Friday, 23 August 2013

Procrastination project: New Look 6144 plaid dress

I may appear to be quite efficient and productive, popping up here on a regular basis to show off my latest finished creation as well as looking after two small children, a rambunctious dog, a part time job and all that is involved in looking after a house. Plus a husband to bear with too. But the reality is if I didn't procrastinate so much I could achieve so much more, but sadly when I get the slightest bit bored or frustrated I actively start looking for distractions and I really need rock solid deadlines to get back on track. You should see how clean my desk is at work.....

And so it is with this latest dress I've made. I should be sewing my August Burda project since it's coming close to the end of August, I've traced the pattern pieces out and pre-treated the fabric, but the thought of pinning and cutting out the fabric, lining and interfacing and then going onto block fusing all those pieces is just too much. So instead I decided to make a quick dress instead. Except it didn't turn out all that quick, and I got frustrated with it and procrastinated further by cleaning up my sewing room!

Anyway it's finished now, mostly - after seeing how it looks in photos I realise a few things need fixing that weren't obvious from looking at it in the mirror.  So, the finished dress:

new-look-6144-plaid-dress

I made New Look 6144, view B without a belt, from some teal green plaid cotton that I've had in the stash for ages and have been wanting to use for a while. Unfortunately I should have waited a bit longer to use this fabric because this pattern and this fabric are not the ideal match. I was so careful to match up the plaid on the front and back shoulder seams, the outside sleeve seam (it's a two piece sleeve), the side seams and the back seam. I did a pretty good job too, here's the back:

new-look-6144-plaid-dress

and the sleeves:

new-look-6144-plaid-dress

new-look-6144-plaid-dress
 but look at the front:

new-look-6144-plaid-dress
I was so concentrating on getting the plaid to match at the shoulder seam that I totally didn't think about what would happen to the plaid with all those angled darts at the front. As you can see those darts totally mess up the yellow line across the front and makes it look quite messy. It was about this point that I got out the vacuum and started to clean......

But I forced myself to finish it (no new UFOs being my mantra these days) and decided just to treat this as a wearable muslin if it looked ok. And mostly it does, except that the lining is peeking out at the neckline - I'll need to press the neckline again and understitch. I also concentrated so much on getting the plaid at the centre back to match (which it does) that I didn't do the top of the neckline very well - one side sits higher than the other so I'll have to resew that.

I also think that overall it's a smidgen too big, which is why the lower darts at the centre front of the skirt are a bit puffy. I cut my usual 8 at the bust, 10 at the waist and 12 at the hips which has worked really well for the other New Look dresses I made recently, but this time not so well. Usually I overfit my dresses to have minimal ease, but on this one I only reduced the ease a little because the fabric is quite thin and I didn't want the fabric to tear or the plaid to become too distorted from stress or pulling at the seams.

This fabric also wrinkles really easily, the wrinkles you can see in the front near the hem are just from kneeling down to set up for this photo shoot, so I'd hate to see what it's like at the end of a long work day. (Oh and please excuse the rather wild and bouffy hair - I took these photos this morning which is a non work day so I didn't straighten my hair.)

new-look-6144-plaid-dress
new-look-6144-plaid-dress

It is a lovely pattern though, it just doesn't suit plaids and probably not stripes either. I should have used the other view with the pleat at the neckline instead, but you live and learn. I will make this dress again in a solid colour so I don't drive myself nuts with all that seam matching again!

And now I would like to say that I will be getting on to my August Burda project next, but I've promised Anna a new dress for a birthday party on Sunday morning so I have to deliver that first. Luckily I'll be spending tomorrow at my local ASG group so I may be able to get it finished in amongst all the chatting that goes on at those days!

Finally what do you all think of the new background? It's just some bright fabric from Ikea which I thought was more attractive than my beige lounge and antique chinese wooden screen you normally have to see in the background. But is it too distracting or overwhelming?

36 comments:

  1. Big fan of the background - it's a nice change and really perks the photos up. Perhaps a rotation between all the different looks? Also yes, you're a bit of a superwoman - good to know superwoman suffers from the same procrastination bug I do! ;)

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    1. I'm far from superwoman - just doing a good job at impersonating one most of the time!

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  2. I really like this dress and would not have noticed any flaws if you hadn't pointed them out. In fact, I still can barely see them. And your background is nice and happy!

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    1. thanks! You're totally right, no one else probably notices half the things we notice about ourselves

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    1. thanks, I thought it was time for a change

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  4. I love the background, and am amused that your apologetic 'bouffy' hair is how mine looks on a day when everything is at it's best!

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    1. I'm used to my hair being poker straight, but my hairdresser cut lots of layers at the last haircut I had which means it now sticks out everywhere - but I take your point!

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  5. First of all, the background is fun and fits well especially the blue dress. *^v^*
    I believe you see the flaws of the dress we don't see, but still it's you who has to feel good in it. Sorry to hear it wrinkles so easily, it's a nice colour and pattern, and it really suits you.

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    1. thanks! I like the colour and pattern too which is why I've been wanting to use it for such a long time, but the wrinkles, oh my they are annoying.

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  6. The background is so cheery love it if the plaid drives you mad how about trying to dye the dress into a solid

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    1. Good idea - if this fabric was better and didn't wrinkle so much I would try to salvage it this way, but instead I think I'll make a solid coloured one as well (no shortage of fabric at my place!)

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  7. I like the background. I think the dress is pretty cute. Just throw a scarf around your neck and you're good to go!

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    1. Good idea, I have plenty of scarves to choose from too...

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  8. LoooOOOoooove the background ! Great choice. It's happy, fun and great looking.

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    1. thank you - that's the look I was after.

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  9. Background is lovely and fresh! The dress style suits you - I think the suggestion of a light scarf might make you feel a little better about those darts...

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    1. yes I will try the scarf, although I suppose no one should be looking that closely at my chest when I'm at work anyway!

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  10. The background is fun - but I honestly didn't even notice until you mentioned it, I was so focused on the dress- in a GOOD way!

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    1. oh good - I didn't want it to be overwhelming, just a little brighter

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  11. I agree that a bit more fitted would be better. I would have centered the plaid on the front. I think the disappearing lines are fine. Good job on the dress. Don't beat yourself up so much on the mistakes you see! Also, love the background.

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    1. I was so focused on matching the plaid at the side seams I didn't even think about where it was placed at the centre front - will have to remember this for next time.

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  12. Love the dress and background! You did an awesome job matching the plaid. How do you manage to cut a size 8 at the top, size 10 for the waist and size 12 for the lower body? I am amazed that you do that for your patterns - - WOW! I am still learning on how to cut a size 8 for the top and size 10 for the lower body. ; ))))

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    1. It helps a lot that the New Look patterns are multi sized patterns, so I just use my French curve ruler to draw gentle and gradual lines between the sizes I need.

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  13. I am a procrastinator as well, though I don't sew to delay other sewing. I just read sewing blogs. I love your background.

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    1. Reading blogs is a fantastic tool for procrastination, as well as getting inspiration at the same time. I am very guilty of this too!

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  14. What a great idea of Judiths - a little scarf. I think no-one will notice the slight mismatch of plaid at the front - I think we all slip up with plaid. It's a nice little wearable muslin - and if you are like me, you won't be scared to wear it because it is too good!

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    1. I do try to wear everything I've made at least once to give it a chance to prove itself, sometimes things wear better than I think they will

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  15. Very wearable dress, us sewers are too critical, which is good, but then we need to step back and remember what is in RTW. Love the plaid and you have done an amazing job lining it all up. Hopefully we didn't distract you too much yesterday as Anna's new dress was looking pretty cute!

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    1. Thanks Sharon - I think I did my fair share of distracting others on Saturday too!

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  16. Halfway through reading this I wanted to scream that the front of the dress looked great! My eye went to the plaid stripe right across your bustline. The darts and the plaid look like a designer technique. This is a GREAT dress! I agree with Sharon, that as sewists we are overly critical.

    Personally, I love the new backdrop!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, I agree we are all too critical of our creations. Most of the time they are better than RTW, so I should remember that when I'm being harsh on myself

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  17. It's a great shape and fit. If you can't live with mismatch of plaid have you thought about dying it black or navy?

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  18. I love the new backdrop. It's a clever idea.
    Now I'm looking at the dress. It fits. It's balanced. The lines are fine and not dominant. And you can replicate this dress. I know what you're saying.
    After looking at Spring and Fall trends, they used basic styles with prints and stripes and I can see you've made a great basic dress.

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  19. I thought this dress is a little too big when I looked at first picture but the last one, for side looks really fine. I don't know. Maybe there is something with my eyes. I have to use different sizes too - one for bust and other for hips - for most of my time I sew shirts and skirts omitting that problem. Now finally I'm learning how to sew dresses.

    Great background.

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  20. perfect pattern matching and beautiful dress! Well done!

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