It's finally done! Woo-hoo! I got the final touches finished up & boy am I glad to be done with this thing. :)
First of all, most of my troubles were my own stupid mistakes, so listen to everybody else when they tell you how easy this dress is to sew. Theoretically, it is, if you haven't got major baby brain going on. I'm definitely glad I decided to make this more plain "muslin" before cutting into my good fabric. Unfortunately, I'm not certain I'll be making another dress with the fabric I had originally planned.
Honestly, I'm torn. I love, love the idea of having a dress made with these fabrics, but the fact is, this dress makes me look like a house. I think part of it is the general poofiness of the skirt (a well-documented complaint in the Flickr group), and partly the fabric I chose. I think if I made it out of something that laid down more instead of poofing out, it would probably look much better. I'm thinking about looking for a cheap knit this weekend to try next. Overall, I'm really happy with how it fits my preggo body, just not how this particular version looks on me.
I'm sorely tempted to cut my face out of this picture, I look horrible! I was feeling especially crappy when I took the picture & was in no mood to make myself look decent. Sorry. I'll compensate you for the bleach you may need for your eyes. :)
And also, sorry for the constant "surface of the sun" bathroom pictures. I don't have anywhere better to take pictures of myself! And I tried my best to recreate the bathtub shots to get a full-length shot of this one, but my camera wouldn't focus correctly for anything. It falls just above my knee, which is just about perfect. I was worried it was going to be too short since I didn't have quite enough fabric to make it as long as I had originally planned, and I had a nightmare (not even joking!) that it was super short & I was wearing it anyways. Scary!
As far as my issues making this, like I said, all my own fault. I decided to have the waistband continue around the back of the dress (which is hard to see here since the back of the dress is all wrinkly), which meant some slight alterations to the back pattern piece.
Sara share some great instructions for doing this, but per my usual self, I skimmed her tips & then didn't bother looking back while I was actually doing it. My first try, I accidentally cut the back pieces too short, so when I sewed on the waistband, it didn't match up at all with the front. I didn't take any pictures, but basically if the spot at the bottom of the arms lined up, the waistband was about an inch off & if the waistband lined up, the arms were an inch away from each other. And of course I didn't realize this until after I had fully zigzagged my seam & everything. It's a good thing my seam ripper & I are such good friends. For my second attempt, I cut out the full back pieces & didn't trim them down at all. Then I laid my front piece on top to see where the seam for the waistband needed to line up. I sewed it to only the main part of the back pieces (still leaving them the full length) & double-checked it before I did my zigzags. Since I only sewed it to one side of the back piece (not the lining), I was still able to attach the front & back pieces the way it's done in the pattern. And because I didn't cut the lining piece at all, the seam for the waistband is fully enclosed. I really should have taken pictures of this. Sorry!
A lot of the others mentioned cutting about ten inches from each skirt piece to make it less full. I thought about doing that, but decided to keep the full skirt since it needed to go around my belly. The first time I tried to do my basting stitches to gather the skirt, I forgot to change my stitch length before sewing about a quarter of the width of the skirt. Crap. It took forever to rip the stitches out, and afterwards I decided to pleat the skirt instead of gathering. It took a while, and a ton of pins, but I like how it turned out & was much easier than gathering all that material.
I like how the pin heads look like sprinkles or confetti, it's a little pin party!
I took Sara's advice & tried this on a lot while working on it. It was a pain, but definitely worth it. Thankfully I didn't have to make many adjustments, but it was nice to have the reassurance that this would actually fit once I got it done. I've got to say though, changing in & out of this thing a half dozen times at various stages while five months pregnant is not the easiest thing in the world! :)
I showed hubby when I got it done & he just said it looked nice. I told him I know I look like a house & just got kind of a smirk from him. When I told him it would be a perfect time to say "No, honey, you look beautiful!" he said he didn't think I liked it when I lied to him. Nice. He's such a man...
Overall, I'm definitely happy I made this, but not 100% sure I'll make another. Like I said, if I can find some cheap knit or other more forgiving fabric, I'll probably give it another try, but I don't think I'll be cutting into my houndstooth for it any time soon. We'll see.
Huge thanks to Sara for organizing the Sew Along & all your great help. I know I wouldn't have stuck with this (or even started!) if not for you. :)
Until next time...