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Scruffy Badger Time’s New Look 6000 Fest – My contribution

December 19, 2011

Now, I’ll admit that this dress is not my usual style.  I have never bought a ready-made dress like this, which is surprising because in my time I’ve bought literally hundreds of dresses.  But there’s a very good reason why I’ve never bought a dress like this – my hips and bum are just too damn big.  From previous experience, the bodice of a shop size 12 dress in this style would fit but the skirt wouldn’t, and a 14 would be too big on the bodice, and maybe ok on the hips or maybe still too tight.  This has led to a bit of a paranoia about the size of my ‘bottom half’, and is probably why my wardrobe consists of about 99% dresses – I try to hide it.  My preferred style of dress fits the bust and skims over the rest, so it will be A-line at the very least (hence why I love the Colette Parfait and Chantilly dresses so much).  And in the past year or so, it isn’t just my hips and bum I’ve been trying to hide – my stomach has put in a bit of an appearance too.  I never made much of an effort after childbirth to get rid of it, and admittedly I eat too much cake.  But that’s life.

When I first started sewing I made a one-piece sheath dress.  I’ve worn it a few times but always been a bit self-conscious about the clinginess.  I’m all for celebrating the female figure, but I prefer to flatter my figure by accentuating my assets (boobs, waist) and minimising the bits I feel self-conscious about (tum, bum, thighs).  For me, it is not flattering to put it all on show, and seeing someone wear a dress practically busting at the seams, stretched tight over the hips, riding up over the belly…well, that is my worst nightmare.  In fact, I frequently over-compensate for this fear and the clothes I sew for myself sometimes end up too big!

BUT…when I read about the New Look 6000 fest over on scruffybadgertime, I couldn’t resist getting involved as I have been trying to sew more winter-appropriate dresses recently.  I had 2m of leftover cotton from my second Chantilly dress, and although I had other ideas for this dress (pea-green gabardine!), I wanted to put the leftover fabric to good use and road-test the dress before splashing out on my desired fabric.

I cut my dress in a size 16 – the largest size on the pattern tissue!  I think this would be equivalent to a shop-bought 14 in the UK.  I sewed it up to find it was too big on the midriff and bust, but fine across the bum and hips (only just!!).  Like Jane, I thought the bust darts were stupidly low down, but by the time I’d lengthened my waist darts and taken in at the side seams, the bust darts were ok to leave untouched.  I transferred my alterations to the pattern so that next time I can get the fit right straight away.

My alterations in pink - taken in at side seam between underarm and bust dart, and waist dart lengthened and widened above the waist.

For the sleeves, I wanted to use up some of the vintage buttons my Great Aunt donated – check out my button stash!  She used to sew in the 50s and 60s, and a few months ago she gave me a load of notions and haberdashery.

Most buttons donated by my Great Aunt. Buttons are organised into sets in five button boxes each with 18 compartments.

I chose these gorgeous sparkly crystal shank buttons, and sewed one to each side of the cuffs.

As cute as a button. Bet that joke's never been used before on a sewing blog...

I was very pleased with my lapped zipper – maybe the best one I’ve ever done!

Lapped zip! (Ignore the fact that the dress is too tight on Delilah).

This dress stayed on Delilah (my dummy) for eleven days before I decided to wear it – partly because I needed Mr Tweedie to take my photo in daylight, and partly because I was worried I would look awful in it, even though I knew I had got the fit right.  But it got its first outing last weekend.  As you can see, it isn’t too clingy, but it is very fitted.

The wind was making my eyes water, hence the fanning action...

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with my posture in this one…

I know how to make this look better! I'll stick my stomach right out! D'oh.

Then I decided to try it with pink tights and black shoes rather than black tights and pink shoes (I know, I’m SO rad…).  Now, just before this photo I walked up and down the stairs, and changed my tights and shoes and that is all – but have you seen that creasing?!?!

These creases appeared within five minutes. Pah!

This was the wrong fabric for this dress.  Here it is after an entire day of wear:


Even my steam iron won't get rid of those creases - I'll have to re-wash first!

I won’t even show you the back.

Anyway.  The dress was comfortable to wear for the whole day, getting in and out of the car, wandering round, picking up Little Tweedie, sitting down etc (and my husband doesn’t think that the clinginess is a bad thing!).  I enjoyed wearing it, but I think what I need to make this dress more practical is to sew it up in a double knit like Jane did.  I think the thickness of a double knit would lessen all those creases, it’d give it a bit more stretch, it would be warmer and cosier and  I wouldn’t have to even bother inserting a zip.

So, another version is in the pipeline – I just have to decide on the colour, as I can’t find green!

  1. December 19, 2011 3:29 pm

    I think double knit sounds like the perfect fabric for this style. But too bad this one creases so badly because I love the polka dots! Although sometimes I just embrace the wrinkly-ness 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:38 pm

      Thank you Liza Jane! If only I could get polka dot double knit… I will definitely have to embrace the wrinkliness on this version -no use me worrying about it as it creases after about five seconds!

  2. December 19, 2011 3:35 pm

    Too bad about the creasing, because this dress looks really great on you! It’s definitely not too clingy, it’s just right and I love the fabric print!!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much Marie – as you can probably tell I am so (too?) worried about unflattering clinginess, so your compliment means a lot!

  3. December 19, 2011 4:08 pm

    I love it! I keep wanting to join the 6000 cult, but it isn’t realy a dress I’d get to wear much- but if I had pink maryjanes…..

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:40 pm

      Heheh, those shoes haven’t had much wear so far – they are the most ridiculously neon pink you’ve ever seen. Couldn’t resist them though!

  4. Georgia permalink
    December 19, 2011 5:06 pm

    You look so, so lovely in this, you really do. I also think it’s really flattering to your shape, I think you have such an amazing figure! I also think the elbow length sleeves make such a difference – too many dress ignore the style statement of a sleeve. Tsk.

  5. Georgia permalink
    December 19, 2011 5:06 pm

    Or even “dresses”….

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:44 pm

      Thank you lovely, I am touched to receive such compliments! My figure is NOT AT ALL that adjective you chose – but thank you for saying so. I do love the sleeves on this dress – they do add a certain style!

  6. December 19, 2011 5:25 pm

    That’s a beauty, it really is. Shame about the creasing… would a full slip (including camisole bit) help with that? It is uber-flattering – your figure looks awesome in it!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:48 pm

      Thanks loads Joanne! I’m starting to think it might look good on me! I actually was wearing a full slip already – I wear them under practically everything! In future perhaps I should only wear this dress when I’m standing still all day long and not moving!! I think as Liza Jane said I’ll just have to embrace the wrinkliness on this one and make the next from double knit as Jane did so beautifully!

  7. December 19, 2011 5:48 pm

    Tabatha it’s an amazing dress on you! The fit is SO flattering & you know I’m a huge fan of your fabric choice – the grey polka dots & your hair – delicious! I also think it’s lovely that you are using heirloom buttons 🙂
    I’m just about to get the post up & will link to some of your pics.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:51 pm

      Thank you! Your dress is beautiful too – I love the colour, the fit, the lining, the black buttons…everything!

  8. December 19, 2011 5:48 pm

    That looks great on you, really flattering.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:52 pm

      Thank you Louise – so kind of you to say so! I’m feeling better and better about this dress!

  9. December 19, 2011 6:21 pm

    Lovely! I really like the way you styled it with the pink. Shame about the creases because it’s such a good dress. I often end up wishing I’d underlined things when they do that.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:54 pm

      Thanks Catherine! I like the grey and black colour but I think you’ve got to add a splash of colour somehow. I think you’re right, this particular fabric could have benefited hugely from being underlined.

  10. December 19, 2011 6:36 pm

    I think it’s lovely too Tabatha – it’s very very flattering. I love the fabric and the buttons and the creasing is probably because of the style of dress – we’re just not used to wearing such fitted clothes in everyday life! I would definitely give it another go in double knit – especially as you’ve got the fit just right – and if it makes you feel better, double knit doesn’t even need ironing, never mind creasing like mad! Great job. x
    PS. I like the pink tights and black shoes combo – looks fab!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:58 pm

      Doesn’t need ironing? Doesn’t need a zip? Jane – I am considering ordering in entire bolts of double knit!!! Thank you for alerting me to its wonders. I adore your version – perfect colour, perfect fit – love it!

  11. December 19, 2011 6:57 pm

    Gorgeous fabric and looks like a great fit – shame about the wrinkles but it looks lovely on you nonetheless.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 19, 2011 7:58 pm

      Thanks so much Kerry 🙂

  12. December 20, 2011 12:04 am

    This looks lovely on you! It’s a perfect fit, and, girl, you’ve had KIDS?! You could never tell! You’re rocking this dress!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2011 11:03 am

      Ha ha ha – that’s a fantastic compliment! Thank you!

  13. December 20, 2011 5:26 am

    I agree, you rock the dress. Yes, the creases are unfortunate, but they are overwhelmed by a flattering shape and a great fabric choice.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2011 11:04 am

      Thank you very much Allison!

  14. December 20, 2011 6:28 am

    The dress looks great on you – well done with the pattern alterations. I love the spotty fabric. Such a shame it creased so much but I still think you should wear it. I too have a tendency to sew too big for myself due to my own body hang ups! I am really jealous of that button collection and storage system!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2011 11:06 am

      Thanks Debbie. The button boxes came from Boyes – the shop of wonder and amazement! I do like to be organised 🙂

  15. December 20, 2011 8:24 am

    Love it! It’s a great pattern and I love how you’ve styled it 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2011 11:06 am

      Thank you. It is a great pattern – I would recommend it!

  16. Sassy T permalink
    December 20, 2011 11:52 am

    Your figure is great. I think we all get over critical of ourselves and forget that we are all different. A bit like curly hair – those with it want straight, those with straight would like some curl. Those with a flat bum would want a big one and so on.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2011 1:21 pm

      Thank you – I am my own worst critic, it’s true!

  17. Elena Cresci permalink
    December 21, 2011 2:18 am

    I know the feeling with creasiness – the amount of times I get told off for not ironing my clothes… anyway, creasiness aside, this dress is beautiful! You’ve got the fit spot on! I’d ignore some creases for that well made a garment 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 22, 2011 12:49 pm

      Thanks Elena!

  18. Beate permalink
    January 7, 2012 9:16 pm

    Dear Julia, the dress looks just awesome on you! I like it much better then the full skirts 😉 I was thinking about making it for me, too. As the dress calles for curves which I don’t have I will stay with my full skirt dresses 😉 Wish you much fun sewing more! Kind regards, Bea


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