Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is it really Modern Art if it's from 1965?

After my success with Joe's pants yesterday I was back to feeling confident about my sewing. My last couple of projects have been really big failures, and that does wear on me. Sometimes you just need for something to work out in order to actually get that recharge of, "Hey, I actually am doing something, and not just wrecking fabric.".
So I wanted to something more adventurous, just not for Joe (Sorry Joe!). To be fair, women outnumber men a great deal in my collection and there's several more women than men in the "still waiting to be dressed" pile, so they need me to sew for them more than the men. Plus it's more fun doing women's clothes. Why do you think I haven't done any sewing for myself? Because that's boring, boring, boring.
Anyway, since I was feeling adventurous, I picked an entirely new pattern to work with. I didn't even have it printed out until today. I picked the vintage Barbie "Modern Art" pattern from Aileen's Petite Pattern collection. I've been thinking about trying this pattern out for a while. Recently I was sent a package with several small remnants of vintage fabrics, including some pink organza from an awesome Flickr friend. Could the Universe be sending me a gentle nudge to make this dress? All I needed was the material for the actual dress, I now had the overlay. And that's where the pink flowered print I bought last week from Hobby Lobby came into play. After buying that I had all the supplies I needed, now I just needed the motivation to do it.
Today those two things met (the motivation and the supplies). I had my pattern print out, grabbed my new Midge doll (the idea is that the dress will be for her) and sat down at my work station. I started off with the bodice. The pattern seemed a little large, but not extremely so. I was so confident that I didn't even bother making a test piece of this dress. I just started working on it using the vintage organza, that if I really botched couldn't be repurchased (or re-gifted). The nerve I have today!
It went together pretty easily, although I messed up one part. I sewed the fabric and organza together like you would do if you were lining something, but failed to realize that when you flip it right side out, the sheer organza is on top, and all off the seams, now inside are going to be visible through the organza. Oh. It wasn't actually that big of a deal since it was the top and the back seams. When the collar is set in it will cover the top seam, and I ended up undoing one back seam and fixing it. I just had to make sure the one I hemmed normally was the one that ended up on top when I added the snaps. I did have an issue with the front darts being oddly designed so I had to adjust that on the fly, but that was another easy fix. I was able to get the entire top done pretty quickly. Tops without sleeves are usually much quicker for me. I was even able to get the collar attached on the first try (okay, first and a half try). I had been trying it on while I was making it, and did have some fit issues, but I ignored them, hoping that they would clear up when adding the skirt, or adding the snap closures in the back.
The skirt went in super easy. It also has an organza overlay, and I hemmed it normally to not have the un-hemmed part showing up on the inside (learned my lesson over that). It's just that after I added the skirt, and went to finish it up, the dress still had it's fit issues, all in the bodice. I thought that with this dress the collar is supposed to go down pretty far and cover the shoulders, but whenever I tried to make it do that it would throw off the top to a point where it wouldn't fit. So I left it so that it's much higher than it shows in the pictures (Why are the only pictures shown with that pattern are the actual Mattel dress and not what can be made from the pattern?). Even with that the front bodice is really... puffy. It doesn't fit Barbie on the top torso very well at all. Peering down her shirt I can see to where her nipples would be if she had them. You cannot tell me that the original dress would have that, especially when most people are taller tan Barbie and are looking down when they're playing with her. The back had some issues too. the top snap lined up fine, but I had a lot of extra fabric at the bottom snap. I know I sometimes have an issue with making my seams too small, but I should not have this much extra fabric at the bottom. But even with these issues I finished it. And I'm not terribly impressed. Don't get me wrong, it's cute, and well made (well, well-ish made), but it seems a little fussy for Midge, and the collection. I tried it on a Fashion Queen, and it worked better for her, but I'm still not terribly impressed with it. Maybe I'd like it better if it fit better, but I'm just not feeling it.
I guess I'm just getting pickier as a designer.
"The Haus of Silver does not approve of this dress, take it away!"

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