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A dress fail and a farewell

2011 May 2
by elizabeth_admin

First the dress fail…

Upon the recommendation of my friend Robin, I chose KS 3408 as my next dress to make.


Let me start by saying, however, this fail has everything to do with me and nothing to do with the pattern or Robin.  My first mistake was not really a mistake, but ended up one nonetheless.  I measured the heck out of this pattern and compared it to my measurements.  I traced the pattern and added my alterations to the tissue (added 2 inches to the bodice length and 2 inches to the skirt length).  After making my changes, I held the tissue to my body and found everything to be spot on.  Very happily, I cut my fabric.


So how did things go downhill after such careful measuring?  Well, my fabric was a very stretchy, thin, and slippery knit and I should have cut a small, not a medium.  I have no idea what it’s fabric content is, but I do recall buying it on sometime last year.  I had just two yards of it.  I squeezed my pattern pieces onto it very creatively.  On Lindsay T’s suggestion, I added 10 inches to each strap, but then needed to cut it down by 5 inches each in order to fit everything on my yardage.  Because the fabric was so stretchy, the weight of the skirt pulled down the bodice quite a bit and then pooled at my waist.  Very odd.  Or maybe my bodice was just too long.  I didn’t do a great job of topstitching the bodice neckline so it looked twisted.  The thinness of the fabric did me no favors.  It clung in all the wrong places and I ended up looking like I had a shelf for a butt.  NOT. ATTRACTIVE. 

All that being said though, I still like this pattern.  I love the lines of the skirt.  It’s full without being too full so it’s swingy without looking dated.  I think once I figure out the fit of the bodice, this will be a killer dress and a TNT for me.  You know how sometimes you can just tell even as you’re throwing out your wadder?  It’s a shame this knit sucked so much because the print was really cute on and cut into this dress.  Oh well.  I wish I knew what kind of knit this was so I know to avoid it in future on-line.  Here are some really crappy and blurry bathroom mirror pictures for you to see the hideousness of my wadder. 

dart too high and droopy too wide bodice

fabric pooling at lower back



Needless to say, this version is not flattering.  I wish I had taken better pictures so you could truly see the horrendous job I made of the top stitching and such.  What makes me even more bitter about this iteration was that apparently my seam ripper really missed me and I had many a seam to rip out due to user error.  ARGH!  And on a wadder too!

Still, I will try KS3408 again.  BTW, it’s out of print so I can’t link to the Kwik Sew site for you.  I might have to make another M6069 as a palate cleanser first though.




Many of you have commented, kindly,  in the last couple of posts when I have bemoaned the state of my figure, stating that I look great.  I appreciate it so much.  But I feel I must give you the comparison that I see in my mind’s eye all the time so you know why it is so distressful and distasteful to me that I cannot rid myself of these 25 lbs.  Full disclosure here: I haven’t really tried in earnest yet. 

Here’s what I looked like a little over three years before Jack was born.


And just 9 months before Jack was born.


I think you will agree that there is a marked difference.  For starters, I used to have a waist, some cheekbones, clavicles and only one chin.  So the farewell part of this post is me saying goodbye to that old me and learning to accept the new me.  The new me that loves triple cream cheese and the new me who will do anything to avoid exercise.  I know it is unrealistic to think I will ever look like that again, but I cannot help but feel a sense of loss.  Knowing and accepting are two completely different things and sometimes it feels like they are lifetime apart from each other.  *sigh*

14 Responses leave one →
  1. May 2, 2011

    So, I have not commented in forever, but I do still read. And first up, I was completely shocked when you said in an earlier post that you were 42. This is the truth – from the time I started reading your blog, I thought you were my age or a few years older (I’m 34, but I started reading your blog about 2yrs ago). So you had me fooled.

    Second – I think that right now, with Jack being young, you do not have a lot of free time on your hands to devote to things like exercise. But that does not mean you have to say good bye to the way you used to be. I think it is unrealistic to expect to be able to do the necessary things to lose weight right now with a toddler and a full time job. However, eventually Jack will be in school and you will have more time for yourself and then you can put more effort into being the person you want to be.

    Do not say farewell forever – this can be a temporary thing. I’m not just saying this because I have no kids and more time to exercise. I do have two degrees in Exercise Science and I can assure you do not have to remain like this forever. Yes, there are some things that pregnancy and age will change, but there are others that are within your control. Time is one of the single greatest barriers to success when it comes to finding time to exercise. Another is finding something you like to do. When Jack is older, you will have more opportunities to pursue these things. Trust me!

    I’ll help you anyway I can!

  2. May 2, 2011

    Oh wait until menopause hits baby…that’s a whole nuther set of changes! *LOL* You are a very beautiful, witty woman who is an excellent mother to Jack…a good friend, an able employee and sewist on the move. God has truly blessed you…so what you are 25 lbs heavier…we your adoring public can’t see it at ALL!

  3. May 2, 2011

    I’m not joking – you are just as gorgeous now. Really! More curve gives you a softer appeal. Of course, this is about how you feel about you – but I’m very sincere.

  4. May 2, 2011

    What a pity about the dress. The print is super.
    I totally understand how you feel about gaining those extra pounds.
    But, you do look fantastic right now!!

  5. May 2, 2011

    You are really beautiful right now.

  6. May 2, 2011

    Oh, also I’ve had the same trouble with some knits. Was it 2-way or 4-ways stretch? I always have trouble with knit dresses stretching out under their own weight. I am thinking if they are not stable in the length then you have to shorten the pattern to account for the fabric’s own stretch.

  7. May 2, 2011

    You are beautiful! And comparing yourself to your pre-Mommy self is against the rules.

  8. Marie-Christine permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Very thin and extremely drapey and stretchy? I’d guess rayon/viscose.. If it’s any consolation, I have tops made from it that fit perfectly well, only it clings horribly and shows every detail of say my underwear elastic. Just like sometimes a bias-cut skirt is NOT the best alternative, drapey is just a shade away from clingy. Eeck. Lovely print though, it was a good choice.

    As to not looking like before, have you heard of the James Dean principle? Die young, stay pretty. Personally, I’ve missed the deadline already :-), by a mile, and that’s fine with me. Besides, thin in and of itself does not mean pretty, and pretty you still are. So don’t fret, just make sure you make your clothes to fit you as you are, and not as you wish you still were.

  9. Auntie Allyn permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Of course you’re gorgeous now! But as someone who has put on 25 pounds over the last year or so, I can totally relate to what you’re going through. I have every intention of dropping this weight and will do so, but it’s going to take a lot of focus. Sigh, wouldn’t it be great if it was as easy to take weight OFF as it is to put it ON??!!

  10. Diane Drexel permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Your “farewell” post really affected me, so I knew I had to comment. The problem was that I was between a “Don’t give up on yourself” post or a “Pretty doesn’t have a size” post. Then I realized what my problem was. You said you need to “accept” the new you. That’s not right! You need to LOVE your new curves OR you need to LOVE yourself enough to fight for the shape you want. So I am sending you my love and encouragement. Give yourself pep talks, not scoldings. If you could love yourself as much as you love Jack, just thing how awesome you would feel.

  11. Meg permalink
    May 3, 2011

    A) I made this dress using a knit that was stable. I guess that’s what it needs.

    B) I think you look great as is.

  12. May 4, 2011

    Too bad about the dress; the print is gorgeous! (You’ll find more gorgeous prints.) I think you look diferent but just as good. The weight may spare you some effects of ageing that I’m trying to come to terms with – my face is starting to show the 40s, and I think a bit of filling out helps with that.

  13. May 5, 2011

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I am a little late with my comment but I still want to say what I think. When I got 43 in January I put pictures of me – from childhood up to now – to show myself and the readers a little bit more about me and why I am always a bit on the negative side when talking about sewing failures and how my figure is the reason for it 😉
    I was astonished to read many very nice comments because I never saw myself as pretty, I never was very happy about my body. I’ve been always very slim and delicate – and I hated it. But when I gained weight with the pregnancies something else changed, too. I was able to get rid of every kilo but it wasn’t the same. No wonder: I was coming closer to forty and other things changed, too. Without me noticing it; I was just too busy with the two small boys to recognize that aging was another factor. 😉 I didn’t look delicate anymore but tired and a bit haggard, I guess.
    Last winter I started to gain weight – kind of wanted but not conscious. It is not a lot but those 5 kg more gave me a little bit more softness, some curves and still it took a few months until now to feel at home with it.

    The big difference is that you were happy with the way you looked and that makes it a bit harder for you now. But for the outsider that I am I just see a woman who looks very well, is attractive and very nice. This new softness is the better weapon against looking tired and forty 😉

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