Hot! The “So Not Worth the Trouble” Outfit

So-not-worth-promo The Facts
Fabric: White cotton, blue cotton and blue floral cotton from SCRAP –  ~$1.50
Pattern: McCall's 5021 (shirt) Hollywood Patterns 864 (skirt) – $5.00 from Alameda
Year: c. 1976 c.1941
Notions: none
Time to complete: ~10 hours
First worn: October 2010
Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$6.50

The minute that you say to yourself "wow, this is going really fast, I'm going to have this sewn in no time," things will go horribly wrong. That was my experience with this outfit. The easier a pattern looks, the more likely I'll make a mistake. It's just a fact.

You'd think that since I just made this shirt last week, it would have been a breeze. It would have been, actually, if I didn't have so many mishaps with the fabrics prior to sewing. My original plan was an all-white shirt with hand embroidery and I had cut the yoke in white cotton to reflect that. I transfered the embroidery pattern and started cross-stitched the design. The more I did, the more I didn't like my results. I then decided that I was going to machine embroider a design so I cut another yoke from the white fabric. As I was pressing the fabric, I scorched it! I cut another yoke out and ended up marking it up with an indelible pencil. Stupid me thought I could actually just erase a pencil mark from white fabric. When I went to cut out my forth yoke, I realized I didn't have enough fabric left over. That is when the blue fabric came into play. Thankfully, I machine-embroidered the design without issue. 

The sewing of the shirt was, actually, quite easy. 

And then the skirt. I've been wanting to sew this skirt forever. I've had this pattern in my collection since last October but for some reason never got to sewing it. Even though I don't *love* this fabric, I thought it would be a nice look. Unfortunately, the pattern is too busy to really see the way the tiers are put together. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that I originally sewed the bottom tier upside down. I realized this fun fact after I had stitched and serged the entire thing. So out came the seam ripper and a couple more hours of my time. The pattern originally calls for a waistband. My frustration over the construction of the entire skirt made me throw up my hands in the air and go with an elastic waistband. Oh heavens, an elastic waistband! I figured that I could always wear a belt and cover that sad little detail.

So in all, this entire outfit should have taken between 4-5 hours to create. Instead, I spent a long ten hours fixing stupid mistakes that I should have caught or avoided. And, after all that work, I ended up with an outfit that I'm not crazy about. Oh well. I live and learn and understand just how important it is to measure twice and cut once.



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. I like the cut of this garment and the blue contrast yoke works really well. I am looking for some emerald green fabric just like the one on your blog, fourth from the top on the far right. Any clues on where I could find some.

  2. I think this is so cute. Also, you look good in Navy. I like that red belt a lot but I am wondering if a navy belt would give you an longer look. It might but then it might bunch up the look of the top too much. As is it is really a beautiful outfit and you look great in it. BTW your daughter is a doll.

  3. I think the blue contrast is beautiful!!! I’m glad you stuck with it. I think it WAS worth it! :)

  4. That totally sucks when you run into that sort of series of unfortunate events. I melted the fabric for my dress last Easter and had to go out and buy more (thank goodness they still had some) and do the same sort of ripping. Ugh, no task is less enjoyable to me than seam ripping.
    I love the shirt (the blue is great!) and I like the skirt too. You may feel it wasn’t worth the effort, but it is really striking.

  5. How completely frustrating. I feel for you!

  6. I like how Pen has a whole bag of carrots.

  7. QUESTION?!! I have seen the word SCRAP and a very low $ amount next to on several dresses you have posted here. What or who is SCRAP?

  8. You are such a patient woman! You inspire ME to stick with my projects even when the going gets tough.

  9. I love your blog here. I have had a unrealized dream to sew vintage dresses for at least 15 years! You are an inspiration to me to try! Just try, sew something or you won’t learn. My perfectionism gets me in trouble and I don’t sew!! Thanks for sharing your ups and downs in this process, love your dresses, they all look great to me!

  10. This is quite possibly my favorite dress that you’ve made! I really really like it a lot!

  11. Love the blue yoke! Do you do your machine embroidery freehand or do you have one of those machines with the computer in it?