Friday, January 15, 2021

Making Lemonade with Liberty Emporium


Have you had a project that does not go right from the beginning? I've been sewing for quite a while. I don't very often have sewing mishaps with commercial patterns. I know what size to cut and any adjustments I need to make it right before I sew. When I saw the Liberty Emporium fabric collection by Riley Blake Designs, I immediately had a plan in mind for the two fabrics I chose. I was planned to make a mixed print tiered dress. 


I loved the dress I previously made with Liberty cottons and had planned to make a new version with a different pattern. When the fabrics arrived, side by side, I didn't think they would work like wanted. I was slightly disappointed and decided to change my plan. I switched it to make a pattern that has been in my stash waiting for the perfect fabric match.


I absolutely love the sleeves of view A of this dress! I immediately planned to use the Melton Rose F print to make it. I thought the quilting cotton weight would define the sleeves very well giving some drama to the fairly simple dress.


I made it up in my usual size and was surprised to find it was a complete disaster! The bodice was too big and where it met the skirt, stood away for my body in a very unflattering way. I showed my honest, supportive family and they unanimously decided it was an epic fail. They determined that and I looked like a pregnant mushroom! I was disappointed, but knew they were correct. 
I wanted it to work and I did not want to waste this fabric. I put the dress in timeout for a moment and decided to make a dress with the Merchant's Tree print. 


After reading 
Pattern Review opinions of the Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 8264 mini dress, I thought I would have success with this fun minidress. 



I love the ruffled neckline and details on the sleeves.



My knee surgeries of the last year have finally healed. I no longer need to wear support braces that require the camouflage of maxi dresses and long skirts. My recent makes have been a celebration of that fact.


I made this dress straight from the package with the only adjustment being adding some back darts to pull in the fullness as one reviewer recommended.


I love this fun and flighty dress. The time away from the failed dress was just what I needed to rethink that garment. The sleeves are the best feature of that pattern and I wanted to preserve them. I reworked the upper bodice and took away some of the fullness of the skirt. When that still failed to satisfy as a dress, I cut the front open, finished the seams, and added some buttons to close it. These few changes allowed me to convert the abysmal dress into a coordinating topper for the dress. 



I got to salvage the sleeves I loved and make something wearable. 


I would not have conceived this combination from the beginning of this project. Now they are paired together, I like it a lot.


The work and success of the sleeve construction made it worthwhile for me to attempt to save this dress. I am glad I decided to not call it quits with this seemingly failed project. 


When you have an apparent sewing fail, what helps you decide if you will keep going or throw in the towel?

Bianca

10 comments:

  1. This is gorgeous! But honestly, I think you could wear a flour sack and still look like a million bucks! I think it looks great on you! When I have an apparent sewing fail, which happens more often than I like, I usually throw in the towel because I lose interest in it, will probably never like it because I am self conscious about it, and I will never wear it. Then I cut it into strips and put it in my scrap bin to use for scrappy quilts. Unless it's the wrong kind of material. Then I just finish it and give it to Goodwill, hoping someone will find a good use for it!

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    1. Thanks so much! Off to buy some flour sacks! Idea for cutting them up into strips for quilts is brilliant! I also like the idea of finishing it and donating it. I would be a little resentful of someone else successfully wearing something I've made when it was a failure for me. :P

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  2. I absolutely love your turn around on this that failed dress turned jacket is beautiful. When I have a failed project I'm learning to walk away and come back to it later oftentimes after I come back to it later it's not as bad as I thought if after coming back to it I still think it's bad I put it in the giveaway pile

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    1. Thanks so much Josephine! It's amazing what a little perspective and fresh eyes can bring to a situation.

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  3. I try to walk away from the time out corner, and do return later to evaluate what I can salvage. Recently I had the insight to ensure all scraps of the fabric fit in time out, too, so that if needed they are available and not already used another way. Love those colors!

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    1. That insight would have saved me is this. I put the dress in one place and all the scraps somewhere else. I couldn't find them when I was trying to rework this project. I found them today! They fell behind a stack of fabrics on the shelf. I'm curious to know what this would have looked like had I found them sooner.

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  4. More than salvaged!
    The dress neckline pairs so well with the sleeves
    I don't know if it would work in a single garment but it rocks as a outfit

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    1. Thanks so much! I think with this combination it was just meant to be.

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  5. It’s great to read about how you handled the apparent fail. Love the outfit you look so good in it. As for how I handle those fails - I have finally bowed down to wisdom and make a muslin of all patterns I sew. I have some fitting challenges and automatically add an inch for rounded back. I have not conquered the sleeve bodice combination problem yet but are working on it. Making a muslin, usually from old sheets from op shop, saves the failures but as time is short I have become very picky about patterns that I choose. The criteria is will I like to have more than one version in my wardrobe, the Love Notions patterns have met this and I usually make at least 4 garments from each pattern. Great bang for the buck and time.

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    1. I admittedly I'm bad about not making muslins. I do tissue fitting on my dress form and that's usually a good indicator for me. She's a duplicate of my body. With a completely new pattern company I do as you do with old sheets. I have made so many McCalls patterns that I really didn't expect any issues with this one. I have a pretty big pattern stash, the idea of making 4 of something is pretty rare for me. I have to check out Love Notions patterns. I've not sewn with them have to check them out.

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