Thursday, June 2, 2011

Waving the white flag

Here is the dress I've spent the past month working on. Gorgeous, right? This is one of my favorite fabrics. Ever. It's silk charmeuse. I bought one yard from Gorgeousfabrics.com and another yard from Fabricmartfabrics.com.

If I was a paper doll it would be perfect. Too bad I'm three-dimensional. Check out the lower back. And oh yeah, the side seams are undone because they were wobbling horribly.

Here's the back.

Yes, I made a muslin. Several in fact. They were all of the top, because how hard can it be to fit a bias skirt? Aren't they just suppose to float over your curves? I took out the center back seam and put in darts because of limited fabric - I had 2 yards but they were one yard pieces. That is self-made black silk charmeuse piping along the neckline and armholes. The top fits perfectly. The skirt is abominable.

I'm going to spare you all the sorted details. I am currently heart-sick. If I had more fabric I could make the straight skirt version. But I don't. Bias skirts tend to eat up yardage.

Why do I torture myself with bias garments?

49 comments:

  1. it is beautiful! can you chop it off at your hips and make it a blouse?

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  2. That's what I would do. A blouse or a solid skirt in a color or black. Something to rescue all that beautiful work.

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  3. The lower back issues would still be present if made into a top. I guess I could do the skirt in a solid color, but I so wanted to have it in the beautiful floral.

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  4. How sad! I am going to say the same as Bunny. Too beautiful not to "make it work" somehow. If needs be you could use the bottom to make non bias lower half for top.

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  5. Yes, I agree with Vicki, try her suggestion. The fabric gorgeous. You can definitely make a silk purse out of this dress' sow's ears.

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  6. The dress is cute as can be. Can you unsew the skirt and cut a bottom for a blouse closer to the bottom of the skirt where there is more fabric. Seems a shame to throw away all the work in the bodice.

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  7. I hear ya.

    Darling dress.

    I torture myself with silk chiffon.

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    I am DONE with silk chiffon.

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  8. Like the other commenters said - perhaps a solid skirt? I feel your pain though. That fabric is heartbreakingly beautiful.

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  9. I totally understand. I have a bias blue silk crepe dressing hanging right now mocking me. Hope you find a way to fix this!

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  10. Aw, very sad! It really doesn't look THAT bad in the photos, but I do see the wrinkles in the back. I hope you can salvage it to make you happy with it. I love my dress I made with that fabric, but it definitely has its flaws and I wish I had waited until I was more confident with lightweight silks to cut into its gorgeousness. Sometimes having no fear has its downside.

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  11. I feel your "heart sick" - that fabric is to die for! I don't know if you have tried this but before you cut into it to try and make it a top try sewing the side seams with tissue paper in between. When I was at college doing fashion design that is what they taught us for fine, sheer and/or slippery fabrics. It would be a shame not to be able to wear this as a dress. I'm sure you have tried everything though! Good luck.

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  12. It looks like if you pulled on the fabric from the CB just below the waistband the wrinkling would go away. What if you were to take the skirt portion off, cut a seam down the CB and take it in more toward the top like a contoured seam and the gradually taper out to the hem. Don't know if this would work or if you would have funky grain issues then. Or if it would even fit around the lower half of your body. Just random thoughts. Good luck if you decide to convert it into something else!

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  13. I've sewn with silk charmeuse exactly one time, so no advice, but if anyone can salvage this, it's you!

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  14. I'm the sort of person who would try everything I could think of, let it sit (I am just now finishing something up ....hopefully....that's been "just sitting" for over a year now!) until I figured out some way to save this. It's too beautiful!

    Another random thought....it seems like the lack of the CB seam was the initial culprit here...what if you added an inverted V pleat the length of the skirt...in black perhaps? I know it could be risky to make that cut, but I think it could look totally intentional if it works....

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  15. It seems like a swayback tuck just below the waistband might help with the rippling in the back... is it possible to unpick that seam and take the fabric up a bit? Because this is absolutely gorgeous.

    A Fashionable Stitch (formerly the Cupcake Goddess) had a post on sewing on the bias recently as part of her Ginger skirt sewalong. Probably you know all the tips already, but a lot of them were new to me.

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  16. It is beautiful! I'm so sorry it isn't working, so frustrating. I made a bias dress, oh a year or so ago, and it's still sitting to be hemmed. I have lost all interest in it and don't think I'll ever make another bias dress. I know you want the whole thing to be the floral silk but I think a black skirt would be very chic.

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  17. I would wear it. I'm serious:) But I know how perfect your garments are! It's a beautiful dress - and how frustrating!!

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  18. The fabric is gorgeous! I have not helpful hints to offer just wanted to commiserate with you.

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  19. Your work is beautiful, as is the fabric. A solid color straight skirt will be equally as stunning. I feel your frustration. silky fabrics and bias cut = ugh...

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  20. Are you sure it wouldn't be fine when it is on a living, moving body?

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  21. May not be possible...but, just looking at the pictures, I saw a tunic top w/finished side seam 'slits', worn over white capri leggings. If you opened the side seams a bit, the back waist thing might release. An asymmetric hem might play up the tunic look. Just a thought...

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  22. I love bias dresses and skirt!!
    Well done ^__^



    My blog about sewing,vintage,fashion,tutorials and more!
    http://alicecloset-sewing.blogspot.com/

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  23. I feel your pain! I'd just wear it. The vast majority of people out there don't sew and don't have a clue what good fit or what good sewing is. Probably 99 out of 100 people would be blinded by the awesome fabric and not even notice the problems.

    To tame slippery fabrics, I've been making my own starch. I read this tip on PR and it's priceless. And starch is cheap! I make a big vat, dunk in all my crazy fabric until the starch is gone, wring out as much as of the starch as I can, and then put the material in the dryer. It does leave an initial film on the dryer, but it goes away within a few loads and doesn't mess anything up. I had to dry a couple of times b/c the starch is thick and goopy. But, it makes charmeuse act (almost) like cotton, so in my opinion, it's totally worth the effort.

    Here's the link. http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=50969

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  24. Oh Amanda, I feel your pain. I know exactly how beautiful this fabric is because I bought some of it from Gorgeous Fabrics. If I had any left I would send it to you immediately but I used it all (I made a simple top). I have never made a garment cut on the bias so I have no suggestions to offer but if you put it aside for a few days you might then have the enthusiasm and inspiration to rescue this dress. Although a solid colour skirt isn't what you really want I do think that it would look lovely and would definitely be better than settling for wearing something you are not happy with or, worse, wasting the fabric by dumping the whole thing.

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  25. I know it's a bit late to be giving advise for this dress but if you decide to make it up again, or any bias skirt, allow HUGE seams. I typically add 3" to each, it's to do with the way the fabric is woven, when you cut on the bias the warp and weft "ping" against each other which causes the wrinkles down the sides. Ask me how I learnt that!! Of course you sew your seam where you need it to be, let the skirt hang for 24 hours and then you can trim them down, but I still typically leave around 1".
    I'm sure you can do something with this Amanda, it's too beautiful to not to.

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  26. Hello, I read your blog every day, but usually do not comment because I do not speak your sling and I am afraid that google translate poorly and talk nonsense, rsss, but I feel the need to talk about her dress.
    A fabric so beautiful, and an almost perfect fit, do not you could use it with a jacket or cardigan? Do not beat this, it is a beautiful piece and can be harnessed. I admire the perfection of the clothes that you do, how you deal with your family. Be happy with the seam, be happy and just keep presenting us with wonderful seams.

    Hugs from someone who considers you a friend, even in another continent.

    Eilane - Brazil

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  27. A real shame with the skirt. It would be a beautiful dress made​​. The fabric is fantastic and the colors for a beautiful summer dress!

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  28. Hi Amanda,
    It is too beautiful!
    You probably have thought of this, but could you take the skirt off. Then use some of the black to do a color block putting the floral back on grain?

    It would take some design on paper but might save the lovely fabric.

    Good luck!

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  29. OK. I'm adding my 2 cents. It looks like the top back skirt is stretched too tight across the back waist seam. What if you remove the skirt cut and inch or two off the top of the skirt making it a little wider and then reattach the skirt easing it onto the waist seam?
    Good luck. My heart goes out to you. We have all felt your pain.

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  30. This dress is beautiful and I love the fabric! Can you get more fabric? I hope that someone provides a solution that works for you!

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  31. Aww, phooewy! We need to get you to the Garment District so you can stock up on cheap but nice fabrics. Then when you have a misfire it doesn't hurt quite so much. Like the others said, been there, done that.

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  32. Please don't give up on this. Make it work and come back with another post about how you were able to salvage the dress.

    Is there any reason why you used black instead of one of the other colors? Just wondering.

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  33. Please try to salvage anyway you can - it's a beautiful print and you say the bodice fits. Colorblock, recut a bottom portion, whatever you have to do.

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  34. I would try to salvage it too, by cutting and sewing a narrow CB seam contouring in to the waist, and removing the darts.I would try stabilising the side seams to prevent the wrinkle effect. You have nothing to lose by trying, and it could save your wonderful dress.I wouldn't use french seams on bias cut fabric by the way. Never worked for me! Best of luck!!

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  35. That is lovely fabric. I am so sorry you are having problems with this. I am about to start round 3 of a dress I have been working on for awhile so I feel your pain.

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  36. It is so hard when that perfect fabric doesn't turn out. I remember a similar disappointment with expensive gorgeous silk charmeuse. If all else fails, could it be cut down for one of your girls?

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  37. Oh no. Such beautiful fabric!

    I really think that a black skirt could look really nice with this. Of course, it would be very different, but still nice. And then you could use the skirt fabric for something else--maybe lining on something?

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  38. I have had issues with bias cut dresses as well so I understand what you are going through. Gives me a better appreciation of the designers who master this technique. I wonder if you could use the top portion and attach it to a solid black dress bottom - would still be very pretty. And then use the bottom portion to make a skirt? just a thought. I would definitely try to reuse that top with the lovely piping.

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  39. Feeling your pain Rachel *hugs*! Bias garments can be so tricky. I've only made a few of them and I've pinned the side seams and hung for 24hr to try and prevent the puckers but even with that sometimes they happen. I give you much "props" for working with such a finicky fabric. I hope someone out there has some of this fabric to gift you! Again, kudos for being brave!

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  40. Oh Amanda, I'm so sorry about this...I too wish I had some of this beautiful fabric to send you! I know exactly how you feel and would be sick too if it were me. However, I agree with Eugenia, sometimes if you walk away from it for a couple of days and clear your mind, you'll think of some clever way of refashioning it. Good Luck!

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  41. I have no suggestions, but I wish you the best of luck. This is too pretty to let go.

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  42. French seams will always produce these kinds of problems on bias skirts.If you stop wasting time and money on bias tape and french seams and get a serger instead maybe you would have less wadders.Just my 2 cents.You can keep a serger on the dining table or kitchen if you want and if you don't have space

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  43. Could you not treat the back like a sway back adjustment?
    Unsew the black trim on the back and scoot the excess fabric up into the opened seam. If the trim is topstitched on, you could create an opening under the band and pull up excess fabric, close the seam and then resew your trim on the back.

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  44. Frustrating! Such beautiful fabric. I say make it into a blouse by recutting from the bottom hem to address the pooling issue.

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  45. Wow, that would have me in tears. I know how it is to work on something over several weeks and hit snags along the way. Fabrics really have their own personalities, don't they? Even if you've sewn something successfully once, it may trip you up the next time, just because there is something a little different about the fabric. Agony! My vote is to take off the bottom and add a solid color to save the lovely bodice. Hang on to the skirt for a future project. (You may have seen all you can stand by now). Good luck!

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  46. Well, I feel your pain, Amanda. i would be heartsick, too, and determined to figure out a solution!!!!

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  47. Amanda, I too feel your pain. I've experienced the same fitting issue with bias cut skirts. The fabric is absolutely beautiful and I understand sadness over this project.

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  48. Oh, this is just sad. :( I'm glad that you're at least salvaging the bodice and reworking it into something else.

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