Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slightly Deflated

I did mostly finish my Anouk over the weekend, and it left me feeling slightly deflated.  Before I go into the details of why, here are some pictures of it on the hanger.

unbelted
belted

Don't get me wrong:  I don't hate it.  But I don't love it as much as I was hoping to.  Part of this is the color combination - in the end, I think the black of the yoke is just too stark.  My yoke fabric was an extremely thin voile.  Without interfacing and lining, it matched the black on the stripe fabric quite well.  But of course, I couldn't use it all on its own.  I'm counting this as a good lesson.

I am happy with my workmanship on this dress.  As I said before, I really took my time and concentrated on doing each task well.  I stitched the yoke lining and placket facing down by hand, and finished the side seams (the only exposed seams on this garment, which I think is kind of neat) with my new red serger thread.




This fabric looks magenta, but it's really a "shot" chambray:  the weft threads are marine blue and the warp is a red very close to that serger thread.

I'd had an idea all along that I'd like to use four buttons on the yoke instead of two.  I haven't been able to find many examples of finished projects for this pattern online, but many of those I did find had the buttons off-center.  It just kind of bothered me.  Since I wasn't 100% sure how it would work, and because I didn't want any of the play that buttonholes would introduce, I skipped them and just sewed my buttons on through both layers of the tabs.


I think it looks really cute, but the reality is that the buttons are too heavy.  And that contributed to the major problem with this dress:

Oh noes!!

Holy Gapeage, Batman!!  The yoke stands out about 2 inches from my chest!

Now, I probably should have seen this coming:  I've known since reading Fit for Real People last year that I have a "hollow chest."  But because of the styles I've been sewing so far, it really hasn't come up as an issue, and I've gotten used to concentrating on my other "problem" areas, namely grading from a size 2 bust to 4 waist to 8 hip.  And since this pattern states that it is "free at waist and hips,"  I thought:  "Cool!  I don't have to do any adjustments!"

The fix for this is pretty easy, once you know you have to do it.  You just take a little tuck out at the neckline until it lays the way you want.

Before, with buttons removed.  Note how the tabs now overlap.
After, with a tuck taken out of each side.  Problem solved.  Almost.

I do think I would like to make this pattern again, so I'll be transferring this change to my pattern piece.  I had to take a tuck about 1/4 inch deep on each side (for a total fabric removal of 1/2 inch each side).


Sadly, the "clean finish" construction of this dress means that the only real way to fix it would be to remove the entire yoke and do it again.  I do have enough fabric to do this, but I don't have enough love for the finished product with these fabrics.  So I'm thinking of trying to take some mini pintucks in the yoke to match up with those in the bust.  I'm going to stew on this for a while - obviously I'm in no great hurry to finish this, as it will be many months before I can even contemplate wearing it!

And now I'm going to really get real - all for the benefit of sewer-kind, because there aren't many reviews of this pattern so I'm trying to record my experience with it.  I've read a few comments on Victory Patterns that said the armholes tend to be high.  My armpits are high, so I thought, "Great!  My bra and my armpit fat won't show!"  So, although I edited out all the cleavage shots, I am going to show you that the armholes are indeed high, but not high enough to hid my armpit fat.  Wahhhhh!  I really hate that fat, especially since I'm pretty slender in general.  Maybe it's due to age?  I've only really noticed it in the last few years.

So. Gross.

As I was taking all the pictures for this post, I kept tugging the dress into place to hide those nasty bulges.  It actually mostly looks worse than this, so you should be glad I spared you, relatively speaking.  If anybody knows how to get rid of this, please let me in on the secret!  Bench presses and chest flies are not doing the trick!

So all in all, a good learning experience - I don't regret one minute of the time I spent on this project.  I will wear the dress once it's fixed and the weather warms up.  That is, as much as I wear any of my makes, which is not that often!  And I would like to try out the blouse version - I'm hoping the sleeves will hide the fat.

32 comments:

  1. Very cute dress, and nice job of construction! I think you are being way too hard on yourself re: your alleged "fat". I actually think this is part of your breast tissue, so you might need a smaller band size/larger cup in order to get the breast tissue to be completely encompassed by your bra. Talk to K-Line!

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    1. Thank you!

      I'm intrigued by the idea that a different bra might help, although truthfully, the offending tissue is nowhere near my breasts and is present no matter what bra I wear, and even if I don't wear any. Still, it's worth looking into!

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  2. Are you being too critical, as livinginred mentions?

    IMHO, during the day of wearing this dress would you be inactive long enough for anyone to notice what is sooo obvious to you?
    In your second self-shot in this post, there is not a hint of this as you hold the camera for the pic.

    Love all the detail you've incorporated.

    hugs

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    1. Hehehe - I only included the shots where it didn't show, except for the last one!

      And although it does truly bother me, I was really being more tongue-in-cheek when I wrote this. Problem is, you can't see my grin when I write!

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  3. Sleep on it. It'll be good to pick it up in a week or so I think.
    I wonder if you'll feel less blah about the black yoke if you changed the buttons, maybe something lighter that picks up the reds from the other fabric?
    As for the armpit thing... is it just extra boob? A new bra? Maybe a new yoke with sleeves if you really don't like it?

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    1. I'll definitely sleep on it, for quite a while!

      I did have another set of buttons I considered using that are black and white, and I think I will give those a try.

      I'm thinking the armpit thing is another of the lovely gifts courtesy of Ye Olde Menopause, LOL!

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  4. Agree with Truly Myrtle re the buttons. I really like the dress and your detail on it is fantastic. I am sure when you come back to it you will embrace it again. I'm glad you mentioned the 'underarm fat' I too worry about that with me and I'm not that big. V happy to hear advice from above that it could be breast tissue... worth a shot.

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    1. Yes, I'm going to check out that bra thing. Who knew? And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one too!

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  5. We all have spots like that... It's hard to tell from your photo, but it looks to me like the edge of the arm pit fabric is almost pushing in to the side of you. In any case, I wonder if you could make the curve a little greater (or perhaps lower) so that it hits you in a different place. I feel like I'm having trouble explaining what I mean...

    It is beautiful, so you should try to make it so you feel beautiful wearing it...

    Cyndi

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    1. No, I get what you're saying. It's not pushing into my skin though. I'd really like to make the armhole a little higher to cover it all up!

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  6. LOL! Keepin' it real, Gail. LOVE it.
    Despite the little things, I find your dress very pretty. It has a modern, Downton Abbey vibe. Girl, with some vintage, Edwardian jewelry or even a cute, beaded headband, you'll be Charlestoning your way around!

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    1. Hehehe, no I won't because I have THE SHOES for this dress, and they're about a million miles high! I can hardly even walk in them, let alone dance, LOL!

      I hear you about the Downton vibe - it's one of the things I love about Victory Patterns: details that are modern, but reminiscent of Edwardian fashions.

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  7. I can see why you may be disappointed in the dress after all of the work you've put in. Even after hearing the story about it, it does look very pretty to me! I'm in my early twenties and also have underarm fat, it is just a part of life I suppose.

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    1. I'm not really disappointed. I just not over the moon about it. I am very proud of my workmanship on it though :-)

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  8. Personally, I love the color combo and think it will grow on you with time. If nothing else, you've learned a ton & with some alterations, this will be a lovely dress to enjoy hen the warm weather returns. I'm not even going to address your comment about "fat!"

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    1. It's true, I did learn a lot. Which is why I don't regret any of the work I did. And I think the biggest lesson I learned was that if you break it down into its component steps and just take it one step at a time, even a project with a lot of details isn't really too difficult. A good thing to keep in mind!

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  9. I'm sad that you're not happy with this dress, because it's obvious you've put a lot of care and attention into the finishing. Rather than remake the whole top section, I'd go for some little pin tucks through the existing layers if you can - it might at least make it wearable, if not having a perfect finish.

    And I agree with the bra size comments, this looks to (my untrained) eye as if it could be due to a too small cup size.

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    1. Yes, I'm thinking pintucks are the way to go. For now though, I'm going to move on to some more practical items that are on my list!

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  10. Oh I know the feeling when something doesn't go exactly to plan. It's deflating! But I still love the dress.. hope you find a way to make it work for you :)

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    1. It's all part of the process, isn't it? I really do think I'm becoming more focused on process rather than product with my sewing - it's interesting, rather than aggravating, for me to think about what didn't work so well here.

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  11. Oh, so disappointing that it didn't work out as you'd hoped. You have done a lovely job on the finish - if only it were possible to foresee problems like the heavy buttons! I hope once you come back to it that the pin tucks work out and you then get some wear out of it.
    I have the same underarm 'fat' issue; maybe it's breast tissue (I am small and most of the tissue sits quite laterally, which I find makes it difficult to get a good fit), or maybe just a tendency to deposit fat there (like the little podge of belly I can never get rid of!)? I've had it since at least my mid 20s though, so maybe not an age thing!

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    1. I think my underarm may be the latter. My body has been changing in unforseen ways over the last few years. :-) However, my attitude is: at least I'm healthy. There's no point in being too vain - there's more to life!

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  12. well first off, the dress looks beautiful! the colors look really great together, and your finishing is perfect! it's so easy to get down about something you worked so hard on and had built up in your head for so long. happens to us all, unfortunately. but if i've learned anything, it's better to fix it (after it has sat for a while, of course) than stay in the back of the closet unworn. hope you get it to work!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! You're the queen of nice finishes, so that's a big compliment!

      On reflection, I think part of the deflated feeling is that a year ago, I was super excited about making this dress, but then didn't do it. Now, a year later, the initial novelty and excitement had already worn off before I started working on it! I had already moved on mentally, but it was bugging me that it was a UFO, so I just did it!

      Still, the construction of it was very interesting and fulfilling.

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    2. I think you hit the nail on the head here! I've felt underwhelmed when finishing long-awaited projects too. The intial excitement is long gone and it becomes a chore you now have to get out of the way to get to the current fun projects.

      However, I LOVE your version of this dress so I hope you can regain that love for it, because it looks fab!

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    3. I do think that was probably the biggest part of the problem, Lisa, because I JUST NOW made some corrections to the yoke: took a couple of pintucks and switched to more attractive buttons. And now that it's DONE (i.e. off my to-do list!) I'm feeling a lot better about it!

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  13. Mmmm, well, I really like the black and purple combo but you know how much I like black and wear it all the time. Maybe it seems stark to you because this is not a colour combo you would normally wear? In which case, you are not going to wear it that much even if you add the pin tucks to fix the gape so might as well unstitch and redo the yoke in a different fabric, no? As far the minuscule amount of armpit fat, maybe redrafting the yoke a bit wider in that area would help. I have also heard it say that armpit fat is actually breast tissue – maybe just a result of things readjusting themselves. I have those bulges too (although mine are larger) and I must admit I never think about them too much… should I? All that to say that I actually love this dress and but for the gape (which is fixable if a bit time consuming), I think it will be a super cute summer dress for you.

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    1. Hmmm . . . that's a really good point about the black being a color I don't wear (I think it really washes me out). I hadn't thought of that! And that's the color that ended up right next to my face! Thanks for that input!

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  14. I love this dress! I think it's really gorgeous! I hope that you'll eventually find the time to make this wearable because it really is lovely.

    Funny thing, though, I found the VP armscyes to be crazy low on me! Weird. :)

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    1. That is weird! You're the first person I've heard say that!

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  15. Oh I love the chevron detail on this pattern! It is so pretty Gail!
    Leave off the arm fat...I love mine.

    (heh. not).
    ;-D

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