For starters, I decided the Japanese cotton/linen strawberries print I'd ordered from Hart's Fabric last year was perfect for the Parfait dress ... after already cutting it out for a vintage shift pattern. Oops. That should have been where it all stopped.
But no, I was determined. I cut the pattern pieces out, checked my bust measurement against the instructions, and proceeded to cut as many pieces as I could. All I needed was another yard. So I checked Hart's Fabric's website - no luck. I wasn't dissuaded. I called their store and the most helpful woman on the planet actually tracked down the last two yards in their warehouse. I thought it was meant to be. At $20 a yard, I should have maybe thought a little harder?
**This is where a rational person would have made a muslin. Apparently, I have lost all reason and like wasting time and money. Although, in my defense I like to say I don't have time to make a muslin as I barely have time to sew in general.**
While I was waiting for the extra fabric to arrive, my son spilled a Sprite all over the cut pattern pieces. Tissue paper and Sprite don't go well together and the pieces that were most affected were the bust and midriff. I have no idea if that's why it doesn't fit me right or not. I managed to dry them and they seemed fine. But it doesn't fit.
I cut it out over Christmas break and finally got around to putting it together this weekend, with both of my kids underfoot.
I don't know where to begin on what's wrong with it? It's a lovely dress. If I had a much bigger chest (36C here) and was shorter and thinner, it would fit. Maybe. There's some weirdness where one side of the front didn't match the back.
I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but the back of the skirt is off-balance? One side was almost two inches wider than the midriff when I went to attach it, so the seams across the back are off balance. I made adjustments to even it out, but couldn't do as much as it needed.
And when I finished putting the midriff/bodice pieces together, the back on one side was notably wider than the front. Odd.
I do love the details, though! I added some ivory piping to the bodice and pockets and I think it adds a little structural detail among all the busy-ness. It made making changes a lot more difficult, though, so this is where a muslin would totally have come in handy.
Part of the problem for me is that I didn't make any adjustments for my height (5'11"). With almost every other commercial pattern there is a point in cutting out the fabric where I add two inches to the bodice for my height. This pattern's pieces never mentioned it, and I must have thought by adding an extra inch to the straps I was making enough of an adjustment.
I was wrong. I should have cut the midriff sections much wider so the skirt started lower on my body. Like where a wasitline would be.
And I should have added a few inches to the length.
I'll probably tackle the Parfait dress again someday. Probably with a much cheaper fabric. And in a much bigger size. With the small bust adjustment. And adjustments for my height. Man, when I write all that it kind of seems like maybe I won't put myself through the agony again?
Oh, well. Live and learn. I should give this blog a tagline - the impatient sew-er who refuses to make a muslin.
Here's to some frustration-free, successful sewing in the future~