This has just not been my week for sewing. On Friday, I tried to finish a pair of jeans (desperately needed jeans, I might add), but ended up with a wadder due to a fisheye dart adjustment I couldn't make without re-cutting the back. Then yesterday I started sewing McCall's 6153 for my daughter (after spending 40 minutes altering the pattern pieces first), but because I was rushing, I ended up making numerous boneheaded errors, the most egregious of which was stretching the lower fronts/backs to fit the yokes above, instead of gathering them. The fabric didn't recover after i had finished stitching, so it was completely stretched out of shape. It's currently in the washer in the hope that it will return to its original shape (it's a teeny, tiny hope).
Next (because I am apparently a glutton for punishment) I got out one of my Unique Patterns patterns, 9024U0, and some fairly heavy tan stretch twill fabric. I figured that I wouldn't have to line the dress since it was such a substantial fabric. Before I started laying out the pattern pieces, I took out my thoroughly-tweaked-to-fit McCall's 2818 pattern pieces and checked the Unique Pattern against it. The bust points lined up PERFECTLY, so I was encouraged that the rest of the custom drafted pattern would fit well, too.
Turns out the stretch twill was stretchy in both the crosswise AND lengthwise grain. As a result, the front and back pieces stretched vertically, enough that the dart placement (which had been perfect on the pattern pieces) was completely off. I tried to salvage the dress by taking out some of the excess fabric at the shoulder seams, and that helped somewhat. But I still had drag lines at the bust, indicating that I needed a deeper dart. I am assuming that this is related at least in part to the stretchy fabric as well, but I won't know for sure until I cut it out again in a non-stretch fabric. (Cha-ching!)
Things I learned from all this unproductive sewing:
- I love my new tailor's chalk; it made marking my darts a breeze.
- I have several pairs of pants in my closet that I thought fit well, but I now realize need the fisheye dart adjustment as well. (Guess I've been too preoccupied with my FBAs to pay much attention to what's going on in the back.)
- Even an "easy" pattern, like McCall's 6153, shouldn't be rushed.
- The next time I use a knit/stretch fabric, I will check the length when it's resting on the table, and again when hanging (as it will be when worn), then adjust the pattern accordingly if it seems likely to "grow" on my body.