Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pesky Peony

Colette Peony

I believe I've told everyone who will listen that I've been sitting on this pattern for over a year. I originally wasn't very sold on this dress...I was too smitten with the Clover pattern. Still, after seeing a couple of adorable versions pop up, specifically by Lauren of Lladybird, I purchased the pattern. I knew that a lot of other people who made it had problems with the bodice fit so I went in expecting to make alterations. I made a true muslin of the bodice last year and after deciding I wasn't going to be able to escape a FBA, I made the choice to move the darts outward also. Doing this left the fit in the bust ok but the rest of it baggy. After much internet scouring I found this tutorial by Gertie about shortening and widening the darts to remove excess fabric from underneath the bust. I did this but after making a third muslin of the bodice, the fit still wasn't right and I promptly moved the whole project to my UFO pile.

My pattern when I saved it from the UFO pile. Notice the tear from balling up and throwing.

 I've toyed with picking the pattern up a couple of times since then but obviously I just let it sit. When it was chosen for Sew Colette 2.0 I was pleased for the kick in the butt to finish it and went in feeling I would have a year of sewing/fitting under my belt and a fresh outlook. I made a muslin, and it was a bit of a baggy mess...again. I adjusted it by taking in the side seams, the back center seam and I felt that did a sufficient job of taking care of the fit. Plus, I was already getting stressed out about the whole challenge all over again.

Muslin...looks good except for the HUGE GAPING BACK!

 I bought this fabric 50% off of the clearance rack at Joann's. I actually had been eyeing it for awhile but there was less than 2 yards left on the bolt. I was afraid that there wouldn't be enough but there definitely was. That's actually a huge plus for the dress...less than 2 yards of fabric? Awesome.

Colette Peony

 What worked on my muslin did not work on this fabric. Ugh. I fiddled with the darts some more, took in the sides..even more...chopped a couple of inches off of the bodice, took a HUGE chunk out of the center back and called it a day. I am glad I chose to make the cumberbun belt because I think it really adds to this otherwise plain dress.

Colette Peony

 I initially planned on this being my wearable muslin but I don't think I'm going to be making this again. I just don't have it in me. If inspiration strikes, I may whip one together but as of now I don't see that happening. I'm disappointed in myself because it was a personal goal to do my best to make the "Parade" at the end of each garment sew along for Sew Colette 2.0. I don't feel this dress is really parade worthy. My family tells me I'm way too hard on myself, and maybe I am. I admit to being my own worst critic.

Colette Peony

 I'm not positive what went wrong but I have a few theories. From what I've seen and read from other bloggers, what I originally diagnosed as a too-tight bust (wrinkles and pulling across the bust) may have been from just the dart placement. I think I could have done without the FBA as I feel there was a lot of extra room in that area in the end. I think that the FBA may have solved the initial problem of the bust wrinkles, but with it it set off a whole new set of fit issues. As for the back, it's CRAZY! Was this pattern drafted with a hunchback in mind?! At the end of the day, the only thing saving this dress is the fabric and I'm not sure all those alterations are even worth the outcome. I just feel meh about the pattern as a whole. I have to accept the fact that I do not have the fabulous looks and figure of so many of my favorite bloggers. I think I'm often drawn to a pattern based on the way it looks on someone else and then I end up disappointed when I see the way it looks on me. I'm going to try to make an effort to shop for my body shape when choosing patterns.
 On a side note, sorry for these heavily tweaked photos. I was losing light fast and I'm afraid all the pictures came out pretty washed out looking.

 Now I take a break momentarily from sewing clothes for myself to sewing costumes for my children. I have my oldest daughter's costume in the works and I still have the rest of my little ones to attend to.


Gillian said...

There seems to be a lot of stressful sewing with the Peony this round of the sewalong! I LOVE the pattern, and I've made it 4 times before... but looking back, even with all the changes I made, I just don't feel like I nailed the fit. Like you, I thought the sewalong was a good excuse to tackle it again, but I'm just not inspired, so I'm giving up! I did blog about all the changes I had to make to get it to work... Sounds like we had to do a lot of the same alterations!

I like the fabric you chose though, and I think it's cute on you. It'll be great with some tights and a cardigan in winter! :)

Cynthia said...

Yours is super cute and I love the fabric. Cheers

Shannon said...

What?! Not parade worthy? This dress is so cute. I absolutely love the fabric! I've made a tunic out of it.

I had a lot of issues with mine too. I had to move the darts and shorten them. I've got my fabric cut out for the final but I'm kinda scared to get started.

lsaspacey said...

Wow, I love it and I think the fit on your dress looks perfect. Colette patterns tend to have too much fabric in the back for some reason. You found that fabric at Joanns? Seriously? Why don't I see anything that good at my local stores?

lsaspacey said...

Oh, I finished reading your post and I have to say, the first thing I thought when I saw this on Flickr is that you looked great from hair to shoes. You are too hard on yourself. You are beautiful and you have a fantastic figure. The dress looks great on you, you should be proud.

"I have to accept the fact that I do not have the fabulous looks and figure of so many of my favorite bloggers." I have those feeling too sometimes, but you know, someone is probably thinking that exact same thing about you. Own your beauty, ok? Take care.

Jamie said...

Thanks Gillian! You better believe I poured over your versions of the Peony many times before starting on this one. Your versions are beyond adorable. I had originally wanted to make this dress in a fabric that I wasn't able to source so maybe if I find what I was originally looking for I'll give it another go.

Jamie said...

Thanks Cynthia!

Jamie said...

Aw, thanks Shanni. And omg, I just checked out that top. So cute!! I really did love that fabric, it's so soft and drapey and now I want to make it into a top like yours. lol. maybe i need to go scour the other Joann's to see if there's any left. I saw your muslin and I think it looked pretty good. Go for it and gooooood luck!

Jamie said...

Wow, thank you so much. What a sweet, encouraging comment. I appreciate it. I've had four kids in the span of 6 years so I under went some major body changes in a short amount of time. Now that I'm done having children I'm trying to come to terms with what's left over and I feel like I'm slowly getting there but I do struggle sometimes. Thanks again for the positive feedback :)

Elisha said...

Aw man, I wanted this fabric so badly (I saw they carried it in both dress weight AND a quilting cotton, I would've taken either!) and I never ended up buying it. Then I see a bunch of people with it all over the blogosphere making me sad I didn't buy it! LauraMae made a Voque dress from it, and one of the Sew Weekly contributors made a tunic.

Gillian said...

Aww, thanks! It is rusting to have to make so many changes though, and still not love the outcome... but at least the process of sewing is so fun that I don't mind if the occasional garment isn't all I dreamed! Case in point: I just made a Grainline Sctout Tee that is not remotely flattering and way to short, but darn it, it was so satisfying to make a shirt in an hour! Totally worth it as a muslin, and I'll choose better fabric next time!

Gillian said...

Rusting? I meant frustrating... :P

Melizza Makes said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! From head to toe.

Wendy said...

I love the outcome of your dress, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with your figure, where would you get that idea?
And with that fabric, this dress is absolutely parade-worthy! It is gorgeous!

Post a Comment