Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Sureau of doom

My sister bought me this pattern for Christmas (the pattern being Deer and Doe Sureau), and the fabric is some suiting that came from the sale table in The Spinning Wheel in Belfast.  I think I paid about £12 for it.
 

I'm going to start off by saying that this is an epic fail (hence no modelled photos) - except for two things (I am nothing, if not contrary!).  Let's start with the bad...

1.  The front shoulders.  I made a toile and the shoulders were too high, so I took a bit out at the neck edge of the shoulder seam on the front and back.  On my toile I got some drag lines going from the neck seam to the front underarm.  I hadn't set the sleeves in very well, and though that was the problem.  Turns out I was wrong.  I should have only taken a bit out of the shoulder seam on the bodice back.  Of course I realised this one the dress was finished!

2.  The next problem is that the bodice is too wide between the underarms and waist.  I could take it in, but it has a side zip, and as I'm not going to wear it, there is no point.

3.  The gathers skirt. From past experience I know that the only gathered skirts that suit me are ones' that are made from the width of the fabric, and the fabric is cotton.  Frumpsville anybody?!  What was I thinking?

4.  The colour of the fabric.  A valuable lesson was learnt here.  Up close, ie when I was holding the fabric in the shop and sewing it, this fabric is lovely.  It has little stripes of red, green and purple/blue.  I loved it. 

See what I mean?
But from a distance - blurg!!  It looks like something straight out of a Victorian melodrama!  In future I shall be taking a few steps back from the fabric to see what it looks like from a distance.



The good bits:

1.  The sleeves are great because they fit.  I've working on my Craftsy pattern drafting classes, and had been having trouble trying to get my sleeves to fit.  I have finally (hopefully!) cracked it with these.  After a lot of toiles, these sleeves are a Sureau/self-drafted hybrid; but, crucially they fit.  I can actually reach forward without fear of the back giving way - always a bonus!

2.  I mentioned in this post about trying to come up with a way of attaching an invisible zip into a side seam with a pocket.  I really got a bee in my bonnet about this, and was determined to find a solution - and I think I have!



I've made lots of notes, but want to try it again before I blog about it.  It seems to have worked quite well though.

I did take a bit of a gamble with this dress.  I couldn't decide whether or not to try and draft it myself from my block, but I've found the Deer and Doe patterns fit me pretty well, so I went with the pattern instead.  It also turned out to have a lot of fitting issues with the back which I won't bore you with.  I will try it again at some stage, because it's a lovely pattern, but I will draft the bodice and do something different with the skirt.  Ah well, it's not the end of the world and I don't have many epic fails, so all in all, I can live with this failure.  

I did learn from it though, and drafted my next make from my block.  It's the Colette Patterns Hawthorn dress, but the details are for another post.  It's nearly finished, I did the buttonholes and buttons after lunchtime today, and now I'm waiting for some bias tape that I ordered on ebay so I can do the hem and armholes.  


Have a great week,

Lynne

26 comments:

  1. Victorian melodrama dress, that's what I thought when I saw the first picture, but in a good way :o) The fabric is very nice, though, maybe breaking it with a violet belt or binding would help. Looking forward to your tuto for zip and seam pockets, also wondering if they do not open too much.

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    1. Lol! Yeah, there are ways to do a Victorian melodrama! I would probably make an effort with a belt or tights if it fitted, but it's sitting really weirdly at the front because of the issue with the shoulders, and it's just not comfortable to wear.

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  2. What a shame, I agree about how lovely the fabric looks in close up. At least you learned a lot!

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    1. I definately did learn a lot from it, so it wasn't a complete was of time.

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  3. Looks like you've come a long journey of discovery with the Sureau! And the invisible zip/side seam pockets look intriguing and v successful! Can you use the fabric from the skirt to make something- another skirt perhaps, seems a shame to let it go to waste, the close up was lovely.....

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    1. I definately did come on a long journey with this! I hadn't thought of re-using the skirt, I shall ponder that. There has to be a way to brighten it up a bit.

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  4. Oh no, what a shame about this dress! And I really thought that would be a great pattern for you! But at least, as you say, you have very few epic fails so don't lose heart. I, on the other hand, feel I am getting worse with each sewing project rather than improving! lol.
    Well done with the pocket and side zip though - I'll be curious to hear how you did it as it's def something I've always been keen to know how to do.

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    1. Oh, thank you! Hopefully your run of luck will change soon. I'm pleased with how the pocket/zip thing turned out, but really want to give it another go in case it was a flook.

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  5. Well, I looked at the picture and thought "Wow, that is nice!”

    I think the fabric is lovely - even from a distance. I understand if the fit is wrong then it’s wrong, however, can you perhaps unpick it and use the material to make a skirt? Just too nice to waste and if teamed with a brighter colour may pick out the tones in the fabric. Good luck.

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    1. Re-using the skirt is starting to sound like a good idea! I could cobble together a waist band from the bodice and sleeves, and bright tights could lift the colour a bit... Something to think about!

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    2. That would be very wearable...and practical for every day. Smart!

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  6. I would totally wear this, though I do dress approximately 50 years older than my actual age haha. Go on, give it a chance! :p

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    1. Lol!! Sadly it's unwearable because the front shoulders just aren't comfortable.

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  7. I have this pattern in my (increasingly long) queue of things to make - its really interesting to see where you had problems with it - I will definitely need a muslin! Would it work better with a Belladone skirt - I don't love gathers on me so was wondering about swapping in the Belladone skirt? The fabric is lovely though - maybe you can get a skirt out of it at least?

    Louise

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    1. Do you know what, I was thinking of it with the Belladone skirt too! Great minds clearly do think alike! Re my fitting issues, I wouldn't take me as an example of a poorly fitting pattern, I just have lots of fitting issues for my shape. Narrow shoulders, narrow back, larger bust, petite height - the list goes on!

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  8. Oh noooo how frustrating! But sometimes the most epic fail can turn out to be an epic learning curve. I will take your valuable nugget of advice about looking a fabric from a distance! Hopefully you'll be able to refashion it into something, a slinky pencil skirt or something. When you can bear to look at it again :)

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    1. Yeah, it was a bit frustrating. But as my old boss used to say, "every day's a school day!", and I did learn a lot from this.

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  9. What a lovely, reflective post - the good outweighs the bad! You're right about the fabric - it is lovely close up. I wonder if it would work better as a blouse - love your melodrama comment by the way. The side seam/pocket combo is excellent as is the gathering so well done you - onwards and upwards!

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    1. Onwards and upwards indeed! I'm happy to say that my next make is turning out really well.

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  10. It's such a shame when this happens. At least you learned something.

    I like the idea of adding pockets even when there is a side zipper. Congratulations for figuring it out!

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    1. I just couldn't get the side zip/pocket idea out of my head. I hope it works out when I try it again.

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  11. Lynne, I don't think I've ever seen a good Sureau. I could be wrong but it just might be the pattern - draft, fit and style. But hey - silver linings, side zip and pocket is brilliant - can't wait for that post.

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  12. I've seen some lovely Sureaus, but they have been embellished with flat collars, details on the sleeves, etc. Many that's the way to go with this pattern. I'm really hoping the zip/pocket thing is going to work now!

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  13. I actually quite like your fabric. Close up and far away. Suiting fabrics are great to sew with and I love how contrary they can behave in the face of floral dress fabric! Sad about your other issues but as everyone says it is a positive learning curve all the same. :-)

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    1. I loved sewing with the suiting fabric, it was so easy to work with; and, yes, at least I learnt a bit from this dress!

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  14. Its a shame you found problems with the dress, when i first saw the photo I really liked it!
    I agree the material looks better close up, but the dress it's self is a lovely pattern.
    I find it really hard picking material and knowing how it will look once ive made something!

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