Friday, May 18, 2012

Pink Week: To be continued…

I didn’t quite get my last pink thing finished. Here’s a sneak peek:

These fabrics:

  For this pattern:
M4769 from 2005, still in print
Although this dress should be the nicest and most wearable of my pink projects, it has also been the most problematic.

It all started in September, when I got the fabric, cut out the pattern pieces, and started pinning some of them together. I then realized I was not feeling pink for fall, so I put it aside in favor of a million other projects.
Lesson learned #1: Do not cut fabric and set it aside for seven months!

For whatever reason, I had cut a size 12 in the bodice and 14 in the skirt, instead of my usual 14-16. I discovered this only after sewing together the bodice and sleeves and wondering why I could barely move my arms. I was able to reduce the seam allowances all around and release the back darts enough to move, but it’s still smallish. Luckily the skirt is flared, so the smaller size was not a problem for my size 16 hips.

The next problem I ran into was the most confusing collar and facing construction I’ve ever seen.
Lesson learned #2: Read the entire pattern instructions before starting sewing!

For one thing, why does McCall’s want us to interface both the front band and the front facing? If I can ever get the two sewn together, it’s going to be like having a wood plank hanging straight down from my neck. If I had read enough to realize which pieces went with which, I probably would have skipped one layer of interfacing, or used something tissue-thin.

Here is the explanation for attaching the facing to the front and neck:

The entire step takes up less than two inches of the instruction sheet. Couldn’t they spare another inch or two to give a better close-up diagram of that mess up in the corner? And why do they have to have a large dot, a notch, and a small dot all in the same area? (Question for those of you who sew: how do you distinguish your large and small dots on your fabric? By the time I get to the sewing machine, all my dots look like the same.)

While the facing/band problem was enough to put me in the dirt, as The Piemaker likes to say, I also had issues with buttons and lining. I had decided against a lining, thinking of summer comfort, but it is already clear that I will have to wear a full-length slip. That puts the comfort factor on a par with using a lining, so I must ponder the issue for a while. Then there were the buttons, which I swear I bought specifically for this fabric, but which now cannot be found.
Lesson learned #3: Keep project supplies together!

I checked all the button jars, and I even looked at the other things I’ve sewn in the past seven months, to see if the buttons somehow got onto another garment. Still no sign of them. Possibly it’s just as well, because they were pink, and I’ve decided to use shell shirt buttons to coordinate with a greenish-gray belt buckle.

So, while I work on the facing and procrastinate on the finishing details, here's a little preview (ignore that puckered sleeve cap!):

And because I didn’t finish all three pink things this week, here’s an extra bonus – the pink skirt I made a few weeks ago.

Full length (comes to ankle), soft rayon jersey, made with two full widths of fabric sewn together at the sides and with a wide elastic waistband.  Easy and so comfy!

In other news, I’ve had a setback in my fight against migraines. During the first half of May, I had 14 (FOURTEEN!) migraines. A lot of pain, a lot of nausea, very little sleep, and extreme frustration. Since I’ve now fallen into the realm of “Chronic Daily Headache”, I have to undertake some measures to stop taking the pain medication so frequently, which means I’ll likely have an interim period of even more migraines. Sigh.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, since I’m also starting on another preventive medication which I’ve had some success with in the past. We’ll hope that it works again and I’m soon down to a more manageable level.

All this is just to explain that if I don’t visit your blogs as often as usual, or if you don’t see me posting much, it’s just because I’m feeling a bit poopy. I will be back soon!



  1. Hope the new medication beats your awful migraines and you're back on full form very soon.

    Straight forward sewing called for in the meantime! The dress will look lovely when it's finished - great choice of fabrics.

    Take care, Susan

  2. I am so sorry to hear that you've been suffering with so many migraines, Katrina! That must be awful. I hope that the preventative medicine helps give you your life back.

    Your pinks are just beautiful, and I can't wait to see your finished dress.

    Feel well, and happy sewing!

  3. You are so talented! I love love love the pink and blue outfit, especially the skirt!

  4. I am so very sorry that you are feeling poorly! I hope the new medicine works and you are "up and at it" in no time! All the Best!