Exhibit A on the stupidity front is the sleeves. They are taken from New Look 6093, but with the much flatter sleeve head of New Look 6299. I decided to make the elastic longer and the ruching less ruched because - well, I have no idea why I thought this was a good plan. The end result was a mess. It didn't look like a plain sleeve, and didn't look like a ruched sleeve either. So, I decided to unpick the elastic, shorten it, and sew it back in - after setting the sleeves into the dress. How hard could it be? Very hard, it turned out.
|A completed sleeve|
On the whole, New Look patterns fit me well once I have shortened the bodice. Occasionally though, they can gape at the back neckline. Again, it would have been sensible to check this fit detail before spending ages hand-picking the zip, but where's the fun in that? I couldn't face unpicking the zip to fix this, so instead I added an extra dart at the neckline either side of it. Fortunately I realised this mistake before I'd attached the facing.
|Dart between the zip and the princess seam|
The darts were added in an emergency fitting session with Mum, but we decided that even with this fix the shoulders still needed a little extra help. The shoulder seams are far too narrow to accommodate bought shoulder pads, so I had to make my own. I used the instructions in Vogue 2787 and drafted my own pattern pieces to fit the space available.
|Completed shoulder pad|
The one thing which I am happy with is the piecing and pattern matching in the back godets, which worked out really well. It is practically invisible.
|Piecing like a pro|
|Join, what join?|
But leaving aside the various fit and alteration issues, I have another problem with this dress. I was aiming for a vaguely vintage look, however I fear that instead it's developing a distinct 'late 1980s bridesmaid' vibe - and no-one wants that! I shall just have to plough on (slowly), and hope that I can somehow style it out.