Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bad Dress Florence & the neck creases


Every now and then I've come across the username Badskirt Amy on Flickr and always thought what a fantastic name that is (I've just looked into it again and seen that Amy has a blog named Badskirt too). I'm unsure of the history of the name, but I'm now wondering whether she once had a skirt-making experience that was so tragic that she decided to start a blog about it. I've decided that this dress isn't so bad that I need to rename my blog after it, but feel it is certainly worthy of a post title in honour of its badness.

You might remember that I made a dress from Wendy's Home Stretch book a while ago that I was really pleased with. Shortly after I decided to take my beloved Liberty jersey yardage and make it into a similar dress....only when I'd finished I realised that I loathed it and what I'd loved in plain navy with mustard binding, I really didn't like at all in lovely Liberty jersey - the fit was different and it didn't work with the busyness of the pattern. So I took the entire thing apart, raised the waist line to just beneath the bust and drafted a new sleeve so that I could install it without the large puffs that come with Wendy's pattern.


Unfortunately the pattern is so busy, that it isn't actually evident that it has an empire line...and instead just looks like a one-piece tube dress. I also dislike how straight this dress is and would feel far more comfortable in it if the skirt section of it was more A-line in shape...it makes me feel strangely 1980s.


I am so annoyed that I have misued this lovely fabric so horribly that I'd be tempted to burn it if I wasn't slightly scared of setting things on fire.


And while I'm in an Eeyore sort of mood, lets talk about something else that I've noticed: an occupational hazard. I have become increasingly aware that I have two deep lines forming on my neck. I finally decided to get a second opinion on the lines from my lovely mother. When I started telling her about the problem she rushed to say that of course my neck wasn't partitioned by horizontal creases, but then stopped mid-sentence and said: gosh, yes, I see what you mean. She then asked me to put my head into 'looking-down-at-the-sewing-machine' position and was able to reveal that they are most likely to be the result of years of excessive sewing. (For the record, I then studied my mother's own neck for comparison...and I can report that even though she is more than 25 years older, her neck looked like some beautiful swan-like thing with not a wrinkle or crease in sight).

Naturally, I have taken steps to prevent further damage by holding my head perfectly straight, with my neck slightly raised at all times. My husband has told me I look like I'm wearing a neck brace after a particularly traumatic accident and my children giggle and ask me why I raise my neck up like a giraffe when I'm putting things in the kitchen bin...which has made me think that neck-crease reduction should be an activity undertaken alone, although ultimately, I think that it possibly requires too much effort to pursue in the long term. So this bad dress that I've made only adds insult to injury by piling on roughly 8 hours of unnecessary neck-creasing time to my life in the making of it.

I'm now off to my sewing machine to potentially cause more pointless damage...because the other occupational quirk that I've noticed is how one has unceasing optimism at the start of every new project, so for now, it feels like it might be neck-crease reinforcement that is worth risking....

Florence x

* The light in the first photo seems to erase the creases, just in case you scrolled back to check for evidence of them...perhaps I should conduct my life from the white light of the bathroom from now on.

27 comments:

  1. How disappointing, your lovely fabric, I was wondering what had happened to it. I hate that feeling when you have spent hours toiling over something for it to not live up to expectations.

    For the record, I think it looks really nice, maybe a slip underneath would stop it clinging to tights and ease a few creases?

    I have no solution for wrinkles, if anyone else does I would like to hear them...

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  2. Hi Florence

    How madening to be unhappy with the result after so much happy anticipation. And that jersey is so pretty. As for the neck creases... I have just had to check in the mirror, after years looking down at a key board (I don't type properly) sewing machine and knitting needles of course I have two very deep creases, its just that I have so many others now I don't know which to worry about most!

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  3. It's horrible when a project with much loved fabric doesn't work out. I am glad to know that I am not the only one this happens to!

    As for your neck, I have these too. In the greater scheme of things I just don't worry about it. At 39, and having grown up in the tropics, I have a fair amount of lines and sun spots. I don't think there really is a solution for it. Candid snaps of celebrities show that even radical solutions don't really work.

    In my case, I don't know if it is vanity, or the reminder that I am mortal which bugs me most. For me, having two beautiful children to revel in as they grow, and creative hobbies is the most important thing. I am more than what I look like and I have a lot to be proud of.

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  4. PS - I think the dress looks good too. I found that I made up my liberty jersey (blogged a few weeks ago) too full in the skirt and am thinking of taking it in. I wonder if you could rebalance it by narowing the shoulders a bit and making the bodice slightly closer fitting, that may emphasise the empire line a little

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  5. I think the dress looks lovely and not at all '80's. (And I should know because I was there and really embraced the shoulderpad, stiletto, straight dress thing along with a really horrendous perm :-)) As for the wrinkles on your neck I can't see them in the photos but take heart if you wait long enough (in your case very long) no one will notice the wrinkles on your neck because your face will have caught up! Ask me how I know.

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  6. It's a very flattering dress and looks great on you (you've got the perfect shape to carry it off). BUT, now you've mentioned the 1980's, that's all I can think of when I look at it! You just need a pair of doc marten shoes to complete the look. Hope you don't mind my honesty! x

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  7. I'm with the other commenters, now that you mention it, it is a bit 80's looking. Although I still have my Doc Martens and wear them frequently, I'm hoping they are old enough to be stylish again 8-) I've had those disappointing projects as well and sometimes it seems to be best to hide them a way for a while and take it out when I'm not so emotionally invested.

    Checking my neck for creases, wonder if I can blame my double chin on too much sewing?

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  8. Oh no you've made me check my neck and I have two creases too! Must hold head up high from now on and no more frowning I'm getting some 'creases' in that area too :(
    Your dress looks a bit roomy, perhaps if you'd take it in and make it a little more figure hugging that would help? I'm unsure so don't take my advice ok ha ha!
    I read Amy's blog and I do believe you're right. I remember reading something about a skirt gone bad and that's where she got her name from. Brilliant!

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  9. Oh it is so frustrating when all that effort is wasted Florence. As for neck creases, I have them too and also have developed a slouch from so much time sitting sewing. There is no justice! x

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  10. Please share any remedies for crinkly necks ...... mine is rather like a tortoise! How sad is that. x

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  11. Try sitting on a shorter chair. That's what I do. I have an old vanity chair that I recovered (you can see it on my blog birdinanest.blogspot.com/). So it's pretty and soft (for LOTS of sitting) and is easier on my neck. I haven't noticed neck creases, but I have a really long neck and I tend towards neck aches. Anyways, it helps me. And it might make it easier to use the bin!

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  12. Ok now I'm scared to look in the mirror at my neck!

    I have disasters all the time and it's encouraging to hear I'm not alone. That said it can be very upsetting and distressing. Is it possible to reuse the fabric in some way? Perhaps as a highlight fabric for another dress done in a plain fabric?

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  13. Oh dear! I have to say, I don't think the dress looks too bad - but I know what it's like when you make something and it doesn't live up to expectations. It kind of looks a bit clingy - maybe it needs a lining or a slip under it? Definitely don't burn it! If you can't stand it now, try putting it away and not looking at it for a few months - it might not be so bad when you get it out again.

    As for the neck: Alexander Technique. It might not make the creases go away but it might help make the neck-straightening more effective and less amusing to others!

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  14. Laugh-out-loud funny -- not the dress, but your comments about the neck creases. Thanks, and good wishes for resolving the problems with the dress.

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  15. I actually like that dress! If you put a thin belt around the empire line I think it would work really well. Sorry to hear that you're disappointed though, I do so hate that feeling x

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  16. The dress is great! It shows off your figure really well without being too revealing/clingy. I think that as the pattern is so tiny it's absolutely great. The thing I agree with you on is the empire line disappearing into the pattern. I would personally sew a band about 1" width of contrasting jersey to the empire line seam (probably plain navy) and I think that'll help define the shape and make it look a little more A-line too. Other than that it's a fab dress. It would be good in a short-sleeve (fluted or capped) for summer too.

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  17. I've just returned to sympathise a bit more as I've spent the evening unraveling a whole week's worth of knitting. Agh!

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  18. Poor you and all your grumps. The dress looks entirely wearable in your photos but that is no good it doesn't make you feel good when you wear it. Can you reuse the fabric for your daughter?

    As for the creases, forget them and sew on.

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  19. So that's why I have those pesky lines in my neck. And here I was putting it down to old age. I'd much rather blame it on the Bernina Syndrome.

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  20. If you have not given up on the dress entirely you could perhaps consider inserting a line of pale piping or ribbon under the bust to emphasize the empire line ...

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  21. Oh yes, I had scrolled back to look for the evidence before I read your postscript!

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  22. You could salvage by making something for your daughter, maybe. I have refashioned lots of dresses and shirts into child stuff.
    Or if you are just sick of the sight of it, maybe just make the skirt into a jersey pillow and use scraps cut from the bodice to add jersey ruffles to it. :D
    I actually think it's cute but I can see what you mean. If you spend so many hours and thought making something for yourself you definitely want it to be "wow" flattering, not just an "eh" thing you could have gotten at target.
    :)
    you're charming as usual.

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  23. The creases on your neck are called the rings of Venus -- a consequence of a life spent reading, writing, sewing and knitting. A full life! I think they're lovely.

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  24. I understand where you're coming from. You have this great fabric with tremendous potential and it just didn't go where you imagined it would. You need a quick and satisfying sewing project to bring back your mojo!

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  25. Well I think it's lovely, love the colour, if you hate it that much, why not sell it on ebay and spend the proceeds on more fabric?

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  26. It is sooo frustrating when things go wrong. I hope that you are feeling a bit better about it. Love your comparison to Eeyore. I have a tendency of comparing people to Pooh characters. Personally I would love to be more like Pooh. I just love his laid back approach and attitude to life!!! Have you ever read the Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet?x

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  27. oh yes! My blog all started with a skirt gone awry! I kept at it though and have a few good skirts now though. I'm sure you'll get this sorted. Little disappointments often lead to big breakthroughs.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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