Sunday, September 14, 2014

Alder Angst


So, this is where you tell me I should have made a muslin.  I know.  And to make matters worse, I have have seen so many awesome, awesome versions out there in the interwebs.


Argh.  Look at this beauty.  I used a beautiful warm grey linen from my stash that I have been hoarding for ages.  And neon green buttons.  I love them.  This dress has all the makings of being something really fabulous.  And yet, it's not.  I finished this the other week and put it on.  And even J, who compliments everything I make no matter what, wrinkled his nose.  I'm not willing to put it on for blog photos.  Sorry.

Most of the problem is that it's way too big.   I think this is a combination of making a size too big and also the linen I used.  I should know my measurements, I know.  But they have changed so much in the past couple of years.  I erred on the side of too big and I got it.  The linen I used is a heavier 100% linen.  It's one of those linens that kind of has a life of it's own.  I spent a lot of time trying to tame it and make it do what it was supposed to do.   It was difficult to work with.  It's the kind of linen that will age nicely but is stiff and unforgiving at first.  And forget about gathering (don't look too close).  I had to zig zag over heavy thread and I still snapped the thread twice.  It took me several attempts to gather the skirt.  The armholes ended up too low, which only reinforces the fact that I need to size down.  I didn't make any other changes except for lengthening it two inches.  It could also be because I'm just not supposed to wear dresses without waist seams.  Didn't I learn my lesson last time?

However, for posterity, I did want to post about the experience.  Also because I refer to my own blog for info, too.  I'm not finished with the pattern yet.  I'd like to make it again and I will definitely size down.  I am proud of those pockets.  I used the side with the facing for a little more interest.  The instructions were great and everything fit together just as it should.  It was a fun sew, although more labor intensive than things I have been sewing lately.  I did have to brush up on some skills I haven't used for a while.  Precision sewing is not my strong suit.  That collar- I give myself a C-.  But I'll do better next time.  I am patiently waiting for Jen to talk about the v-neck shirt variation.  I can handle the no waist look in a tunic or shirt.  In the meantime, I've got to figure out if there is a way to save this one.  Do I want attempt to alter it?  I was thinking about taking out the armhole binding and then taking in the bodice above the gathered skirt.  That should give me a closer fit and make the armholes a little smaller.  I'll just put it in line behind my Nicola ;)

22 comments:

  1. It looks good on the body form, but I quite understand all that you are saying. I have seen a lot on the blogs with this pattern, but I have wondered if it would be my style, so I haven't taken the pattern plunge yet. However, what about using it as a coverup over a swimsuit? It is okay to be a little on the big side for that and dressy enough where you could go into somewhere to eat afterwards. I actually use a button up dress for my swimsuit coverup.

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    1. A swimsuit coverup is a great idea! It's definitely going in to the closet until next summer anyway.

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  2. That linen looks do lovely that it is worth salvaging. - when you can face the thought.

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    1. I meant 'so' lovely ...darn spell check

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  3. Aww, such a shame as the finished garment looks great on the form. I don't like making muslins either, and have paid the price more than once. When I remember I tissue fit but I know it isn't as accurate. Being 5'3" and large of bust I struggle to make no waist dresses work, too. I think the taking in the sides thing has potential and waist ties might work too.

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    1. I have paid the price for not making muslins over and over again. But I really can't stand to make them. Guess I just have to live with sews like this! I kind of like the challenge of making something work, too. When I get around to it ;)

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  4. I love the dark grey with the fluro buttons. I think it is worth adjusting (like Valerie says, when you can face it) and like Philippa I am 5"3' and large busted and I often have to take things in from under the arm (also don't learn my lessons).

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  5. What a shame! The fabric and button combination is great, and the pockets look good and the gathering looks fine to me! Maybe it is worth a bit more tinkering to get it fitting better and then you'll be happier!

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  6. It's a lovely dress and we've all done it. Made something that was not quite the right fit. I have one sitting in the closet from two
    years ago! It's a beautiful red wool double jersey. However, I think your idea of taking in the bodice could work. You could also put darts in the back of the bodice to give it a bit more shape. These seem like the easiest solution. Raising it from the shoulders would also work, but would be the equivalent of making the dress all over again.

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  7. Ahhhh man, I'm sorry- that's no fun at all. I hope you're able to come back to this and rework it someday because it really looks like it will be lovely when you've got the fit sorted.

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  9. Oh man!! It is super lovely! I love the grey linen and the neon green buttons. Definitely salvage those buttons if you determine this one is a wadder! I haven't made my Alder yet. I have daydreams of painting some fabric for it, but just haven't got around to it yet, but I'm also in love with the v-neck variation Jen mentioned, so I'm also patiently waiting for that tutorial. Anyway, love the color combo on this, so sad you don't like the fit. Probably sizing down will solve a lot of those problems, hopefully!

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  10. Oh I hate when this happens! I think I would try to alter it, it's just so cute! And trying to make something smaller is easier that if you needed to make it bigger. Or just chalk it up to experience and practice, and your next one will be amazing! Maybe just hang it in your closet for a while and see how you feel about it next spring. Sometimes you just need a break from it, and then it won't seem so bad. Whatever you end up doing, salvage those buttons! Good luck!

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    1. I think it will go in the closet for a while. Sometimes I come back to things later and decide I really like them. We'll see!

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  11. Grrr...I'm sorry to read that it doesn't fit. Ugh. So frustrating. I do hope you manage to make it work. The grey with the neon buttons is KILLER. I really love the combination of colors.

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  12. Sorry to hear/read this. It looks stellar on the dress from. Maybe salvage it into a blouse? I also recently made this, and want to love it so, but I just don't know if I can get away with undefined waists either. It looks super cute on everyone else, but I think I'm too tall to make it work. It's such a great pattern, and a nice sew too, so I'm going to give it another go.

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    1. I'm tall, too. And I lengthened it. I think that only adds to the frump factor when it's already too big.

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  13. Too bad about the fit, but I'm sure you will make this work somehow with all these great suggestions. I looks really great on the hanger, and your pockets are super!

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  14. such a bummer! hope you can alter it to make it work, i feel like this silhouette would be great for you! those neon buttons are pretty awesome, btw.

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  15. This looks so lovely on the dress form. Such a shame you don't like it. I think you might be surprised later and have a great idea to alter it. I've been thinking a lot about that alder pattern too. I have it, I just hate putting together PDF patterns!

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  16. Have you tried wearing it unbuttoned, layered as a long vest? Might look frumptastic, but could also look very Japanese, I think...

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