Dahlia: The One That Got Away!

Zip not inserted, left side pinned

Zip not inserted, left side pinned

My projects start out 100% perfect, but that’s before they’re cut and sewn. It seems that every stage of the process moves the garment further and further away from perfection. From cutting to sewing and the final finishing touches, my dream of a perfect make deteriorates with the accumulation of human involvement. Most of the time the end result is wearable, even something to be proud of. This time, the project defeated me…Let’s just say, the jury’s still out as to whether it’s even worth finishing.

Plaid matching

Plaid matching

I will not be alone in falling hard and fast for the new Colette pattern: the Dahlia. Feeling optimistic, I followed Colette Pattern’s How to Match Plaids & Stripes tutorial and spent a good four hours, yes that’s four hours, cutting out the pieces. Deep down, I think I knew this Dahlia was doomed from the start. The brushed cotton plaid fabric was the perfect colour for a winter dress. In retrospect it would have made a perfect pair of pyjamas: soft, snuggly and yielding. Whilst being my dream colour combo, the fabric has a tendency to pull out of shape. Case in point: it took an awful lot of tugging to straighten it out after the pre-wash, and with plaids there are no shortcuts. So I shouldn’t have been particularly surprised when the bias-cut waist yoke appeared to have stretched out of shape. I decided to go back and add fusible interfacing to stiffen it up before I sewed down the lining yoke.

Major neckline gaping

Major neckline gaping

A similar effect had occurred on the neckline. Despite stay-stitching, the neckline had stretched out so that the binding gapes away from the body. Is it just me, or does stay-stitching itself stretch the fabric out? I do wonder if it’s better just to sort the neckline out for good at the earliest stage possible to avoid all problems. The only solution would be to remove the binding at the back and add neckline darts.

Dahlia

Whether the fabric has stretched beyond belief or I had cut a size too big is up for debate. I did cut a larger size than my last Colette pattern, the Laurel. I also graded out at the waist to be sure that it would fit after studying the size tables! The hastily prepared toile did not hint at the disaster to come. As I write, after the yoke lining has been stitched down, the only way I can take the fullness out of the waistline is to increase the seam allowance down the zip side. Would this result in the dress being noticeably off-centre?

More plaid-matching

More plaid-matching

So, the fit’s not great, the fabric pulls out of shape, and worst of all, the dress seems to be in a ‘Fatal Attraction’ relationship with my tights. I’m really unsure as to whether it’s worth the effort to salvage this, despite the super-human effort it took to get the plaid to line up. I think I will admit defeat and let this one go. It will be The One That Got Away. And it could have been so perfect….

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Dahlia: The One That Got Away!

  1. Aw, I really feel for you. But don’t give up. When I saw your photos I thought it looked fabulous and it’s only after reading the text that my attention was brought to the minor flaws.
    You really must finish it. The colours are amazing and perfect for a Dahlia. And if you’re still not too happy when it’s finished you can always buy a cardigan! That’s what Amanda from Sew Deputy ( https://aebgledhill.wordpress.com ) suggested to me about mine. ✂️😃✂️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, I wish you were on hand as a life-coach!! Thanks for your encouragement. I think the photos make it look a lot better than it is. The big question is, is it worth all the extra work to fix it, or should I have waited for the Sewalong?!

      Like

      • Finish it!
        Add a small dart or pleat where each shoulder seam would be, that’ll help with the gaping. Or even leave that until you’ve finished the rest. Pop your zip in and machine stitch your hem. If you get stuck in now you’ll still have time to go out and buy a cardi. Oh, and a trip to Marksies to buy a slip to sort out the tights malarkey!
        God, I really sound like I know what I’m talking about! I don’t believe me!! And maybe I would be chucking it in the UFO pile too, but it really is too nice to give up on.
        My Dahlia has excess fabric in the back, but hey ho, I’ll buy a cardigan in January when my RTW Fast us over. Until then I’ll live with it! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  2. You really should save it. Thimberlina is absolutely right.Take a break and get back to it. You certainly have got stuck into this new pattern. The fabric looks lovely online. I will try this pattern one day and bear in mind all your comments.
    I made my first Coco after your advice on working with knits. I am really delighted and am ready to start another so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you feel, but with a little perspective you’ll find ways to save this beautiful dress. As for clinging problem with your tights, why not wear a silky petticoat? (I mean “jupon” in French). Frankly, your dress looks wonderful despite the flaws you mentioned. It might become an everyday dress, maybe imperfect, but cosy and soft… I’m myself waiting for my Dalhia pattern to be delivered any day now and your experience will be useful to me. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your suggestions. i can’t fault the pattern itself. I think the problems were all down to the wrong fabric and a generous size. I am going to have another look at it and see what I can do….

    Like

  5. Hehe, got to laugh at how tricky sewing can be sometimes. That said, just reading what you’ve done shows what an enormous amount of skill you have to get thus far. I am impressed. Hope you find a way to rectify… but either way, think you have a great way of writing about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, what a shame 😦 The fabric is lovely, especially the colours you’ve chosen. I’ve yet to try plaids, but I have downloaded the guide too. Seems a shame to give up though entirely… Maybe set it aside for a while and try something simpler for some instant sewing gratitude? Or could you make it into a skirt even?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel your pain – I too am traumatised! I have been almost in tears – my neckline gaps so much it is an off the shoulder number; something very odd happened with the yoke section and one side is correctly set and the other side the seam is exposed AND I have threads everywhere. I was so excited and have been waiting to finish so that I can blog it but like you, simply cannot face the final bits of hand sewing. On to plus side, I start a four week workshop at Sew Over It tomorrow working on a lace dress so hopefully, with step by step hand holding, I should end up with something wearable. Make something else and then go back to it. Are you participating in Sewvember? It’s fun x

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG!! I can’t believe it’s happened to you too! How bizarre. What kind of fabric are you using? It’s so frustrating when the Dahlia pattern is both gorgeous and a beginners level! I was really ready to take a deep breath and move on, but with about an hour’s work I have added neck darts to take out some of the gape, and have hacked the inside yoke and taken it in at the waist. I decided that if it was a write-off I may aswell try and learn something, but it’s wrecked my confidence a bit. Can’t wait to hear about your course at SOI. I can’t believe you’ll be in South London too. As for Sewvember, I haven’t heard of it. But back to Dahlia, maybe you need to put it to one side until it becomes a fun challenge again. It’s not meant to be such a distressing hobby
      !

      Like

  8. Hope your adjustments make it fit, it’s such a shame when it looks so good in the second picture. What ever you do, you are learning all the time and you have much more patience than me, I used to get it all done except for the hem and then loose interest. It would take ages to get back to finishing.
    Chin up! I’m sure you can sort it. x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Darling!!! You are not one to admit defeat. The yolk and bodice look fab and I really don’t think you can tell until it’s finished and you’ve washed n pressed it !! You would always need an underskirt with tights anyway and I love Thimberlina’s cardie idea!
    I think you should fold it up, put it to one side, make something fabulous ( even maybe a winter Moneta…… ahem) and then launch yourself back at it, sword in the air………I know you can do it !!!
    Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hate it when things stretch out of shape. With that said, it really looks quite nice in the first few photos, so I think it’s worth it to save it. Although it might help to work on something quick and easy in the mean time to get your sewing juices flowing freely again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It looks like a beautiful autumnal dress and sounds like you’ve put so much effort and thought and into it- no doubt you’ll have learnt so much and don’t be disheartened- it looks really pretty and it sounds like it was the fabric’s fault! Darned fabric… causing havoc!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Dahlia: A Second Chance | Sew South London

  13. Pingback: Dahlia: A Second Chance | Sew South London

  14. Pingback: The 2014 Misses! | Sew South London

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s