I have gotten into the habit of sharing finished projects, and hardly ever walking through the steps to getting from fabric selection to final garment. It’s just SO much faster. But this dress was an exception–I tried it on during construction, but with a center back zip, all those fittings (alone in your sewing room with a dimly lit mirror and no one else to help) are pretty rough approximations. It wasn’t until this final fitting before taking photos that I spotted An Issue.
This post was meant to be all about how great this dress turned out (and it did turn out really well, and I totally like the fit), except for one thing:
There’s, like, a TON of extra fabric at the neckline.
At first I thought I’d stretched it out before I put in the staystitching, but man, this is a LOT–way more than I’d expect just from poor handling. As I was test fitting along the way, I could get a great read on the waistline fit, but wasn’t paying much attention to the neckline. The shoulders seemed to fall where I wanted them, but since I couldn’t pin myself into the dress prior to installing the zipper, I literally never noticed all the extra fabric at the neckline until after the lining and zipper were in. Snarf!
It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5″ or so–maybe even 2″ of extra fabric. Which is, you know, a lot of floppy almost cowl-neck neckline on a dress that is fitted everywhere else. Good news: it’s only at the front neckline, and can easily be fixed in a future iteration of this pattern by pinching the excess from the pattern piece before cutting. For the dress at hand, which I’m making so I can wear it to read Halloween books to our child’s class the week of Halloween, I have an idea for an after-market fix:
Pinching out the excess and hiding it in the pleat ought to work, I think. Maybe with a decorative flower or some such? Am playing with placement of the pleat(s) and their shape. I’ll also do some investigation into why my princess seams are slightly puckered here. Then I’ll see about coming back and sharing how I eliminate that excess fabric from the neckline on the pattern piece, because that seems like a good skill to share, and whatever it is I decide to do with this one–since disassembling the bodice and re-cutting the pieces is not on my agenda.
Rather than feeling disappointed, which I guess I feel like I ought to be, I actually love the process of puzzling out how to get JUST the right fit in a garment. Picking apart what pieces go where and how to shape them to my body really is an enjoyable process, if we let it be.