Saturday, August 9, 2014

KS 4026 aka My Broke Woman's Myrtle

Here's the finished dress. I'm not in the love with the fabric, so that has a bearing on my feelings for the dress. It's just a crappy thin rayon knit that feels like a nightgown. I would like the dress much better in an ITY. The print is cool, which is why I bought the fabric to begin with. But it's definitely a low-quality knit and nothing will change that. I expect I'll make it again whenever I can afford to buy some new fabric because I do actually like the style of the dress on me, if not the fabric.

I hinted in a previous post at showing how I used my TNT tee for sizing this dress. I thought I took more pics, but hmmm. Guess not. I'll go over the ones I did manage to take, though. And since my camera battery is dying and I have NO IDEA where the cord is, I suspect it's going to be a while before I post with photos again. :-( I know I'm whining, but I'm really, REALLY tired of being broke because if I wasn't, I'd have a new camera by now. And better fabric choices. Definitely better fabric choices.

So, here we go ... I placed my TNT back piece over the KS back pattern piece. My goal here and on the front bodice piece was to get the widths right for me but to also keep in mind matching up to the KS waist width where it matched closest because the skirt would need to be attached at that seam and I didn't want extra, or worse, too little, at the matching seam. I also wanted to use my TNT armhole since KS armholes are notoriously low, especially on me.

Here's the tracing. It's basically a S at the neck/shoulder/upper chest and then moving to M/L through bust level and then down to the waist seam.

This is where I thought I had more pics. I had already created a drape front from my TNT so I used that piece to gauge the sizing for the KS. You can kinda sorta see the edge of TNT drape front at the right of this photo. The final tracing follows the same sizing variations as the back ... S up top, gradually to a M/L by the waist. The bottom length is longer than the KS pattern only because I knew I was adding a wide casing for the waist elastic (which is what Myrtle-izes this) and there was enough tissue below the bodice to just do it in one pass. For the back, I had to tape on extra.

I knew I'd never use armhole facings even if I decide later to make a sleeveless version so I just traced my TNT sleeve on that part of pattern tissue so I'd have a copy of the sleeve with this dress and not have to dig out the original.

Here are the finished front and back bodice pieces, where you can see the elastic casing taped onto the back piece and just cut onto the front. I added the width of the elastic (1-3/8" I think without looking). And that's it. Since I ended the waist at the actual KS L waist width, I used the L skirt pieces without alteration.

Also, I find most pattern drape fronts to be on the short side, which makes the cowl more fiddly. I added 1-1/2" to the drape section as I was cutting. I had no problems when wearing this dress with the cowl flipping outward or anything so this was enough extra for me. I know the Myrtle has a "self-lined" front, which is really just the whole front doubled and then folded where the drape edge would be if it wasn't "self-lined." I thought about doing this, but decided it would be too hot and the fabric would stick to itself and not lay nicely. And since I added the sleeves, I didn't need to worry about finishing armhole edges with anything other than my serger.

And one last shot. Maybe one day, I'll venture outside for some better pics and a different pose. Well, if I ever find the camera cord or can afford a new one. :-( (I hope I'm not sounding too whiney. I *am* appreciative of having an income, just impatient for the new permanent job and salary to happen already.)


  1. It looks nice, but I know how a dark cloudy vibe can color everything. I hope your good job prospects appear very soon.

    One thought: I see it with a sagey green or maroon belt .. whaddya think?

    Hang in there.


  2. The dress looks bright and summery. I hope your situation improves soon.

  3. Lovely dress. Great colours and fabric.

    I know how you feel. My business has really dropped to about 2 days work a month so I am feeling the pinch too. Lets keep our fingers crossed for each other.

  4. This is timely as I am working on a cowl neckline right now as well. I also added more length to the drape. Great minds, etc....?

    I sure hope your work prospects brighten up a bit. I am glad you at least have that temp income. Temp work has bailed me out more than once!

  5. From the photo side, the dress is nice and looks great on you. I understand the no job/not enough money situation. I just started back to work on a prn status after a two year unemployment hiatus. It's not as many hours as I'd like but I keep telling myself 'something is better than nothing'. Keep the faith.

  6. Thanks for the idea of using a TNT pattern to deal with low armholes! Now why didn't I manage to think of that all by myself? I 'm going to cut this dress out today.

  7. The fit is great on that dress, Debbie! And I understand what you mean about the quality of that fabric. I have some of the same fabric...

    I really hope you find a job that you love (and where they appreciate you) very soon!


  8. This doesn't look cheap to me. It's a super fun and stylish print. Nice dress!

  9. Give yourself some pats on the back for keeping up sewing and blogging when things aren't so fabulous elsewhere. I've been unwillingly unemployed a few times and it wasn't a pretty picture to be around me. You on the other hand are still here inspiring us and buzzing along in a new dress. I know what you mean about liking some ITY over that crazy rayon knit that just "grows" and thins out as it "grows". But like silk, I do get sucked in by the colors that they can achieve in rayon and I can see just why you would love this print.

  10. I'm not sold on the fabric but I think the shape of the dress really suits you. Major props for keeping up sewing & bloging, its not easy to keep your creativity when you are feeling down. I'm lucky to have a permanent job however it's not really enough hours, I just cover my essential expenses every month so I know how you feel :(

  11. I like the dress on you. Thanks for showing how to use your tnt to get the armholes high enough. I have this problem with the Silhouette patterns as the armhole is too low and usually too large so when I lift my arms I end up flashing my belly (not sexy or very nice to the unsuspecting onlooker). As a result I have not been sewing those patterns up. I'm going to try your strategy. Good luck in the permie job search.

  12. The dress looks great on you--I'd love to see you make it up in a non-cheapo fabric when you're able to.

    Re: the employement situation...I don't know exactly what you do, but I assume that it's something to do with the legal profession. Have you thought about branching out and looking for technical editing or instructional design work or something like that? I think you'd be really good at it, and those gigs are often available via freelancing and pay pretty decently.

  13. I hear ya on the money/job situation. Sucks. But you always bounce back, so it's only a matter of time.

    I can't see the quality from here, but the dress is cute, fits you well, and you did a great job on the cowl. Thanks for the good info.

    Don't know if this is quite your thing, but thought I'd pass it along:

    Hang in there. :)

  14. I just "discovered" Kwik Sew again and this is on my list. The past few years with McCalls has been dismal. I think they are maybe getting back in the KS groove?


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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