Why is it that you always run out of steam or lose inspiration when theres a deadline approaching? I’ve been sewing like a maniac all year (and all of last year too!), but now that there is only three weeks until we make our annual pilgrimage to the beautiful Hawkes Bay for Art Deco Weekend, I just can’t be bothered sewing up any of the things I had planned to wear. (More information on Art Deco Weekend in this post, but the short version is that every year the swing dancers of NZ head to Napier during their Art Deco festival which commemorates the earthquake which flattened the city in 1934. Its pretty much just a weekend of dressing up, meandering around and eating gelato in scorching sunshine, and dancing to various jazz bands throughout the city. Its good fun!)
I’ve done the planning stage, and I’ve bought and prewashed all of my fabric, I just…can’t be bothered sewing any of it up. Its terrible! I don’t even have that much to do, just a top (an Afternoon Blouse), a slip, and the Beach Pyjamas. I already have the skirt to go with the blouse, and the dress which needs the slip. I’ve made a start on the halter top for the pyjamas, and its looking ok. I’m struggling to see if it fits, its hard to hold it closed and see what it looks like! I’ll need to get Monsieur to pin me into it so that I can have a play. Its going to have buttons up the back, and I don’t want to sew all those button holes if it doesn’t fit quite right!
I think its the Afternoon Blouse which has put me in this sewing slump though. I really like the pattern, I think its cute. I bought it last summer, at the same time as the Bronte, and immediately cut it out of some pretty cotton lawn. Then it got cold, and I never sewed it together. I whipped it up last weekend, and immediately noticed a few things…mainly that I had taken absolutely no notice of pattern placement or matching when I cut it out! The second thing was that it really didn’t fit…
I have a really short torso, so a lot of RTW clothes are too long in the upper chest and shoulders if they’re sitting correctly at my waist. I’ve never had this sort of problem with something relatively unfitted though! I had enough room in the upper chest area to fit a fist in each side of the neckline, it was definitely too big. So I lifted it up at the shoulders, so the neckline sat flat against my chest, and pinned it along the shoulders…
I sewed it along the new, flat shoulder seam (I tapered it from about 3cm at the neckline to nothing at the sleeve) and trimmed the back neckline down so it was the same shape as it had been originally, then trimmed and resewed the facing. I tried it on, and some of the excess fabric had all disappeared from around the shoulders, but now the neckline gapes open like nothing I’ve ever seen! I have no idea what happened or how to fix it, I think I may have killed it…I don’t have any photos, because I was so pissed off that I just stuffed it into a bag and tossed it into the corner. I’ll go back to the drawing board, and make another one using the navy seersucker in the photo above. Any ideas how I can fix it? I was thinking that I could take a wedge out of the pattern where the neckline gapes (either side of the “V”) and then redraw the curve of the neckline…or I could just try going down a size in the shoulders/bust, and grade it out to the right size in the waist and hips. What do you think?
21 thoughts on “An untimely sewing slump”
So is the gaping the front or back neckline? Darts in the back neckline? Front…. No help I’m afraid. Sorry you’ve lost your mojo a bit!
In the front neckline, back is ok! I think I might have to pinch out the excess, then transfer that to the pattern piece and cut a wedge out…thats what google says, anyway!
Such a shame: that fabric looks lovely! Maybe you’ll be able to face it again after a break from it? Let it sulk in the corner for a bit 😉
It is really cute fabric, bit of a bummer! I’ll see if I feel better about it next week… 🙂
I have a solution.Sit thee down in front of the black box known as TV and watch Gatsby a la Baz, that’s sure to get the creativity burbling!
I do love the soundtrack to that movie and Carrie Mulligan has some gorgeous dresses in it…maybe I do just need some inspiration!
Blast! I hate poorly times sewing slumps. Do you have enough to wear so that you’re not pressured?
For the top, I would start with your shoulder/chest size and grade out to your hips – so much more fitting is involved up there!
Its such a pain! The top fits pretty well across my lower body and full bust point in this size, its just between my high bust and shoulders that its all gapey and baggy. I might try sizing down in the top half, and do an FBA and grade the waist/hips out to the same size as this one…
I feel your pain on the baggy neckline. Sometimes I think we might actually be figure twins. I’ve never found another solution for bagginess apart from the wedge idea either, so mainly I’m just here offering sympathy. I don’t think I have anything new for Art Deco this year, apart from a skirt that was a hem away from being finished for last year…
I’ll let you know how the wedge-removal option goes! We should definitely pair up to make a bodice sloper each, it would make fitting so much easier. Glad you got your hemming done for this year 🙂
Generally the recommendation for how to do this sort of petite adjustment is fold out a horizontal line between bust and shoulder (both front and back) on the pattern before cutting. I usually have to do 1/4″ – 1/2″. This will usually take care of gaping problems caused by being short through that area.
Awesome, i’ll try that. Thank you!
It’s beautiful fabric and perfect for your weekend so don’t give up! Could you add some pleats to the top of the v neck and make a feature of them? Some tiny buttons sewn on the pleat seam too? That sounds random but I can see it in my head!!
I did wonder about putting some pintucks fanning out from either side of the neckline, it might be worth a play!
A gaping neckline is so annoying! I’ve generally found that this tutorial is super helpful, it’s fixed my neckline more than once! https://bernieandi.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/pattern-alterations-how-to-remove-gaping-or-excess-fabric-from-neckline-of-a-fitted-dress/
Oh and I saw you’re from Wellington, I’m heading down there from Auckland this weekend so do you have any suggestions for where I should go fabric shopping?
Thanks, I’ll have a look! My first stop in Wellington would be The Fabric Store, even though you have a big one in Auckland there might be something different in ours! Then you pop across to Marion St to Made on Marion for buttons and notions and any other supplies you might need. The Fabric Warehouse has really good stuff too, but its a bit further out of town, next to Spotlight in Kaiwharawhara. If you’re staying in the Northern suburbs, or driving north, its worth a look. Hope you have a good time!
Thanks! I’ve never actually been to the Auckland branch of the fabric store so perhaps visiting the Wellington one will convince me to make the detour!
Its on Garret Street, just off Cuba st by Glover Park. Its awesome! The remnants bins are especially good 🙂
This discussion was from a while ago but I just came across this approach to adjusting for a narrow chest that might help you. I haven’t tried it myself yet.
I too have a short torso so I’ve been removing about 2 vertical inches (front and back) just below the armhole which makes the bust point too high sometimes so I have to lower it by those 2 inches.
Ooh, thanks Susan! I’ll need to try that out!