The Little Black Mess

15 Jan

I did it: I finished a little black dress. Whoo-hoo, cheering, applause, etc.

Except that…well. I’m pretty much not happy with the results at all.  As a finished garment, it is in no way competitive with anything I would buy off the rack as a “little black dress”.  It looks, instead, rather like a high school home economics project.


It turns out that while during the process of sewing, the black fabric hides every single stitch and issue, making it difficult for me to see what I’m working on, the inverse of that is true with the finished garment:  in black, every single stitching/fit problem is highlighted and visible for all to see. See that slight puckering at the center of the neckline? That’s from an imperfect join of lining to dress fabric, where even tightly clipped, I couldn’t get the lining to lay right and had to hand-tack it in place with a few stitches.   Front and center, clearly visible to the eye. Then there’s the drag lines on all the seams, and on the darts. Drag lines on darts? I have no idea what is going on, there. The seams sag, the fabric pooches under my belly when I lean forward, the whole thing twists and bunches and hangs weirdly.


It’s crazy, because the other dress I’ve made with this same pattern is one of my favorites to wear, but  this one doesn’t work, at all. So you win some and you lose some–this one is getting hacked to pieces, quickly. I don’t want to even look at it, but I might chop it off and add a wide elastic waist and convert it to a quick pencil skirt.

In the meantime, I also, disappointingly, put holes into the fabulous textured tights I was wearing with it. Goodbye, lovely tights–you were fun while you lasted.


5 Responses to “The Little Black Mess”

  1. mrsmole January 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    You could let out all your darts and re-sew your side seams by holding the front and back of the stitching taut as it goes under the presser foot. Then get a cool animal print belt and wrap your waist. There is always hope. Did you under stitch the neck edge after adding the lining and trimming the seam allowance away? Usually all drag lines point to the problem.

    • handmadejulie January 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      So many drag lines, so many problems! Yes, the lining is understitched, and understitching that center point with all the layers was one of the points I had to rip out and redo a couple of times.

    • prttynpnk January 16, 2013 at 7:03 am #

      yes, yes! Novelty belts have saved many a day and can be wonderfully distracting. Don’t give up- this will be lovely.

  2. Denise ToepelDenise Toepel January 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Save those tights! You can sew them as flowers tightly wrapped, or use them as appliqué on a black shirt with just zig zag stitches. It really works, and you will feel so smart for recycling.

    • handmadejulie January 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      I love it! Great idea–I was thinking the fabric might be good for something–I think the applique idea would work great.

      If I make something with it, I’ll post pictures and let you know.

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