Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 Fall Capsule Collection: Self-Drafted Kimono Sleeved Dress

You'll have to take my word for it that I got somewhere with the kimono dress today. I'm not quite there yet, technically, but I finished the garment a few minutes ago.

What's wrong? Well, it doesn't fit in just the same way that the last one didn't (but less severely, given that I did make the pattern bigger before constructing this version). Part of my problem is that I didn't quite understand where the fit issue was. I mean, I knew it, but I didn't get it. I don't so much need the size increase at the waist circumference (though a bit of that was useful) - but to increase the circumference notably at the high hip / lower abdomen where all my fat is. (Part of me feels it would be polite to temper my terms but, really, I'm not one for that - it's fat.)

So I've now revised the pattern again to give an extra inch in that zone (culling a bit at the actual waist).

What does this mean for the current version which is, frankly, beautifully made and FREAKIN' gorgeous to behold in every way (except, perhaps on me)? A couple of things. Scott noted that it's great everywhere but in the lower ab zone (which he doesn't feel is as dismal as I do). He suggested Spanx, which really didn't endear him to me, but also reminded me that I'm at my uber-bloat moment of the month. So I'm going to let sanity prevail for a bit and confirm that this is not a wearable garment later on.

Of course, I'm confident it's not a wearable garment. So I'm planning ahead. I've decided my best option is to cut off the current skirt (might be able to get a T shirt out of it?) and try again. Of course, that also means I'll have to buy another 0.66 yards of fabric. I need 24 inches, or exactly 2/3 of a yard.

A few other thoughts:
  • No question, this bamboo is clingy. I don't mean that it's too clingy, but it does like to grab (which means I can't be skimpy when I use it). I used the peacock blue and it's just as gorgeous to sew with, look at and to feel as the grey stuff. But it's less forgiving because it's bright freakin' blue. To wit: If I'd sewn this in black, I'm pretty sure I would be able to wear it as is.
  • The bamboo produces stunning drape. You know those jersey pieces you find in fancy stores that cost hundreds of dollars?  It's made with shit like this. I cannot overstate my hard-won perspective that high-quality (which inevitably translates into expensive) fabric is the way to go. Seriously, if you have to sew fewer things to use quality fabric, then sew fewer things. If I had tons of extra cash lying around, I'd start a little program wherein I'd give 2 yards of awesome jersey fabric to anyone who wanted it. I'd pay for the shipping and everything (cuz money would be no object) and everyone would participate and agree with me. What? It's my fantasy public program. Everyone would agree.
  • This pattern is pretty close - when I fix the lower ab issue, it'll likely be a great staple because it can be made in all kinds of knit fabric (terry!) for different appeal. 
  • You'll notice I haven't dwelt on the bodice (my usual area of constant chatter) because the fit is great! I have a lot of luck with kimono/dolman/cut on sleeves. I think it's because of my narrow shoulder, slim arm combo - that offsets the boob issue I often have. This bodice has bust darts (unsual for knit patterns, IMO) which improve fit all the more.
All in all, I'm not unhappy about this outcome. I've refined a pattern that needed work (but really benefited from it). I've got a dress pattern that is unique, flattering (in the main) and duplicable. FYI, there's also a top-only version of this that I do intend to make again in drapier fabric...

I'll aim to get back to my new fave store for more fabric before the weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to update this and make 3 or 4 other garments next (long) weekend. We'll have to see.

Today's question: Have you ever had a fitting blind spot? You know - not your normal "trouble area" but something that emerges and throws you a bit for a loop?


  1. Just a thought - would it work to slice in a waist seam? If you took an inch off the top of the skirt part before reattaching it, the volume of the skirt might sit higher and give you more space where you need it. I'm not sure what the skirt design is though, so not positive that would work...

    1. That's kind of genius G - SO smart. I think I should try that...

  2. I always assumed it was my bust that was the fitting issue, and that once I mastered the FBA I would be all set. But apparently I have a longer back too. Took me a while to figure that one out...

    On an unrelated note, did you see the piece in the Saturday Globe and Mail about the rise of artisanal Canadian lingerie? I thought it was interesting overall, but was amused that the models shown were not buxom at all. It's great that Ohhh Lulu and others are getting recognition, but I haven't seen any Canadian offerings that will actually support my 34DDDs.

    1. Oooh, I don't even know what you do with the long back PLUS the boobs. :-) I'm know we figure these things out as necessary though! And yeah - I saw the article. It was interesting but I completely concur with your take on it. Completely.

  3. I think my blind spot has been just how short my back is and where. Probably the where mostly. I've been taking out length at CB below the armhole but really, the shortness is above it. I only just figured that out this summer.

  4. It's amazing when you finally crack the fitting code like that. I'm pretty well convinced, at this point, that I cannot sew anything without removing 1.5 inches of length at the centre back tapering to nothing at the side seams.