dud, if you will (do you call clothes 'duds' where you come from??). It's unfinished as it was so unflattering I couldn't bear to work on it any further. 

Ok, the make itself is not bad, but seriously. It made me look about 9 months pregnant. Thankfully there is a lot of fabric in it, so it can probably be repurposed somehow! I've not seen any pictures of this top actually on a person (as opposed to on a dummy - Mildred is taking one for the team and modelling it for me) - has anyone else made it? Perhaps it's just universally unflattering! 

Anyway, I've settled into my new job, have more energy now that the weathers picked up, and have got my sewing mojo back, so hopefully it will not be as quiet around here as of late. I spent today in Walthamstow Market, as recommended heartily by Karen, and picked up 8 metres of fabric for around a tenner - bargain!! I'll share my purchases in my next post. 


  1. Yay! Good work! It looks great on you - red polka dots was the right decision.

    I wonder whether the gaping back neck could be fixed by shortening the bodice? On a dress with one long front piece this would mean folding over a bit of the pattern around the rib cage area before you place it on the fabric to cut it out. I'm not sure if this is the answer, but I know from comparing my measurements to a pattern's measurements that I always need to shorten the bodice, and if I forget the fit ends up all funny.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "blocky" shoulders - do you mean they stand out or that the shoulder seam is dropping over the edge? If so, you just need to mark where the high point of your shoulder comes on the bodice and move the seamline to there before stitching. Hope that makes sense!

  2. Thanks Tilly! I will give the shortening a go next time, I think the pattern even shows how to do that.

    By 'blocky' I just mean it seems a little shapeless around the sleeve so it looks a little square - I suppose I mean decolletage area rather than shoulders. It doesn't look bad, it's just not perfect, but my Rooibos has the same thing.

  3. Carly I absolutely love the way the finished dress looks on you - it's such a lovely length and fits so nicely on your curves - is the little butterfly a lace applique?! It's utterly lush! :-)

    Jem xXx

  4. Carly, that dress looks lovely on you and that color is great! Actually, I do love the whole outfit and your facial expression, too! :) So cute!...about the top. Have you tried it with a waist belt? Maybe that might give it more shape?

  5. Love the spotty dress Carly, it looks great without the sleeves. Btw, you have the same radio as me!
    Your Japanese top looks gorgeous on Mildred but I totally sympathise about the looking pregnant thing, I get that a lot. Have you tried it with a belt? That's usually my solution.
    Glad the job's settled down, now show us your fabric! x

  6. Cute dress Carly! You suit the red and the polka dots so much! And I actually love the way the top looks as well, although I know only too well that looking good on the mannequin doesn't necessarily translate!xx

  7. I have a similar problem with gaping necklines at the back; I've found that putting a short dart in the neckline on either side helps loads. You have to re-draft the facing to fit, but that's a relatively simple job. You may find that that's enough to sort out the shape of the shoulders; if the back fits you better it should pull the rest into shape a bit!