I dare you not to buy this fabric!

What?  Fabric buying when you’re over blessed with fabric?  Worry not, this was bought last year and finally worked up.  This fabric was picked up in Honolulu on a layover.  Hawaiian Fabric Mart is cleverly located a few blocks from the hotel where we stay and I can only take so much sun, but fabric shopping, no sunblock needed.

I bought two fabrics, one a poly blend Hawaiian border print that I can’t get to work as of yet.  I’m still trying, but it was time to move on to this cotton print of Hawaiian icons.  Seriously, can you see how amazing this is?  I wore it to get my hair cut so my Hawaiian raised stylist could explain some of the icons to me.  She thought it was just as fun as I did, plus she explained some icons that I didn’t even notice.

As for the dress, I wanted to make a shirt dress and McCalls 6696 worked for me.  Gathered skirt, pockets and a proper two piece collar and stand.  Sounds like a perfect match.  And then…

The plan came unstuck immediately because I didn’t have enough fabric to lay the pattern out per instructions.  It was close, but my 3+ yards couldn’t be stretched.  The skirt pieces are enormous and are too wide to be placed when the fabric is folded in half so you end up having to lay them out on single fabric and waste tons of material.  So that was a problem.  Frankenpattern time!  I ended up using the skirt from Simplicity 1419 since that’s my most favorite dress in the world, and it has an A-line skirt with pockets.  The Simplicity skirt is narrow enough to lay out on my folded fabric so I had plenty of fabric after all!

Then I worked on fit.  McCalls 6696 has different bodice patterns based on cup size.  I used the C cup based on the pattern measurements vs. my boobies.  I read the comments for this pattern on Patternreview and a few people found the back gathers to be too poufy so I took some width out there.  I shortened the skirt to top of knee cap and shortened the sleeves a bit because they were veering towards churchlady rather than short and cute.  I also shortened the bodice based on the fit of my favorite dress.

Well, that should have made it perfect.  Not exactly.  The front bust point gapes a bit, so I should have used a D cup bodice and the 1″ I shortened the bodice length was totally unnecessary.  It’s now a bit too short.  Still wearable, but too short.  Ok.  Noted.  The part of this dress I like the least is the back gathering.  It’s still too poufy and because of the pouf the collar tends to float around the body, rather than sitting around my swan like neck.  So yank, tug, yank.  It’s still wearable, I did wear it all day Saturday without any finger pointing and gapes of horror, but I wish I took that gathering all out.  Darn.  And it works ok with a cardigan, since we all know San Francisco summers are COLD.

So what’s the verdict?  Wearable, but it’s not going to be my favorite dress.  Simplicity 1419 retains the prize despite me using the cutest darn fabric evah!  Live and learn.  Mahalo and aloha!

Still looking for my aloha

Burda Style #124 from 7/2014 magazine.

I had high hopes for this bodice.  This is Burda Style #124 from 7/2014 magazine.  In the magazine it’s a cute beach-y empire style with a full skirt.  I lengthened the bodice 2″ to make it less empire and more grown up and nixed the sweetheart bit.  I thought this style would be it.

Then I tried on the muslin.

The shoulders fell off my shoulders (and I’ve got pretty broad shoulders) and there was too much fabric at the center back.  I pinched out the shoulder and back excess and it fit ok, but somehow I knew it just wasn’t it.

I was pretty frustrated since I’d put a fair bit of work into altering the pattern, but sometimes you just have to call it like you see it.  Not good enough was the initial verdict, so better just admit it and move on.

And moving on.

See, fits much better than the one up there.

The last bodice that fit me pretty darn well was Simplicity 1419 of my “galaxy fabric” dress.  Why not go back to that one and make some changes there.  I photocopied the front and back bodice pattern tissue and taped them together like a ransom note.  I drew in a rounded neckline and thought I’d try a muslin of this version.

As you can see it fits pretty darn well, as did the original dress so that’s not a big surprise.  It’s just nice to finally make something that works.  I will redraw the neckline curve so it’s a bit more open and I’m going to go forward with this version for my Aloha dress.  Well after I go to work tomorrow.

Seriously, this dress has been hard!