crafts · Sewing

Choosing patterns that suit

Look, I’m the first to admit that I have a pattern buying problem.  I am totally unable to resist a cute modeled (or drawn) photo, and will often buy something without thinking of how it will actually look on my body.  However, as of today I’m making a pledge – no more buying patterns if you wouldn’t buy the finished garment in a store.

Here’s an example:

Now, this pattern is adorable.  Look at the cute sash on version 2!  The scalloped neckline and sleeves!  The sassy way that the model has taken off one glove!

I actually made a muslin of the bodice of this dress, and let me tell you… it is not for me.  Actually, the neckline and cut on sleeves are cute, but the style is rather less fitted than it appears to be in the line drawings (and my measurements are almost exactly what a vintage 32 call for.)  Actually, it’s enormous in the bodice, and while I could adjust it, I think I’d really rather just find a pattern that will suit me better – perhaps one with actual sleeves, as anything faintly kimono or dolman-ish gives me issues.  Blouses are ok, but not dresses or sweaters.

I think it’s important to be realistic about what actually looks good on your shape.  My principle challenge is being petite.  A lot of fashion these days seems to be about volume, and I just can’t do it.

Instead I’m going to go ahead and make a muslin of Colette patterns Rooibos dress, since I was so pleased by the Beignet skirt.

I’m going to be using a lovely kelly green crepe from Gorgeous fabrics (it’s so much more beautiful than this photo, but I couldn’t get a better photo with my camera either!)

I’m using a black crepe for the contrast color, and black piping for the details.   At least I hope I am… assuming the muslin works out!  I’m going to make the smallest size to start, and we will see if that fits me.  It’s for a 33″ bust, and I have (sigh) a 31.5″ bust.  I wouldn’t mind a little extra ease though, so we’ll see, and I can always take it down a size.

Now the question of the hour… would I buy this dress in the store?  The answer is “yes, if it actually fit me.”  I buy a lot of empire waist dresses and things with ties, since I can never get all parts of a fitted dress to fit my measurements (apparently if you’re skinny you’re supposed to be straight up and down, which I am not at all.)  And that’s what sewing is about, right?  Getting a garment that’s made for your measurements, not whatever measurements the manufacturer has decided you should be.

I’ll report back in a day or two with the results of my muslin… hopefully good!  I’ve also (ahem) bought some fabric, and I want to talk about my plans for it.  I wish very much that there was a Ravelry for sewing.  I’ve got spreadsheets going for patterns and fabric, which is what I did for my knitting pre Ravelry.  I had forgotten how terribly annoying it was.  Patternreview has some of the same features, but it’s not the same, and I need the stash organization aspect (lest it all get buried in boxes and bought again!)