Sunday, 5 June 2011

Does this dress look odd?

I loved the look of this 'easy' knit dress pattern, McCalls 6319, and was very keen to make it. There's a lot that I like about the finished look


particularly the asymmetric neckline and the draped pleats of the skirt. However, although it may just be me, I do think that there is something odd about this pattern.

McCalls 6319
I confess that I did notice it when I was cutting it out but, in my enthusiasm, I didn't really think hard about what it would mean in reality. Let me see if I can explain.

The skirt and bodice are sewn together then the seam allowances are used to make an elasticised casing. Nothing unusual about that except that the dress is designed so that this 'elasticised waist' finishes up an inch above your real waist. This is what the skirt front pattern piece looks like, I have outlined the marking for the waistline in red, so you can see how it falls below the seam line that joins it to the bodice.


Now you might think that this wouldn't actually matter because the draping of the bodice would allow the elastic to settle into your waistline but that doesn't happen because the bodice is lined and the lining pattern piece is quite a bit shorter than the outer fabric. This means that although the outer fabric drapes, the lining inside doesn't and it keeps the elasticised casing above your real waist. As per the pattern recommendation I used tricot for the lining and, although it is stretchy, it doesn't stretch enough to allow me to pull the elastic down to the waist, where I think it would feel more comfortable. Does all of this make any sense?

It might be, of course, that this wouldn't bother you (that model on the pattern envelope doesn't look at all bothered!) but if I were to make this pattern again, I think I would make the lining the same length as the outer fabric or I would lengthen both the bodice and the lining or I wouldn't line it or ...... oh, I don't know but I'd do something different! Sometimes things don't work out quite as you expect them to but at least I have learned something in the process and I don't think this is too disastrous?

41 comments:

  1. It's definitely not disastrous, and you look great in it. But it would bother the heck out of me. I'd be constantly tugging at it. Thanks for the warning. I think I'll take a pass on this one.

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  2. Well you look great in it! I'm not sure about the waistline though, it sounds a bit strange to me. Do you think it could be a computer grading error? It would be worth posing the question to McCalls...

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  3. Hmmm, well it looks great, but if it doesn't feel right I might be tempted to unpick the lining from the waist seam, and either hem it and leave it hanging free inside or cut it and make it into a facing instead. Am sure that dark fabric would be ok unlined? I know this isn't ideal, and not something you would do if you were making it for someone else, but hey, who's going to know what lurks underneath if it can't be seen from the oustide? We can keep that secret between us :)

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  4. Yep, that does make sense. Maybe that is because I just sewed a knit dress with similar setup. The dress is ruched, but the lining is not.
    Now that I've read your experience, along with mine, I am not too crazy about it either.

    At any rate, the dress looks really pretty on you. Too bad it's a little uncomfortable to wear - but at least no one will know except you, because I think it looks very pretty on you.

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  5. I love this fabric on your - fantastic print and color for summer. I can see you at a wine and food tasting or other summer event in this. That being said, I avoid all uncomfortable dresses. I have one from last January - I am going to redo - it's just not comfortable and I can't make myself make it. I think the asymmetrical neckline is chic. Thanks for the review of this pattern - that is good to know!

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  6. As far as how the dress looks, it is definitely not a disaster. The dress is gorgeous and doesn't look funny to me. But it's no good to feel uncomfortable in it!

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  7. That totally makes sense to me. If you make it again, I would definitely lengthen the bodice. I don't like waistlines to lie above the waist at all!

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  8. You look like you have mile-long legs, & there's nothing wrong with that! ;) But the bodice/legs proportion does look off a bit :(

    Would you be comfortable in the dress if you wore it with a wide belt? It's really beautiful on you, and with a visual tweak it could be stunning!

    Love your blog :)

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  9. I wouldn't have noticed an issue with the waistline if you hadn't pointed it out (possibly because of the print) but I can see why it would annoy the heck out of you in the wearing. Not a disaster, but definitely a learning experience!

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  10. I love your version, looks like i might have to cross my fingers for another mccalls half price pattern sale! I have noticed over the past few years lots of dresses which have that strange not-quite-empire, not-quite-waist waistline. It feels wrong but maybe it just takes some getting used to! I'd say adapt the pattern for your next version but this version looks great as it is.

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  11. Oops, I'm afraid you lost me. (I'm not that technical) But I love your dress anyway, and I'm sure you'll come up with some sort of solution if you were to make this again.
    P.S. I'm posting this comment 'anonymously' because somehow Blogger won't let me comment under my own name. I've been trying ever since you made those purple jeans, which I love-love-love, by the way.
    I hope I can fool Blogger this way.

    Gr.
    Lilian

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  12. That all sounds very strange! And uncomfortable. But it looks good!

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  13. It looks great , but it would also bother me too. Still this is a keeper but if you ever made another I would lengthen the bodice . I recently did that myself on a Simplicity dress with elastic waist casing ...I hate waists that don't sit where they should . In RTW we'd just put up with it but that's why we sew I guess . You look fab as ever .

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  14. You picked a forgiving fabric for a tricky design. Well done. It hides any irregularities.

    As for me, I have to have perfect symmetry, or I would go cuckoo. I can't figure out the intrigue of one shoulder dress look, for the life of me......

    Thanks for the heads up.

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  15. I would cut the lining and get a wide-ish belt. I think the dress looks fine as is, but if you're not comfortable you're not going to wear it.

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  16. It does look a little short in the waist, but really nice overall!
    I can understand it being annoying though. Do you have any tricot left - if so maybe you could undo the tricot at the waistline, add an inch in length and reattach it? You want to add enough so that it sits at the waist, but not to much to eliminate the blousing!

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  17. How peculiar of the pattern.
    Your dress looks lovely, with the print and the drape disguising the waistline placement, but it sounds uncomfortable. I hope you can fix it.

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  18. I don't think the dress looks odd at all. Though with your explanation, I can see how you wouldn't like the way the pattern was drafted. You're right, at least you (and all of us) now know what you would do differently!

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  19. I think the dress LOOKS lovely, not odd at all. The I hate when things FEEL odd, and make you constantly want to pull and tug. If you make it again, go with any of those changes you mention.

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  20. When I first saw this pattern, I wasn't crazy about it, and I still am not, but I have to admit, I really do like your version. I think it's because of the floral print that you use. It does look really nice on you. After what you just explained though, I will probably still take a pass on it.

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  21. It looks nice, it certainly doesn't look like a disaster at all. On the other, having the waist an inch too high might feel annoying. So I can see why you are not entirely pleased even though it looks fine,

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  22. Thanks for the great pattern review! I like how this sits high on the waist - it's a bit different. It's a great print, so you can't really go wrong. It looks like a perfect throw-on summer dress.

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  23. The dress looks wonderful. But what bugs you would bug the heck out of me, too. I totally understand.

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  24. I've not used this pattern, but I have used McCalls 6090 which applies the same technique for elastifying the waist. The waist sits in the right place on this pattern. I do like your dress, despite it being slightly higher on the waist than you'd prefer.

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  25. It is really cute, maybe they are going for a higher waist line to trick the eye into thinking the legs are longer? Who knows but it does look great, I hope the waist placement doesn't bug you too much.

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  26. I agree that you look great in it. The fabric is fantastic and the style of dress is lovely on you. I see what you mean about the higher waist, but I think it suits you.

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  27. The dress definitely does not look odd. It looks really pretty. It is a bit odd that the pattern was designed to hit above the waist. Because of the blousing I don't think anyone looking at it would know where the elastic hits on the body. I have this pattern in my collection and was looking at it today, so I appreciate the details in your post.

    Audrey

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  28. Well, I think it is pretty on you, but I totally understand about the irritating raised waist. Maybe it's suppose to make the legs look longer?

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  29. I like your dress a lot. However I think the proportions of the bodice and skirt are different from those on the envelope. The envelope bodice looks longer to me. Case of photography deceiving, perhaps?

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  30. The dress is beautiful on you Eugenia, but I totally understand if the dress doesn't feel comfortable! Lovely print!

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  31. You look great in this dress and the waist looks perfectly fine - but you are the one that needs to be comfortable in it - great dress though!

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  32. Interesting...when I made this dress, I ommitted the lining and added length to the bodice. Good thing - that would have annoyed me, too.

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  33. I really like the look of the dress, and wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed out the waist, but I do know that with me, it would bother me if that elastic wasn't sitting at the natural waist...I would spend my whole day futzing and tugging at it.

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  34. Well, it looks adorable on you...not odd at all, but I can understand why it might not feel the most comfortable. Just when you wish you had made a muslin.....

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  35. Definitely the dress looks beautiful on you, something else is convenience, I think it is designed so that the top of the dress puffed above the waist.
    You can sew an "add" to the shell to compensate for the length of the top.

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  36. Because of the built in blousing, your dress does not look odd, and the pattern envelope give no clue. However, I want my waist at my waist too.

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  37. That dress looks great on you. These pattern companies have strange pattern drafting ways I guess. However, it looks like you made it very well.

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  38. Not a disaster at all. I love the way your dress turned out. Lovely.

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  39. I love the dress! I can't see any problem with it from the picture! I find you pretty brave to be working with knits. They scare me!

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  40. It doesn't look disastrous at all. It looks perfectly lovely. It's too bad when everything works out but the one thing that would keep you from wearing it... That said, the fabric you chose and the more subtle detailing makes this dress look expensive! It's gorgeous.

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  41. All RTW dresses and tops with a waist band seem to be designed to hit above your natural waist at the moment, or at least those in the 'young' high-street shops like Oaisis, Top-shop etc do. It's a trend I've been noticing for a couple of years; I did think originally that I had a long waist and that it was just off on me, but observing people out on the street or in fashion photography I think that it's not my body and these clothes are actually designed that way. I wouldn't be suprised to see a few patterns mirroring this design creaping into pattern companies' catalogues. Thereafter it's just a matter of whether you like it or not! I personally don't, on me, but I think you look great!

    Meg.

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