The wrong fabric

Some you win, some you lose. I’ve been banging on about my striped version of Burda 117-02-2012 for weeks. I finished it last week and…it just doesn’t work. Here’s the evidence.

Burda 117-02-2012 stripes front view

Burda 117-02-2012 stripes front view

The back view’s not so bad. But the front is Wrong. I used to have a housemate who could pronounce ‘Wrong’ so that you could hear the capital letter. I can hear him saying it now about this dress.

Part of the problem is the stripe placement. What looked good on my sketches doesn’t actually work on a body. The stripes on the front shoulders need to go the other way. More like this, in fact:
Stripes front view - midriff slants top left to bottom right

I think it’s not just the stripes though, some of it’s the fabric. The shade of red doesn’t work on me, and it’s much too lightweight and clingy. There’s a reason I am not showing you a side view of this dress even though I matched most of the stripes at the side seams.

I made a Vogue 1250 with what was left over of the fabric after cutting out the Burda, and that was so horribly unflattering I have destroyed the evidence. (Well, shoved the dress in the scraps bag. The contents are going to a primary school where they will be chopped up for cut ‘n’ stick, so someone will get something pretty out of this project at least.)

So I’m writing this off as a learning experience. I still want to make a striped version of this dress but I’m going to wait until I find a heavier striped knit. And in the meantime I’m going to trace off a pile of autumn patterns and do some serious comfort sewing.

26 thoughts on “The wrong fabric

  1. I think the dress looks gorgeous on you! if you can’t accept the way the lines point around the shoulders you can perhaps a long necklace to break the lines.

  2. I hate that you aren’t happy, I’ve really enjoyed reading about this process, it’s been a good learning experience for me. I also think that you can’t look bad in anything!

  3. For me it’s the striped piece on the very bottom left that doesn’t seem to work. Actually, though, the red stripe looks good on you (especially with the blue shoes).

  4. Wow! I can see where you’d think the stripes wouldn’t work, but I really don’t think it looked as bad as you thought it did. Ah, the high standards of sewing for oneself! I’m sorry you trashed it, but I know feeling good about what you’re wearing means it actually gets worn. And I’ve tried Vogue 1250 with stripes. BAD choice for me, too! At least the kiddies will have fun and you got some experience, albeit the unwanted sort. Look forward to your comfort sewing! πŸ˜‰

  5. Some would call this a win. But I understand it doesn’t meet expectations. I do think that the stripe placement on the back is spot on.

  6. Well, though I appreciate the dress didn’t meet your very high standards (I wish mine were so high!) I would have no problem wearing this at all. I think it’s lovely. And the back stripes aren’t just good, they are fabulous! I don’t have a problem with the front stripe placements, even though I can see what you mean when comparing it with the diagram. And maybe, as you say, thicker fabric might help you to dislike it less.

    You still look brill! And I really like it.

  7. I am so sorry you are unhappy with your dress! I think I may still try the stripes as well, but I will make sure the stripe fabric is a heavier knit. I do like it though. Especially the back. I look forward to your next project. I always like seeing what you have to show us.

  8. Thank you for sharing your dress with us! I understand your frustration after all the planning and plotting, I guess it happens to us all. It is such an interesting study, figuring out the right balance and direction of the stripes. I had two thoughts, I agree perhaps if the upper stripes switch as you suggest it will broaden your shoulders visually but I also wonder about the horizontal stripes, it changes the tempo of your overall pattern. Anyway just a thought. Your sewing and dress is amazing and so impressive, and always inspirational.

  9. I think the stripe placement works well but I see what you mean about maybe not the right weight of fabric, a bit too clingy creating some lines on the skirt back. Great shape dress and fantastic fit on you and I think you should try the pattern again in a color block version.

  10. Dang! I’m sorry that it did not work for you. I love the concept–I hope that you try it again.

  11. I totally understand a good idea gone wrong and I’m glad that you are thinking of it as a learning experience. Here’s hoping the comfort sewing brings you some wonderful new garments.

  12. Fascinating that a different positioning of the stripes makes so much difference. I have been flicking from your photo to your diagram for about 5 minutes trying to put my finger on what difference it might make. In my humble opinion, the top two panels are correctly positioned in your diagram because the draw the eye into your body. On your actual dress, the stripes draw your eyes away, in opposite directions… which is really hard to do… and quite uncomfortable too!

    Such a shame but I am so impressed with your ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude. I feel a flurry of autumnal amazingness about to happen! x

    1. Yeah.I think a lower neckline would make a big difference. But – wadders are the ones you made just for the pleasure of the making! So, no loss.

  13. I reckon the back stripes are spot on (excellent chevron skills!) but I agree the colour’s not right for you. I wonder if a slight wider stripe would work better? It’s still a killer idea and I look forward to the next iteration. Which I might copy, shamelessly.

  14. I love this. Such an exciting project . Shame to read that you are unhappy with it but I actually went “wow” when I saw the pic before reading. πŸ™‚

  15. I think it’s more of a problem with the stability/weight of the fabric rather than stripe placement, but agree the top two pattern pieces would be better as you described.

    All that being said though, I still love the dress and the idea. I think you owe it to yourself to find a more stable stripe knit because the dress is AWESOME!

  16. I don’t think it’s 100% awful, the angles on the back work great. I bet it would look great in a different colour combo and slightly heavier knit but if you are not happy with it then you just have to take the lesson from it and start something new. When you find the prefect fabric I reckon have another crack at it. I’ll add my shout-out to your shoes too πŸ˜‰ they are hot!

  17. I fail to see what is wrong about this awesome dress! I think the stripe placement works and you look terrific! But I hear you about the fabric maybe being too thin and clingy; i made a striped dress from fabric that fitted this category and it just never felt right. I made a Tshirt from the leftovers and it was perfect for a Tshirt.

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