Hello again! Thank you all for the very warm welcome. I’ve been working on a bit of a “wearable muslin” for the bodice of a dress pattern I picked up a while ago. I’m using up remnants from one of my circle skirts, and if the bodice turns out properly I plan on adding some ballet loops so I can stick the two pieces together and wear them as a dress.
So. I have a question. Have you ever been sewing along and looked at your pattern and realized the pattern writers must have gone out to lunch and left a team of monkeys to finish writing the pattern? Because this has been my experience with Advance 5971.
Here is the pattern envelope illustration. To be honest, I have a couple problems with it. First, and perhaps more importantly, it seems to think it is a pattern for a person with a 29 inch bust. The illustration does not come anywhere close to depicting the amount of ease in this pattern! I was sure I’d have to make some creative adjustments to size it up, but first I compared the bodice pieces to the bodice pieces for a 34 bust 60s sundress pattern I’d made earlier. To my great surprise, they were very nearly the same size! The pieces for the smaller pattern were a smidge smaller, but so were the seam allowances, so I forged ahead. I DID skim the instructions ahead of time, but apparently not in enough detail, and for whatever reason the pattern images of the collar did not quite click…
Um. Look at Step 9 for me, if you would. Step 7, too, I suppose… although that I was able to figure out eventually by ripping out the seam I’d sewn until I got it back to where I was supposed to have stopped. Because, you see, from the pattern picture I had not figured out that at this point the pattern (written by the aforementioned monkeys) would have me do some impressive sewing origami to end up with A ONE-PIECE COLLAR.
Pardon the lack of finishing inside, I’m sure I’ve committed a minor sewing crime. It’s evident that my corner turns are less than entirely smooth… but everything seems to have worked out okay in the end. However, I’m not really sure that the amount of swearing is worth actually making the entire dress ever. Also, I can’t work out why the monkeys (who may have gotten into the pattern drafters’ liquor cabinet) would have you sew the center front seam of the bodice BEFORE doing all of the fiddly neckline work! I think this pattern would be much easier if you waited to sew the center front seam until AFTER you’d assembled the collar.
I’m also a little skeptical of this sleeve finishing… I think there ought to be a better way to do it. For now, though, I’m just following the pattern… which has you attaching the cuff to the outside of the sleeve and then sewing a layer of bias facing over it, turning the facing to the inside, and slip stitching it down. It makes for a very bulky cuff edge.
Do any of you have advice or suggestions for dealing with this pattern? Is anyone else planning on sewing Advance 5971? Or just inebriated monkey pattern stories? I’m going to add a strip of fabric to the bottom to cover the raw edges, put in a zipper, and stick the ballet loops on, and we’ll see how the whole thing looks.