Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wowzer Wednesday-Ric Rac Dress

This week's WOWZER WED really was a WOWZER! I had the hardest time this week making this dress from Craftiness is not Optional:

Jess provides instructions for creating the pattern and the steps for making the dress but for some reason it is not as easy as it looks. That is part of the problem with creating a dress from scratch (no pattern). Also my other issue is that I STINK AT MEASURING! I don't know why but I have the hardest time measuring. Maybe I have measuring ADD or something because having the wrong size cut happens to me a lot. Even when I follow the rule "measure twice cut once". I think that is one of the reasons I have such a hard time quilting because I am off on my measurements. Now I am not stupid. I have a college degree and am actually really good at math so I am not sure where the measuring problems come in but I think it is laziness and a lack of concentration.

Anyways, back to the dress. My first issue was the shirt I used to measure the top. It is kind of a loose shirt to begin with plus I added a little bit to make sure it was big enough to grow into. Well I followed the directions to the best of my ability and it looked just like the picture except for I didn't cut the front crossings correct. I didn't realize that you need to cut all the way across to the side for both of the front pieces. So mine was cut off underneath but that isn't a big deal because you can't see it. Then I added the ric rac. My next step was cutting the bottom. The instructions were confusing and I measured the top without opening it up. I didn't realize that this dress is actually a wrap dress and is connected by buttons not put over the head. So my skirt was too short. No big deal I just added some more to the edge. Then I created all the pleats but I wanted to leave off the hem because I like doing that last once I try it on. Well here is what the first part of the project ended up looking like...

Too big in the neck and sides. I even made my 3 year old son try it on and it still didn't fit him. So I picked out the whole top and tried again. This time I re-cut the pieces (the correct way with each front piece reaching the sides) and finished the dress. It was still way too big but it did fit my son. So I had to decide if I wanted to just wait until it fits her or do I try one more time to make it work now. Last try, I took the 2nd top pieces I cut and used them as a guide. I ended up cutting about 1/2 an inch all the way around the top. Thankfully this time I didn't have to cut off the ric rac again I just cut it at the shoulders so the ric rac isn't all one strip but by this point I really don't care. I finished the dress and VIOLA it actually works, and it looks super cute.

After all that I am glad I redid it but next time I will make sure to read all the instructions, measure twice, and figure out what I am suppose to do for each step before I complete the step.

If you decide to make this dress here are a couple of tips:
1. measure a t-shirt that is fitted and don't add a lot to the pattern.
2. when cutting the top front pieces make sure they crisscross properly with each piece reaching side to side
3. unfold the top to measure the skirt section and make sure you only add the pleats to the front and back, not the underneath part
4. measure the length you want and hem it before you create the pleats. It is just easier.

MEASURING IS SO IMPORTANT. It will make or break your project. Make sure you measure 2 times and cut once. It will save you a lot of anguish and improvising.

Good luck, I really don't think it is as hard as I made it out to be. I think I was just having a WOWZER WEEK!


Boden said...

Wow, I've just been perusing your blog and I've gotta say, I love your style! I admire your ability to stick to a project and fix it when it doesn't go as planned...I've got a few projects that have been cast aside in frustration that need to be picked up again! I'll be your newest follower!

paisley and lace said...

That is quite lovely. Might just try making that in an adult size :)

Rleen said...

WOW! What a lovely dress. I love the prints and the design. This makes me want to sew a dress for my lil girl :) Thanks for the inspirations. I saw this entry from Tip Junkie.
Hugs, Rleen

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Turned out beautiful. The ric rac and buttons are perfect.

Sew Happy Jan said...

I'm thrilled that I'm not the only one who struggles with measuring :( I am also inclined to look and go mmm no pattern but requires my own skill to create the pattern, lets see if I can find a down-loadable one for a few dollars. I admire people who can trace from a garment, and whip something up. I think there are in the sewing world the tracers and non tracers. But I applaud your enthusiasm and determination, and your dress turned out beautifully.