Sunday, August 21, 2011
In a dark wood wandering
Or possibly not - I could probably feed the German instructions into the Google machine and get back something resembling instructions to make this dress.
Why do I want to make this dress? That's another thing entirely, and I'm not completely sure why, but when the September issue arrived yesterday, that was what jumped out at me. I hated the photo - the model was so contorted you couldn't tell what the dress was supposed to look like - but I found the line drawing intriguing, and when I looked up the online photo, I decided to go for it.
And then of course I see that it's a TALL pattern, and last time I checked, I'm still not tall.
I decide I still find the pattern intriguing, though there's a chance it will make me look like a bag of potatoes. Maybe that's why I find it intriguing? Because most of the time I can't just head straight for a flattering pattern; I have to wrestle with something first to make it work?
I trace it off, noting that the front pattern piece is so ginormous (to account for the drape) that it's wider than my fabric. Thankfully I've chosen a non-directional print (a silk twill from Paron's) so I laid out the pieces the wrong way and still had enough left to cut the front and back upper bodices, armhole facings and hem facings.
The swearing starts when I have all the pieces assembled (minus the missing facing) and I realize that the instructions begin with the drape. There's no mention anywhere about the upper bodice. Ever. It's beside the point that I don't need them. They're instructions - instruct, preferably from the beginning. Someone will thank you, and not write cranky blog posts about your inadequacies.
Then I read the instructions for the drape. Twice. Three times. That they are awful is an understatement. Riddle me this one: "For the draped fold on the front, fold the front along marked fold line, right side facing in. Stitch along the upper edge from the fold edge to the seam mark (seam number 1), then stitch upward to edge of seam allowance at the seam mark." Still with me? "Here, clip allowance diagonally into the stitched corner. Pull the draped fold out and push the pointed upper corner to the inside, approx. 8" wide."
From there, they deal with the back. "Gather the upper edge of the back between the asterisks to 9 1/2 ins." (They neglect to mention that pesky back upper bodice that you're supposed to connect it to. Details, details.
After that, they cover side seams, the zip and some sketchy description of the armhole facings. If I didn't know what I was doing, I'd be so stinking lost.
I finally figured out my mistake - the "marked fold line" is an almost invisible straight line next to the diagonal line where the 2 pieces of the front pattern piece are taped together, and it's noted on the pattern sheet with large words in Russian and German, and a discreet "fold" written below, so I missed it. I'm still confused, but it's becoming clearer.
More later, when I finally get the drape draped. And then decide I look like I'm wearing a silk twill potato sack.