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April 3

WIP: Quaker Oats Dress

First of all, thank you guys for writing me such great, mood-lifting comments this past Friday after reading my Venting/Complaining post.  They made me smile and helped me get through the weekend.  I seriously went back and read them a few times to pump myself up to sew.  Thank you soooo much!

I’ve officially missed the deadline for Sew Weekly to post up my completed dress for the Fabric Challenge.  This is actually the second challenge I’ve missed the deadline for in the last 3 weeks. 

I missed the deadline for the Mad Men Challenge with this pattern:

I was making the A-line, blue dress and I actually completed it (with the exception of the hem) but I wasn’t happy with the result.  The skirt of the dress looked limp and *blah* even with adding in horsehair braid.  So I decided to set it aside until I could rework the skirt and it’s been sitting 2 weeks now.

The dress you may be more familiar with is my Quaker Oats Dress where you guys helped me choose the fabric/pattern and where you read my complaints rant last Friday.

To recap, I had to make 3 muslins for the bodice to try to deal with the fit, and I made 1 muslin for the skirt piece also.  It took me 3 evenings (after work) to cut out my fabric primarily due to a pattern repeat flaw from the fabric being screen-printed, as well as cutting out a lining for the skirt and a underlining on the bodice.

As a result of these issues that cropped up, I didn’t actually sit down to my sewing machine to begin constructing this dress until Saturday morning.  I feel like my weekend flew by without me since I’ve been sewing tooth & nail to get this completed by Sunday afternoon (for photos). 

I am completely beat-pooped-tired from my weekend and need another.  Good thing it’s a short work-week.

When 3pm rolled around on Sunday and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to finish, I dialed my pace back a notch and this is what I had gotten done by 10pm.

I decided to add in some white (silk) piping around a belt and on the bow which is to highlight the polka dots.  I debated doing the top stitching in white also, but I decided not to.  Top stitching can be tricky, and I didn’t want to risk ruining the look of this dress by ‘loud’ stitching.

The minor things that need to be completed: the bow needs it’s knot, the belt needs to be finished, and the sleeves need to be hemmed as well as the skirt.  For me, all of these things require hand-sewing and I’ll most likely do these things at the end.

The major things that need to be completed:  I need to cut & sew the collar piece taking into account my bodice changes, I have to cut & sew the neckline facings, and I have to complete the front placket and fly with buttons and hook & eye closures.

 Here’s a detail shot of the bodice:

I tried on my basted-together dress on Saturday night and the fit still needed tweaking but the main lines were fitting decently.  hip hip! 

Come Sunday morning, as I was stitching on the piping I started to get more excited about having this dress completed.  I find that I really like adding in extra, fun details like piping and trim to make a pattern uniquely me.  The piping is a small edition, but I think it’s an improvement over the original, for my fabric at least.  

This Quaker Oats A-2 pattern by McCalls has been, by far, the trickiest pattern I’ve stitched, but now that it seems to be coming together in a non-disaster type way, I’m actually feeling quite good.  Tired, but good. 

Now that the deadline has passed for my submission, I’m now NOT in a mega rush to complete this dress.  I will complete it soon, but in a non-frenzy kind of way.  I think I need a night or two to veg out and watch movies and/or knit.

Want to hear the crazy part of all of this????  I’m debating making another one!  hehehe 

I think this is the perfect wiggle dress and would look smashing in an emerald-green dupioni for Christmas. It would be far easier to make a second one right away when everything is still fresh in my mind then waiting until November to make it. 

Am I crazy or what?!  On second thought…. don’t answer that.  :)

  1. Sue / Apr 3 2012

    I love what you’ve got so far! The piping really pops and makes the details stand out – nice work!
    As for making it up in emerald-green, all I have to say is: OH MY GOD, YES.

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Heh! I love your enthusiasm for an emerald-green dress. :) Perhaps I may browse a fabric store or two this weekend…

  2. Tasha / Apr 3 2012

    That is going to be just awesome! I love the fabric and the white piping with it. Really a great contrast. You are such a motivated sewist! I would have chucked it all after that many issues.

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Tasha! Making the belt was a bit tricky. If I had more time (than I previously had) I would have spent more time making sewing it. As it is you can see some stitches on the piping. :(

      I’ve been known to let projects linger on my dining room chairs for months due to initial frustration. I have no idea how this one didn’t end up the same fate… I think I was very determined this weekend for it not to get the better of me since I spent so much money on the pattern.

  3. Lauren / Apr 3 2012

    I wouldn’t feel too bad about missing the deadline – this dress obviously can’t be rushed! I actually ‘ooohed’ audibly when I saw the WIP picture… GIRL that dress is going to be gorgeous! Absolutely work the extra effort; I’m especially loving the piping you added :) And I don’t think you’re crazy at all for wanting to make another – after all the time and effort you have already put into this pattern, you’d be crazy not to make it up again! Emerald green is going to be stunning with this!

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Awww thanks! When I started it I had enough time, but so many issues came up I wasn’t expecting that ‘time’ has gotten the better of me.
      I do have to concede that the dress looks nice on the table. I’m just hoping it looks this nice on me due to the tricky fit.

  4. Annabelle / Apr 3 2012

    Liz, I am so glad that this is coming together! It is going to be absolutely wonderful once it’s completed. You are not alone with sewists who have been unable to make the deadlines for the Sew Weekly. Honestly, I am gald that I did not sign up – even though I really wanted to. I am the kind of person who would have put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to finish things – I don’t need my favorite hobby to become a point of frustration. Just keep sewing at your own pace and making something that you just love :)

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Annabelle. I was sooo stressed out sewing this dress up during the weekend that I feel like I almost made myself sick (with a cold). I lounged around all evening reading and watching movies. It was a much-needed hiatus and I’m debating doing the same again this evening. :)

  5. Sunni / Apr 3 2012

    It’s looking darling! I’m sure you’ll love the end result when all finished! I can’t wait to see it. I know exactly how you feel. I recently did a sewing type challenge for Simplicity and wanted to ditch the pattern when it was far too late. I was so stressed out about the whole thing that I developed a rather awful pain in my neck from being to stiff as I was sewing/unpicking/getting crazy mad. I was finally able to work it all out, but I’m still a little mad at myself for not jumping into the project sooner. Even crazier – I was contemplating another of the same dress too! Ha ha ha! I’m sure an emerald version of this dress would be stunning. Go for it!
    xoxo, Sunni

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Sunni! That means a lot coming from you! :)

      I loved your recent Simplicity dress. How fun it must have been to find that you were handpicked by a pattern company to participate in their challenge! What is it about difficult projects that makes us-sewists want to make more of them?! :)

  6. Qui / Apr 3 2012

    it looks great Liz, good work! Can’t wait to see it finished. and a green Christmas dress sounds amazing!! (and smart to sew sooner than later, not crazy at all ;)

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Qui. After reading through all of these comments I’m really debating going fabric shopping this weekend for some green silk. :)

  7. Ginger / Apr 3 2012

    This is coming together nicely! It’s really going to be cute!!

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Ginger! I hope as good on me as it does on the table. heh

  8. Rochelle New / Apr 3 2012

    It looks SO good!! I can’t wait to see it finished!

  9. Jo / Apr 3 2012

    Prettyyyyyyy, love polka dots and piping! Congrats on pushing through the struggle. I am in the poo with fitting a stupid top right now and have been for weeks. So almost ready to throw in the towel…. but if you can do it… maybe I can. Maybe….

  10. Kris / Apr 4 2012

    It looks lovely! I think the piping really makes the dress. It’s an addition I always forget about, so it’s lovely to see it put to such good use.

  11. Christine / Apr 4 2012

    Ohhh it’s looking fantastic! I can’t wait to see the finished dress! And it sounds like Mena would be happy to take entries for this week anytime as the submissions were pretty light this time around.

    • Liz / Apr 5 2012

      Thanks Christine. I wish I knew on Monday that Mena was taking late submissions, since I put myself on a sewing break from Monday-Wednesday. I started working on my dress again last night and it felt good to take some time away so I can come back fresh to the project again.

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