The “UFO / RW&B / Collar Challenge / UFO II” Dress
A word of explanation before I get started: People often comment that they like my outtake photos because I’m usually smiling the most. Or maybe people just like to see real life embarrassment! Barbara casually mentioned last week that it would be funny if we all did an outtake post. I took it as a personal challenge to post my most awkward bloopers front and centre, so here is my best action shot: falling off the retaining wall that separates our side garden from our neighbour’s. To use a good old Cape Breton-ism, I fell arse over teakettle into his ivy. Enjoy!
- Fabric: poly blend, purchased in Cape Town in 2011 = $13
- Pattern: Simplicity 2591
- Year: 2009
- Notions: zipper, piping, buttons = $7
- Time to complete: 7hrs + 1.5 years + 10hrs?
- First worn: October 15th, falling into my neighbour’s well maintained garden
- Wear again? Yes, but I may make a few more alterations first
- Total price: ~$20
There are so many flattering versions of Simplicity 2591 out there. Early in 2011, I fell in love with Farah’s version, which was an imitation of Adey’s version, which was in turn an imitation of this dress. It appeared to be one of those magic dresses that looked great on everyone, and Pattern Review recommended it highly, so I had to give it a try. (BTW, has anyone heard from Farah recently? She was quite active on the community page last year, then had a health concern and now her blog is inactive. I’ve been wondering.)
Having never made anything quite so fitted at that stage in my sewing experience, I didn’t know that a muslin would be in order. I cut out this fabric without thinking twice, and sewed up a straight size 12. The fit was atrocious! Take a look below:
I even put out a call on my blog for fitting advice, and got a few good suggestions. I tried (oh, I tried), but it was still ill-fitting after having removed the sleeves, cut the armscye forward, and let out the princess seams by 10mm. In a fit of frustration, I balled it up and shoved it in the UFO pile.
UFO challenge: I thought that once I managed to improve the fit, I would love this dress. It couldn’t be too hard, right? Enter another few hours of fussing and fighting with the bodice, followed by balling it up and shoving it into the UFO pile.
Red, White and Blue challenge: When the Red, White and Blue challenge went up on the dashboard, I decided to address this once and for all. I let out the bodice seams and changed the darts to gathers, thinking that would solve some of the weird fit issues. It didn’t. Ball it up and shove it into the UFO pile.
Collar challenge: OK, this is getting ridiculous. Just get it done. Add a collar. But wait: there isn’t enough fabric left to draft a collar. Maybe I could use a contrasting fabric? That looked so horrible that I didn’t even take a photo. Ball it up and shove it into the UFO pile.
UFO Challenge II: This is your last chance at salvation, Simplicity 2591. If you don’t pass muster this time, it’s into the rag bag for you.
Luckily (and quite unusually), I had 5 hours to myself this weekend, so I bit the bullet. I admit that there was a lot of second guessing again this time and it almost wound up in the bin again, but I knew that if I succeeded, I would have a decent dress that somewhat resembled my vision. I love the red piped tab and anchor buttons on the front, and decided that it needed a pop of red on the neckline as well, but having no excess fabric, I had to make due. I hand tacked this red ric-rack on while watching episode 1 of Project Runway Australia and fancied I was taking part in the challenge.
Can I just say that PRA is so much better than the Canadian, American or British versions? I often like the competitors more, and there seems to be less drama and more sewing pr0n. Although Alex Parry really needs to cut back on the Botox, n’est-ce pas? My sister says that if he doesn’t quit, his forehead will slide down over his eyes and he’ll have to cut slits to see.
I’m waiting to see our Kazz show up on PRAustralia season 4. C’mon Kazz! It’s in Melbourne!!!! You know you have a huge fan base already ;)
The fit is still not perfect; in fact, I may have over fitted it because there’s some boob flattening going on, but there wasn’t enough fabric left over to recut the bodice with the proper alterations, so it will have to do. (Would you believe it, I even went back to the same fabric shop when I was recently in Cape Town to buy more, but the print was discontinued!) I’ll leave you with the final photo of our shoot this morning, after having dusted myself off and crawled up over the retaining wall: