I wanted a pretty simple pattern for it as I didn't want to make it complicated with all those zig zags - so I went for the Wendy Ward MIY collection pattern, the Wisewood dress- a really straightforward cowl neck dress.
In theory, I could have sewn this up in a couple of hours. Sadly theory didn't prevail ;( In fact this turned into something that I still haven't fully worked out!!!!!! Nothing to do with the pattern - the pattern is wonderful - I sewed up a test one very quickly and perfectly. So what happened.
It was all going really well. I spend a lot of time carefully cutting out to ensure my zigs and zags were even and then carefully pinned the sides together matching zig zags best i could. Now this isn't my biggest skill so its not perfect, but I m pretty happy with what i managed. Zig zags are some what more difficult to match than stripes I learnt. Here is a shot of my side seam...
So I d sewn the neck and the sides, I d tried it on and was super happy with it. Look how good it looks!
And it fits perfectly too...
So what is the problem, I hear you ask!! Well I thought I was almost done- just do the hem and I m ready to wear! And I thought- well the hem will be easy- just cut and pin around one zig zag line and it will be even. So I started cutting at the desired length (I had made it a bit longer than the pattern as I hadn't decided on length) and here is where things get funny. I started cutting at the front along one line - I cut round the back, came back towards the front and shit - I was on a totally different repeat- a good 3 inches further up! If I kept cutting, I would go in a spiral and end up at the neck line!
One hem side seam looked like this:
So here is the puzzle. What did I do wrong?!!!!!!! I ve spent a lot of time trying to work this out. Here is the thing:
- I matched the stripes when I cut out so each side and front & back were the same
- I matched each & every stripe on the side seam
- The stripes look straight when the dress is on as you see from the picture- so I didn't spot there was any issue at all when I tried it on. So what happened and what should I do?
Here it is laid down flat:
What happened- there are only 2 theories I can come up with...
- Even though i measured it carefully when I cut it, I didn't get it exactly right and ended up with one extra repeat in one side but never realised
- I lost a repeat somewhere by trying to match the zig zags & with the fabric stretching, maybe around the armhole. But how do you lose a whole repeat- i didn't cut one off?! is that possible?!
So what to do? I am not taking it apart. I have no spare fabric and I m not going to get those overlocked side seams apart and back together without damaging the fabric. Plus it looks rather good I think (well obviously apart from the small hem issue). The good news is the issue is on the back. The only obvious course of action is to just cut the hem at the back straight and sewing the hem- but it will look less than perfect (and probably optically will not look straight) as the hem will not be parallel to the zig zag line on the back. Any other ideas or solutions anyone?!
What would I do different next time? (and yes I've got one more piece of Missoni in a different colour way).
1. Firstly, be super careful when i cut out. I struggle with giving myself this advice as I was more careful than usual and was confident I d matched everything perfectly when I cut this- but even so, I could have made a mistake.
2. Secondly I would stabilise the seams a bit as it was pretty easy to stretch the fabric out of shape- I would probably cut a strip of tape to the length of the pattern and tack that to the edge before assembly to ensure i don't stretch any sides out when zig zag matching.
3. And last up I d stick with a really, really simple pattern like this one. For a relatively inexperienced sewer like myself, matching zig zags up was not easy and when they are out, you really notice. I wouldn't want a pattern that needed any excessive matching beyond straightforward side seams. I d also avoid darts etc as they would just stick out badly in a zig zag
Any thoughts on where I went wrong or any other bright ideas on what I should do to finish off the hem- leave me a comment, I will be grateful ;)
I really love the pattern, I would highly recommend. The issues were nothing to do with the pattern as I ve used it before absolutely fine!
Anyway, I do rather love it (when I don't look down and realise I 've still got a raw uneven hem)