Well you guys, I defeated the Pastille pattern! Wheeeee me!
I actually feel pretty good about this dress – I wasn’t totally crazy about it when I saw the pictures in the book (I think the coral color of the fabric – while lovely, just looks waay too much like the model’s skin. It would have been better suited for a lady with a darker complexion), but I think that the overall shape, if properly fitted, is actually quite flattering. And while it really lends itself well to a print, I think it would make a sweet little basic black dress, since the shape is unique enough in itself :)
Fitting… fitting this thing was weird. I already glossed over the process in my last Pastille post, but to summarize – while I pretty much *always* need a FBA, this pattern did not require one (didn’t figure that out until after I’d cut & taped all over the tissue though, arhghhghh!!). Actually, the finished measurements were just wrong – I cut a size 2 and the bust measurement was much closer to 36″, not the 34.5″ the book says. Consider yourselves warned!
The next fitting problem I had was with that damn back… I didn’t take any pictures of my muslin, but it billowed out all over the place across the upper back. I mean, it plain made me look like I had a hunchback. I eventually concluded that the upper back was longer than the front, so I did a 3/4″ swayback adjustment at the lengthen line that tapered to nothing at the side seams. That pretty much fixed it!
The rest of the dress fit fine with no other adjustments.
I actually tried to make this dress without the facings for my first go-round, but those sleeves are way too curved to handle bias tape. So back to facings (although mine are interfaced with cotton muslin, not fusible interfacing). I tacked them down as best I could since they like to pop out; sewing the trim at the neckline also helped. Rather than do fancy finishing work on the inside, I opted to finish the raw edges with a simple serged seam. I wanted the making of this dress to be quick & painless!
There *are* pleats at the bottom of the dress… I think doing those took the longest! I followed the handbook directions & thread traced all the lines, using different colors of thread for the various fold lines. It worked beautifully, but pulling out aaaaaall those threads was a pain in the ASS. No tips for making it go smoother (I don’t regret thread-tracing; it really did make lining up those pleats a breeze), just be prepared to spend some quality time with your seam ripper :)
You can’t tell due to my super duper busy printed fabric, but all the darts & seams actually line up perfectly. Just trust me on this one :)
I also would like to point out that my hair needs a dye job something fierce (I actually had a hairstylist examine my roots the other day & declare that I’m naturally dishwater blonde – which blew my fucking mind. I’ve always been a brunette, wtf?!). If you’re thinking, “Whatever, your roots don’t look bad!” that’s because I ‘shopped the shit out of them teehee :)
The dress looks best with a belt, in my opinion. Wish I had a yellow belt, but the one I have on hand is too neon yellow for this print & the thrift gods have been ignoring me lately in the belt department.
The hem ended up being way too long for me, and I’d already sewn in the pleats, so I just flipped up the bottom of the hem & sewed it to the inside. This is why my pleats are at the very bottom of my dress. I think it worked out fine!
This whole dress was a great/cheap stash bust. Feels good to cull that shit down! I didn’t have *quite* a long enough zipper (I think mine was 20″ instead of 24″ or something), so I have to pull the dress over my head to get it on hahaha. Oh well!