Remember my post about muslin hell? I did finally sew up the Hawthorn dress! It was actually done at the beginning of September, except for the hem. But then I had to persuade my husband to mark it, and I hate curved hems, and oh look, it’s January.
So, the dress: It’s pretty. The linen is lovely. I put in a million little buttons and did the invisible hem and bound the waistband and it’s very nice inside.
The hem is a little wonky because I couldn’t be bothered to do a faced hem. But I think it benefits from the extra weight and it’s invisible from the outside, so whatever.
The vibe is a little “40s factory worker”, but I’m into that. But…it doesn’t fit. Like, four extra inches of ease at the bust doesn’t fit. I get that it doesn’t look that bad in the pictures, but there’s a ton of extra room and it doesn’t stay put on my body. The bagginess also makes it next to impossible to wear anything over the dress, which is a problem.
Some of the extra fabric is because I did a pretty serious full bust adjustment (which I did need at the time, and don’t now). The rest is probably the linen’s tendency to grow and stretch. This is probably something I should have anticipated, but really I had no idea it could possibly be this dramatic.
Right now, I double I’ll wear it. After all that fitting…agh. But sort of to be expected. I’ve been going through some medical stuff which means that in the past year I’ve gained (and lost some of, multiple times) 15 lbs, and worn bra sizes from H to DD. All of this has a lot to do with why the dress didn’t get finished for a long time. And while I can take things in to accommodate some weight change, the two extra cup sizes are hard to magic away after the fact.
At this phase of my life (pregnancy, breastfeeding, chasing a small child, maybe having another small child someday) sewing fitted things is a big challenge. My size changes so much that it’s hard to ensure that I’ll actually get to wear anything I make, which is deeply discouraging. I have lots of sewing plans, but who knows if the results will be even remotely worth the time I put in?
All that said, I did learn a lot from this project. Namely:
- For bodice adjustments, I need a FBA (usually) and a forward shoulder/hunched over computer person adjustment. And often a swayback adjustment as well. This should transfer across patterns.
- Sleeves are really hard if I want to be able to reach my arms forward and type and stuff. However, since I nearly always wear something over my dresses, I’m probably better off making mostly cap sleeve and sleeveless dresses anyway. This simplifies things dramatically.
- Linen grows. It’s tricksy for fitted garments.
- I really, really, ought to add pockets to any future dresses like this.
I had plans to make another version of this dress, but I think I’m shelving them for now. Fortunately I did trace the pattern, so I could start over if I want.
In more promising news, I did make a muslin of a different Colette pattern a couple nights ago and it fit reasonably well without adjustment. I think that my bust size is back to being proportional with their fit model (which I believe is a D cup), instead of way over as it’s been for most of the past couple years. So perhaps I’ll have better luck with that?