It doesn't happen to me that often anymore, but sometimes something just doesn't work out. And it would be unfair to keep those items from the blog, wouldn't it?
Case in point:
File this one under: Don't try to be too clever.
I was having misgivings about this dress even when drafting. Gathers don't always work for me, which is why I usually confine them to small sections or one side of a pattern piece (as in a twist). However, I silenced them, and blogged about how I made the pattern... Famous last words.
I will insist that the design idea itself isn't wrong. It should be possible to make a dress with lots of gathered sections. It just requires very fine, well controlled gathering and negative ease and/or gravity to pull those gathers taut.
I kind of knew that but I was too worried about this fabric creating a straightjacket-like fit so I stuck with the basic shape of my new sloper. And I had forgotten the slight stiff-ness of this fabric. Which meant it didn't like being gathered by methods which involve machine stitching.
I used basting thread instead but that made the gathers too big and too easily moved about.
I started to see the issues last night but decided to soldier on and at least finish the bodice. So, I continued, pinning carefully.
I hadn't made things easy for myself. Remember those sections in which I had eliminated the side seam? Those meant that there was only one possible order of construction and I really had to pay attention to that. All the while dealing with fiddly pieces of thin lycra lining and heavy gathered jersey full of pins...
The creative seam lines also mean that I can't take the bodice in at the sides to try and fix the fit. I'm sure the hip yokes would look a bit better if I attached the skirt, which would weigh them down and make the gathering look better. However, I don't think it's worth it. It wouldn't fix the top of the bodice.
I have been too clever for my own good here, I've over-complicated things. And although I made this design to try and cope with the qualities of this particular fabric, it definitely didn't do the job. This fabric has simply too much bulk to work with so many gathers.
I've thrown out the bodice. I'm keeping the skirt pieces and the sleeves. The skirt consists of large rectangles (with curved tops) which could be cut up for something like a top and the sleeves have been drafted without gathers so they are probably OK...
Time for something else now.