Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Olive Green Guilt Piece

Steph recently gave away a dress she considered to be a guilt piece. You know- good fit, great sewing, but you put it on and feel you're wearing someone else's frock. I never wear her though she's a great dress- hence the guilt, she wrote.

I'm pretty sure I am currently making a guilt piece.

It's made from gorgeous olive green silk dupioni and the sewing is pretty good (if I do say so myself :). But unfortunately, I really don't see myself wearing it. The pattern is Vogue 8615. I thought I'd jump on the vintage full skirted trend, but I kind of always knew I wouldn't like it. It's the full skirt I'm not too pleased with. I think full skirts look great on people who are petite or very, very thin-- I'm neither. Anyway, we'll see. I'm going to finish it because I believe that beautiful olive green silk dupioni deserves to be finished.

On the bright side, whether I wear it or not I've learned some new things. This is the first time I fully lined something. I used Sewaholic's handpicked zipper tutorial which may be my new favorite sewing technique. I hate putting in zippers on a sewing machine. There is so much more control doing it by hand. I'm not sure I'll ever put one in by machine again. All the dress needs now is to be hemmed and I'm planning on using Gertie's tutorial for using horsehair braid. Maybe that will change the way it hangs and I'll like it more. Right now I feel like a large set of drapes in it. I promise to post pictures wearing it whether I like it or not :) Thanks for reading!

Handpicked goodness!


  1. 1- Give me your dress.

    2- Full skirts tend to look extra smashing on people who have no waist or have a capacious waist. Gertie's not petite or super thin. Isn't that great about the internets, style icons who have attainable body shapes.

    3- Even if it looks good on you, if you don't dig it, don't wear it. See #1.

    4- Maybe give it a few months and try another full skirt in a different fabric or style.

    5- Ooh la la, I was quoted.

    6- Your zipper is so pretty and well sewn. See #1.

  2. The zipper looks fantastic!! Excellent work!
    I love full skirts, and I have big hips and a small waist. I'm not petite (short perhaps) and not super thin either. I love this pattern and I bet it will look gorgeous on you!

    Give it a chance once it's all done... and if it still doesn't feel like your kind of dress, give it to Steph :)

  3. Good! I'm so glad you don't mind being quoted. After I hit the post button I thought I should have asked you first. And thanks!

    This is my public declaration: If it does become a guilt piece, I'm sending it to you, Steph. This fabric does not belong in the back of a closet.

  4. I need to elaborate on my statement about full skirts on thin and petite frames. I take it back because I have seen fabulous full skirted dresses on all sorts of body types. I think my statement stems from my own insecurities about wanting to be a) thinner or b) a little more petite when wearing a full skirt :)
    The grass is always greener, eh?

  5. Don't you love how blogging makes you re-examine how you think about yourself and others? It's perhaps the most valuable part of blogging.

    Check out Em-Made's Full Skirted Dress. She's a student of mine, she's only been sewing a few months. The full skirt looks fantastic on her.

    Heh, I couldn't actually accept so many meters of gorgeous fabric outright. Let her hang in your closet a few seasons, if you still feel meh about her, we'll work something out. ;)

  6. Also, some kind of design feature might lessen the "drapes" effect. Like a tailored bow or a pleated band somewhere or something.

  7. That silk really is a beautiful colour. I think that once this dress is finished you might find that you do really love it on you. Congratulations on your hand picked zipper - very nicely done!

  8. I bet it will look great on you, if the hem is the right length :). Which doesn't, of course, guarantee that the dress will *feel* like you. (In photos, I look great in my Kasia skirt... I still don't *feel* like I look great). I'm glad you're finishing it, though. You're right, silk dupioni deserves to be finished :)

    And, yes, the grass is allways greener. ;)

  9. Need to try the hand picked zipper, I can't say I enjoy machine zipping either. I have Tasia's post bookmarked so have to have a go at it.

  10. The fabric is a lovely colour. I am constantly haunted with the feeling that I'll never or rarely wear the garments I sew. I think it's because I lack the ability to visualise the final product resulting so often in a mis-match. I'm also a little paranoid of looking a bit 'homemade'. Hopefully experience will help.

  11. I love the full skirted style dresses. Hope your dress is going well, the colour is gorgeous!

  12. No, Valerie, not at all. In fact, the opposite. I love the advice. I think you are right, too. It doesn't hang the way it's supposed to. I think the fabric is too stiff.

  13. Sorry to butt in here again ;) I have just nominated you for a blog award :)