Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sew Daring

It's a knit dress! I feel like there should be some shouts of excitement. Perhaps some dancing about. I sewed a knit dress. What's more, it's a Franken-Dress. A combination of two very lovely knit patterns, McCall's 6957 and 7092. GillianCrafts of Crafting a Rainbow dared me to stitch up a knit dress as my sewing dare. Dare done.

I should be excited, but I'm not. I don't like this dress. I didn't enjoy sewing this dress. In fact, toward the end, I was powering through just to finish the dress and get it the heck out of my way. I managed to stop and try it on just short of the hem. The low part of the high/low hem was too low, so after a few photos, I hung the dress and walked away.

Let me go back three weeks, when the dress was just a pile of pieces and I was looking forward to tackling a new adventure. Okay, I was somewhat leery of attacking a knit. I managed to actually rethread my serger in pink thread because I knew the back seam was going to show through to the front because of the lower back hem. There was excitement. I managed to thread it right the first go and it took barely five minutes! A few tweaks and adjustments later and I was ready to go.
The moment of excitement and bliss.  This is going to be
the most awesome dress ever. Ha.

This is where things started to go horribly wrong. The back pieces serged nicely. Happy sewist. The front modesty pieces folded in half and again, serged up like a dream, as did the top bodice pieces. It wasn't until I went to put the pleats into the front that the swearing began. Since the pattern calls for the bodies pieces to be folded in half and THEN the pleats neatly folded and stitched, there are four layers of super thick scuba knit in six spots across the front of the bodice. These layers then layer on top of the modest pieces, which are also folded in half and then layered on top of each other. So in a four inch wide spot, there are no less than eight layers of scuba. Both machines staged a mutiny at this point.
Don't ask.  Just don't. It's terrible.

I responded to the mutiny with suggestions that are not even anatomically probable for a human, much less a machine, and rethreaded the sewing machine with the super heavy duty denim thread and after a few more tries I switched to the denim needle. More swearing. More unflattering and highly unlikely suggestions. I resorted to hand sewing a couple of spots just to get everything to hold together and declared the front empire waistline complete. Rethreaded with the pink thread and the needle for knits, the machine and I tackled the center back seam. Two simple layers of scuba and the machine skipped it's way down the seam. Literally skipped. There were spots here and there with two and three stitches that didn't sew. Yet more swearing. I tried several different needle combinations before I just went back to the jersey needle and restitched the entire seam over the top of the first run. It still skipped, but in different spots.

Every single seam in this dress has been stitched through twice, sworn at the entire length of stitching and in some places, I still had to go back and run it through again. I looked at my work and sighed mightily. Not a single seam lay flat. This is scuba. It is not iron friendly. I tried on a scrap, just in case, with a press cloth and because I'm a glutton, I even hit it with steam in hopes of finding something, anything to get it to flatten out. Short of going through and stitching each seam allowance down, it ain't gonna happen. The whole thing has a sloppy look because of it.

By this point, my animosity toward the fabric was pretty high. I still thought the dress looked pretty on the hanger. Honestly, more than anything I was just relieved that the assembly part was pretty well done. I tried on the dress and hated it. The back portion of the high/low skirt was so long it brushed the backs of my ankles. I drug the hubs out to take pictures and get his comments. He was confused by the back length, confirming my own concerns that it was too long. After looking at the pictures, I was more sure that this dress was horrible. So I did what any self respecting sewist does. I posted it on Instagram and begged Gillian to convince me to not hate it.

It didn't' work. My feelings were so strong that I hung the dress figuring I would come back in a day and hem it just to have it done. A day turned into an entire week. The dress hung off the curtain rod in the dining room. I would walk by it every time I went to the pantry and glare furiously at it. Finally, I was more tired of having it hanging unfinished, so I went back and cut a full 8" off the lowest portion of the high low skirt on the pink dress. The skirt back at a more comfortable length for me, I put a 3/8" hem around the whole thing.
The white is 6" of pattern I cut before I decided
it wasn't near enough off the back. I cut
above the line of washers.

Finished and done.

I took the finished dress outside to take a few pictures in the sunshine...and found some lovely pull lines on the surface of the front of the skirt. The final nails in the coffin for this dress.
Ignore the white bit of fuzz.  Just look at those stupid pull
lines!  I haven't a clue where they came from.

After spending so much time glaring (and swearing) at it, I've decided that I don't completely hate it. However, the pull lines are pretty obvious, so it really isn't a wear out of the house dress. It is a good stay at home and lounge around the house on a Saturday sort of dress, while still being presentable if company happens to drop by. I don't really have any of that, so I guess that's something.
Inside back, the seam that annoys
me the most.

The seams that just refuse to lay flat.

I'm coining a new sewing phrase just for this dress...Wearable Wadder. Frankly, I think that translates into I put far to much sweat and swearing into the dang thing to throw it away in spite of its incredibly obvious problems. Do you have any wearable wadders?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, what a nightmarish saga! The only thing I've sewn with scuba is a pair of leggings, so I've got no advice on what you could have done any differently... but you persevered, and that's impressive!!! Now go enjoy a nice well-behaved cotton or linen! :)