Happy Friday, y’all! I am enjoying a day off of work by hanging out with the chickies and kitties, then going to get my hair done. This is the day I’ll be going platinum, I think! I guess it all depends how my hair takes the bleach and toner, but I just want it to be less yellow. We’ll see what happens!
As you may have noticed, I’ve been busting out nonstop Colette Monetas lately. I decided to branch out a bit and try another Colette knit pattern, the Mesa shift dress! This was one of the patterns released in their June edition of Seamwork, a new-ish online sewing magazine. The other clothing pattern released in June was the Aurora tank, which I have cut out and ready to sew for tomorrow. 🙂
My figure isn’t quite suited to shift dresses, but I really wanted to make this work! I love that it’s made for knit fabrics and I like the small split detail at the hem on the sides. My measurements now are roughly 34.5″, 30″, 40″, so I graded from a small on top to a medium at the waist to a large at the booty. There were some issues with the fit, but I’ll touch on that later. For now, let’s enjoy some more “fashion” shots!
The fabric came from my local SAS Fabrics mill-end store. It’s super stretchy and somewhat thin although not really breathable. I’m not sure what type of fabric it is, but I couldn’t resist that cool pattern! I think the fabric was about $2 or $3 per yard, so this is a nice, cheap dress!
It’s short but not too short. I don’t think I could pull this off as is at work, but once the weather cools down (so for Tucson, we’re talking the end of November) I’ll probably rock this with some faux leather leggings that are in my sewing queue. RAWK!
In case you’re wondering, the shoes are from ModCloth.com and are actually super comfortable! I survived a 9-hour day at work in them this week and I had super minimal pain – and it was only in my right big toe because I guess I have big freak toes.
The lipstick is from my free Sephora birthday gift – a NARS mini lip crayon in the color “Cruella.” I’m liking it. 🙂
Now that I’m looking at these pictures, I notice the necklace I chose to style this dress with gets lost in the busyness of the fabric. C’est la vie.
OK now let’s get into my fitting issues. I should have called this the Mesa Dress of DOOM! since it gave me a couple of headaches, but it wasn’t bad enough for me to put the stink on it.
The main problem was the neckline got crazy droopy, even though I made the top part a small and I have football-player shoulders.
I decided the best course of action was to pinch darts out in the front and back. I thought I could simply unpick the seams in the neck band, make the darts in the body pieces, sew the neck band smaller, then resew everything together. I thought this would be easy enough. I thought wrong. Between serging the neck band and body pieces together and top stitching with a lightning stitch, it would have been impossible to rip those seams out and still maintain my sanity.
So now what?
I played it lazy and sewed the darts while keeping the neck band attached. I then split the dart by carefully cutting it down the middle and hand stitched the darts open so the neckline wouldn’t bubble. Does that make sense? Here’s a close-up of the finished product on the inside of the garment:
I didn’t remember to make notes while I was doing this, but I think I made each dart 3/8″ deep at the top and graded 2″ down. As you can see, I made 2 darts on the front and 2 darts on the back because I thought one large dart down the middle would have looked wonky.
Thank GOD the fabric has a crazy busy print or else this would have looked horrible!
The only other fitting issue I had was that I had to take in the side seams around the waist by about 1″ each and grading out so I still had room for the booty. Since I have more of an hourglass/pear shape, the dress just pooled weird at my lower back and made me look bigger than I am. Taking the side seams in helped give it a closer fit and worked around my curves better.
This project could have gone so wrong so easily, but I conquered it!
I haven’t worn her out and about yet, but I know I definitely want to make another one day. I think I should probably start with an XS on top then grade from there, though. Ain’t nobody got time for making all those darts!