The African Wax Print Busty Glory

Sorry for the huge gap between posts: I have been doing a lot of weekend breaks wearing all the new clothes I have been making. I have also been completely forgetting to take any nice pictures of me wearing them out and about in the magic hour of sunset (I am listening to your advice Ms Cashmerette!), so this post will yet again have pictures taken inside my messy flat.

It will also not have pictures of me wearing it out and about because quite frankly, it is a bit indecent. What is it about Plus Size patterns that seems to dictate that they have a preposterously low neckline?? I am all for showing off your assets, but I’m not at all for walking around with your tits hanging RIGHT OUT. Oh well, even though it’s basically unwearable (it’s also really tight around my tummy so I can’t breathe in it) , I am really proud of it.

Why, you ask, would I be proud of a dress I can’t wear??? The answer my friend, is because it looks like this:

African wax print cotton sundress

Oh but it’s so special

It would look better on me but it would be indecent and I wouldn’t be able to breathe and would fall over. So here it is looking a bit funny on a hanger. But you get the jist, right?

It’s a Butterick ‘Fast and Easy’ (ho ho, as if!) B5317 by someone called Maggy London. I don’t know who Ms London is, but I thought this looked like a nice frock. And it is. So much so that I patently ignored the fact that the measurements for the largest size were about 6 inches too small all over.  I am still experiencing some real cognitive dissonance with the difference between ready to wear clothing sizes and pattern sizing. I am an RTW UK size 20-22 (I’m pretty tall so people are often surprised when I tell them this ‘giant’ size, sigh) so even though I had taken my measurements and they were considerably bigger than the pattern size 22 which was the biggest size: ‘I’ll fit in to it’:  I told myself. I was smug in the knowledge that I was going to do a full bust adjustment on this one, ignoring the fact that I was not going to do some kind of ‘full tummy adjustment’ too that would allow me to breathe. Ho Hum!

I had the best African wax print fabric in two patterns from this place and I knew the dress was going to be either a complete disaster or pretty fancy because I was trying new things. They were:

1: Using really rigid wax print cotton (lovely)

2: Putting in a zip (pretty ok)

3: Putting in pleats (so pleasing)

4: Lining that mofo! (Oh yeah!)

5: Using my new tracing wheel and paper. (phwoar)

6: Doing a full bust adjustment (success!)

7: Doing a narrow shoulder adjustment (fail)

These are all fairly basic things but new for me.

Look: here are my tools:

Learning that these exist has changed my (sewing) life

Learning that these exist has changed my (sewing) life

And here is my really snazzy full bust adjustment learnt from Colette. I also tried doing a narrow shoulder adjustment but all it seemed to do was make my straps way too thin and and angle of the neckline more rectangular than curved. If anyone could tell me what I did wrong, I would be most grateful. Perhaps you can only do NSA’s on dresses with sleeves? HALP! The FBA was a triumph though. I used the lining piece as a sort of muslin, and it just didn’t fit in its first incarnation. I made it again with the FBA’d pattern piece and it was perfect. I am delighted by this. It’s just a shame that my delight blinded me to seeing how low cut it was and I didn’t raise the neckline a bit too. Ho hum. Baby steps.

My first Full Bust Adjustment

My first Full Bust Adjustment

I didn’t have the right size invisible zip so used a too small visible one:

close up of zip

Le zip

Yes, it’s all a bit wonky, but I have only ever put one zip in anything before, and that was an invisible one, so this was all new. AND I SURVIVED! It works! Praise the lord of zips!

I also learnt about pattern placement and pleats. I thought I had worked it all out so my swallows would show nicely on my pleats. This is what the piece originally intended to be the front of the skirt turned out like:

Hmmmmmm

Hmmmmmm

However, the side where I didn’t attempt to be good at pattern placement turned out like this, and swiftly became the front of the skirt. Ridiculously lucky, non?

Hooray!

Hooray!

So there we go. I made a dress that I need to wear a vest underneath to make decent and that I can’t breathe in. I swore I would no longer have ‘incentive dresses’ for when I am thinner, but this is staying in my wardrobe on the offchance that I lose some weight without dieting and can breathe in it, and can also find a suitable vest top to go under it that doesn’t look weird.

And look! Contrast pockets!

Ooooooooooo

Ooooooooooo

I will make this dress again for sure, with an upgraded tummy area for putting oxygen in, a higher neckline and hopefully a narrow shoulder adjustment that moves the straps in nearer my neck as opposed to just really thinning them. If anyone can advise me on this I would be most grateful!

20140902_204646

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “The African Wax Print Busty Glory

  1. I am so bummed that you don’t get to wear this dress, because it’s amazing. The pleats are so crisp that upon first glance, I thought the fabric had been cut! And can I just say that I’ve been sewing for almost 2 years now (!!!) and have NEVER put in a zip using my machine? I handpick every. single. one. and I love it. But I mostly do it because I am a damned coward (and don’t have a zipper foot for my machine, which I could buy but haven’t BECAUSE I AM SCARED) and don’t wanna. So I applaud you for having the guts to try it at all, let alone get a working result. =)

    Like

  2. Aw, you are very nice and awesome 😀 I was very pleased with the pleats: I can’t take the credit though: it’s the lovely stiff fabric. I think I will always put pleats in anything I make with wax print cotton. Zips are a bit terrifying, but you can totally do it! To be honest, I find hand stitching much more terrible, so I think you are brave too!

    Like

  3. Rosie it’s wonderful, I’m very impressed with the pleats, and such pretty fabric. Well done, you’re getting better and better.
    It seems like that tutorial is for making the shoulder straps of the dress narrower rather than for accommodating narrow shoulders on a person. My sewing teacher sort of showed me how to do it but it’s complicated (or it was to me, anyway) because you have to make the neck line narrower then move the shoulders a bit like when you draw between pattern sizes, I sort of tried it on the sorbetto and it was ok but the fabric didn’t sit as smooth as if I’d just cut one straight size ! Xx

    Like

  4. What an awesome dress! I absolutely love the pattern combo. Such a shame we cant see it on you.
    By the way, Im pretty much a newbie sewer too and have been following many blogs for awhile now, but your blog is the first I’ve ever commented on. Please take that as a compliment.

    Like

  5. I am a brand new curvy sewist too…your dress is gorgeous! I think a stretchy spaghetti strapped tank would look great under it especially if you can find one in that pretty green…the breathing part may be a problem though, since even if the green works out well we just dont look pretty on a stretcher being hauled away by ambulance. keep up the fantastic work!

    Like

      • I have often thought about it..even asking the lovely cashmerette how to set one up…im having more epic fails than successes though..hahaha. This is a very long answer–do you have email?

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s