Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vogue DKNY 1103: The Fit Nightmare

Doesn't look too bad does it? Simple empire waist, nothing really to fit... I thought it would be perfect for my 2nd last maternity sewing project (I'm still going to be sewing, just no more maternity stuff). It was straightforward to sew, just not straightforward to fit.

I made a muslin, using a straight size 12. It was huge. Huge I tell you. I could have fit another pregnant me inside. Incredible. So I cut a 10 for my fashion fabric, thinking that would solve most issues, and I would only have to make a few tweaks here and there. Wrong. Here are the alterations I made on the 10:

  1. Decreased the CB seam by 4cm in total.
  2. Increased the shoulder seam by 2.5cm on each neckline side, tapering out to 1.5cm at the sleeve edge. 
  3. Decreased the side seams by 4cm on each side.
  4. Decreased the length of the elastic on the back and the front by 2cm each (and it is still too loose now, but I will be growing more). 
  5. Increased the length of the bodice upper front by 5cm. 
Here is what I ended up with:

I also inadvertently cut off twice the hem I meant to, which means the dress is a bit shorter than I intended, but I think it is okay. It is the narrowest hem in history though.  

There are elements I do really like. I like the sleeves:

And I like the gathers on the front and back:

What do you think? I think it is cute, and it is cool to wear (I used Japanese cotton again from Tessuti Fabrics - I'm addicted), but after so many issues fitting it, I can't help but look at it in disgust. It should not have been that difficult to fit, given its relatively simple design. 

I should probably feel like I triumphed over the evil pattern, but instead I just feel tired looking at it (another reason I think it is time to stop sewing maternity clothing). 

So I have the last project for maternity (a vintage sundress - very easy, and almost finished), and then I'm making myself a 50's housedress that is for when the baby is born. It isn't fitted at all, so I don't need to worry about fit, which is a massive relief. 

I'm also making a cape for when bub is born (it will be winter here), and Michael's b'day shirt. I'm also making a simple quilt, and some baby bunting to decorate above the cot. I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed and as though I've committed to waaay too much. Time will only tell if I actually get it done. 

What is everyone else sewing at the moment? 


  1. The dress looks fantastic! What a nightmare to fight though!! I am super impressed with your sewing list--can't wait to see the housedress!

  2. looks so much better than the original pattern! one of your most beautiful dresses... and the length is perfect ;)

  3. I can't see the disgusting-ness that you ca see, but oh I know that feeling so well. ICK!

    It's gorgeous and I love that hemline! I first thought YAY! Thinking you'd sewn it intentionally...

    My Sew Weekly dress this week is on my floor... I mean table, along with another dress that also is nice and light. But it's cold again now, what is with Melbsie summer!?!!

  4. Its actually really nice but I know that feeling when you hate the sight of something. Maybe when you have your baby you can re-fashion it? Or make a frock for baby boo dogg (or pants for a boy baby boo) !

  5. It looks lovely! I have this pattern and was planning to make it up soon, so your review is super helpful for me (although I'm not pregnant). Thank you!

  6. Rachel I can't believe it was so wide and you are using up extra width at the mo so that is one strange dress design.

    You are looking well - nice to see you sewing for yourself and making comfy dresses - this one is loverly and not tainted by its' poor drafting at all.

    Do you plan on sewing for bubs? Have you ever sewn for a baby or child? It is loads of fun!

    Chat soon - take care!

  7. Those sleeves look perfectly set in. But goodness, what trials and tribulations. You start to wonder if you're going mad, don't you? It looks lovely, despite the history!

  8. Despite your troubles, this looks perfect. Don't let pregnancy hormones can get the best of you because this looks so wonderful. I hate that about the big 4. A seemingly simple patterns fits like crud once you make it up and you have to re-invent the wheel to get it to fit.

  9. It turned out great! Put it away for a few days and let your frustration with the pattern dissolve. Then you can see it with fresh eyes. Or that's the theory. ;-)

  10. Thank you everyone! I don't mind the dress, but I think you're all right - I need a few days to really love it. And Dei, I completely agree - the Big 4 have just as odd sizing as clothing in the shops. Too many variations.

    Corinne - I do plan to make baby clothing! But not for the first little bit of their life as I figure it will be winter here and bub will just be wearing little suits and the like. But come spring and summer.....

    I've sewn for my little niece before - really easy elasticised dresses, but this year for her b'day I sewed her a 1950's double-breasted party dress with ruffled sleeves - she didn't take it off the entire weekend I was there. Her mum was was very frustrated as it was pretty filthy after 2 days wear but she refused to wear anything else!

  11. Hello Rachel. You are blooming in your pretty dress. I am pleased you sound so well.

  12. Ohh you're a sweet Aunty - did yuo ever post pics of it?