Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Anna Almost-Wearable Muslin

But let's get real - I'm already wearing it, so there's not a huge chance I'm going to change my clothes!

I finished this up this morning, after working on it bit by bit over the last week.  The jury's still out on this, and if I do make it again, I'll have to make some more changes.


The only changes I've made so far are to go from a size 6 at the bust to a size 8 at the waist and hips, and a 1" swayback adjustment (a half inch either side of my horizontal line).

According to the pattern envelope, I should be in a size 2 for the bust, but I wanted room for my shoulders and I don't like to be constricted.  Also, I didn't want to grade across 3 sizes from bust to hip, and I think I do need the room of the 8 in the waist and hips.  The bodice feels a bit big though, so I may scale it back to a 4 next time.  I'll also need to take some length out of the bodice over all - maybe 1/2" - and a bit more in the swayback, 1/4" or so.  As it is, I'm getting some "lumping" around my waist where the bodice meets the skirt.  I tried to capture it for you, but the combination of my on-its-last-leg camera and this crazy fabric I used make it a little difficult to see:

let's pretend we don't see that weird wrinkle you-know-where



you can see that the front is still a bit shorter than the back


Things I did differently from the instructions:

1.  Interfaced my neck facing with my very lightest interfacing - I wanted a bit more structure there.

2.  Pressed the waist seam down rather than open.  Let's face it:  you just can't get away from Gravity.  It was going to end up that way eventually, so I just pre-empted it.  I finished the two seam allowances together with the serger.

3.  Tacked my facing to the shoulder by stitching in the shoulder seam ditch for 3 stitches - a nifty trick I learned from the Pattern Runway Kimono Dress instructions.

4.  Understitched my facing to the seam allowance, then trimmed it to about 1/4".  (This is, of course, after clipping into the curve.)


Things I didn't do and wish I had (aside from the fit issues):

1.  A full lining.  This fabric is one of the more supple quilting cottons, and it feels a bit lightweight to me.

In the Beginning Fabrics:  Bloom Modern, Seeds Red

2.  Stabilize my zipper opening.  Honestly, by the time I got to the zipper, I was getting kind of bored.  I really just finished the dress to get it off my coffee table.

3.  Taken more care with my hem.  The fabric is so busy no one will notice the terrible job I did, but I know it.

4.  Lengthened the skirt.  I only hemmed it to about half the height recommended in the instructions, and this "midi" length hits me mid-knee.  I'm only 5'4"  people!  I wanted it a little bit longer to coordinate with the vintage vibe of my cool shoes:


Conclusion:

It's OK.  I don't love it and I don't hate it.  I'm not sure yet if I like it enough to do the work it needs to fix it, and if I do, it will be a while.  Right now I'm ready to move on to something else.  I like it slightly better belted, but I don't have a belt to go with these shoes.


I'm sure you've also noticed that these pics are a little hair update.  I'm not at the point yet where my second-day hair looks as great as the first, but I've definitely got a lot more curl going on than I did a week ago!  I'm really loving this method so far.


this picture is about the hair

I want to give a big shout-out to Pam at Paint Box Polish for turning me on to Turbie Towels - thanks Pam!  I bought a couple a few days ago and tried it out this morning for the first time.  Between the Turbie Towel and the diffuser, my hair was dry enough to work with in about a half hour!  Go get one, people!


NATURAL!! I still can't believe it!

30 comments:

  1. I for one like it, esp the bodice detail with the underbust pleats. It is a tiny bit big around the upper bodice but not noticeably so - I really only noticed after you pointed it out... Overall I think it looks lovely. And the shoes are gorgeous, I love them!

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    1. I do like the pleating. I've seen lots of ladies wear this dress quite a bit tighter, and I love how it looks that way, but I know myself well enough to know that I'd literally end up with a stomach ache! My tummy does NOT like to be constricted! I won't go any further with that - it would be TMI!

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  2. I think you should go for it with this dress Gail, maybe with the tweaks you listed. I think the shape's great on you and you look FAB in red! Love your shoes too, they would match my entire wardrobe! And that last photo of you is just amazing, you look about 18! x

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    1. Oh my gosh, yes! These are definitely "Jane" shoes! And this is a "Jane" color - I'm not surprised you like it!

      And thank you for that compliment - there are some benefits to having a camera that doesn't want to focus, LOL!

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  3. okay, your hair is looking amazing! wow! onto the dress... i think this version definitely looks best belted, but i'm sure you'll work out the adjustments for version 2. looks like it's off to a promising start!

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    1. I am totally sold on this hair care method! You should give it a try! It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it (and I'm basically hair-illiterate)!

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  4. I've made 2 Anna's and I like them best belted. I agree with you about the midi length being strange - I'm 5ft 3 and it's just about knee length on me, definitely not what I would call midi.

    Your hair is looking fantastic by the way.

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    1. I was surprised by the length, because I read a couple blogs of people who are taller than me, and they said they had to take off length! In fairness, I did remove quite a bit already from the bodice though, and I didn't add it back to the skirt.

      Thanks about the hair! I'm loving it!

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  5. I'm sorry that you're disappointed in the fit and I'm hoping you'll tweak the dress since I really do like it on you. Red is definitely your color! I agree about the length. I'm also 5'4" and my unhemmed muslin is probably about the right length. I'll need to think about that for my 'real' dress. I love your hair! I wish mine would look like that. I did pick up a bottle of Nature's Gate just today.

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    1. It's funny - I do like red, and it looks good on me, but it's not a color I usually go for! Will have to use it more!

      I am loving the Nature's Gate shampoo and conditioner more and more, the more I use them. I especially love the smell: clean and fresh, and very light.

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  6. I'm just going to echo what several ladies have already said - I like this style dress on you and the tweakings you desribed will really help. I think the kimono style sleeve is a good way to balance a narrow top/wider bottom (NOT that you are wide on the bottom, but you know . . .). AND THOSE SHOES!!! Where did you get them? They look perfect for fall.

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    1. Oh yes, I fully admit I'm wider on the bottom, LOL! I love kimono-sleeved anything, and that's what drew me to this pattern, but I'm not in love with the skirt - I think it makes my lower half look wider than it needs to. I might try a "Dolly Clackett" and do a dirndl skirt with this bodice.

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  7. We'll get to the dress as soon as we discuss those fabulous shoes, because quite frankly, they are just awesome. I want my own pair so please don't tell me you have had them for ten years or something like that.
    With that out of the way, I think you need to give this dress a second go. I see a lot of potential here. Definitely need to shorten the bodice a wee bit and make it a bit more fitted, but other than that I think the shape is great on you. Your muslin fabric is also super cute. And the hair looks great, you natural woman you!

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    1. Oh no! I'm so sorry to disappoint, but I have had them for a long time - not quite ten years, but maybe 5! They're from Poetic License, but I don't know the style name because I got them from that closeout shoe store in St. Louis (Shoe Stop), and the box they were in didn't match the shoes! After my year of seamlessness, my shoe consumption slowed down a lot, so much of what I show here is pretty old.

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  8. Oh my gravy! Girlfriend, this is your color!!! You look modern vintage glam.

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  9. Okay, dress looks great, fab color, and hair looks amazing. But the big thing are those shoes...woo wee! I think you will need to start listing shoe information in each FO project post cause you have some amazing pairs!

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    1. What furor the shoes are causing! I try to put the shoe info if I know the style name, because I don't think just the brand is very helpful if someone wants to find the same. But I didn't do it for these because I didn't know what the style name is! Yes, I am a bit of a shoe fetishist, so I do have some quite beautiful things in my collection!

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    2. You know, for me the brand information is just as helpful. I might not want the exact shoe you have but finding out a new funky shoe company is always a good thing, also with brand info you can search eBay for the shoe without a style name. For those I was thinking maybe Poetic or Fluevog. Seychelles is also excellent but less funky and more retro-fabulous.

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    3. Ah, good point! I will do better in the future, I promise ;-)

      Love Seychelles - I actually just got a brand new pair: Strike a Chord in Vac/Yellow - not sure when they'll show up here, so I'm letting you know in advance!

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  10. You know it's really funny... I have just not taken to this new offering by By Hand London. I have seen it hitting the blog world like crazy and everyone raving about it and I kind of go... "really?" And quite honestly I haven't seen one version that's changed my mind. It's just so ho-hum... but I had only seen the maxi version made up so far and I really like your shorter version. Fitting issues aside (which can easily be fixed) this looks cute on you. And girl, you are truly rocking that hair!!! And I have to admit to second day hair horrors too, nothing I do seems to save me for day 2! And LOVE those shoes.

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    1. Jillian, I had the very same reaction when the pattern first came out! And then I saw a couple of cute versions, and I thought, "OK, I'll give it a try." And now that I've tried it, I'm a little underwhelmed! Like I said, I don't hate it, but I'm not thinking "this is the best dress ever!"

      And thanks for the compliment on the hair! I'm so pleased with how this little experiment is going!

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  11. I looove your shoes!!

    Dress is great too :)

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  12. Wrinkle? Wrinkle where?? *whistling and looking non-chalant*

    ;-D

    I love the red on you Gail!

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    1. Pretty smart of me to use a busy fabric so you can't see the forest for the trees, eh? :-P

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  13. I'm glad you like the Turbie Towels! I keep an eye out for sales at CVS. I've had mine for a while now and they've held up great. Loving your hair! And they dress! It looks fabulous on you. The color really, really looks great! Tweak it until you're happy though.

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    1. LOVE them - thanks again! I did get mind on sale, but then I saw them yesterday at Bed, Bath and Beyond for even less: a two-pack for $9.99! And thanks for the compliment on the dress - I will likely make it again with the changes, but I have to wait for fabric inspiration.

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  14. Ignore me if otheres have said this but...Don't give up on this dress! The silhouette is beautiful on you. And red looks really really good on you.

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    1. I would never ignore you ;-) I haven't given up on it! I just didn't feel in a hurry to make a second one, because I have a gazillion pretty dresses, but 90% of the time I'm in jeans and a tee shirt (or worse!). However, I've been thinking about this pattern the last few days for a dress I want to make to go with a sweater I'm close to finishing. I think I'm going to take a cue from Dolly Clackett and put a gathered skirt on that one.

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