Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Painting the roses red!

This month I was lucky enough to be included in A Stitching Odyssey's #VintagePledge July Extravaganza. I was immensely flattered to be included, and as one of the newer bloggers on the block I wanted to make a good impression. 

I chose to make something that would photograph well, had a vintage flair without looking too costumey and I could sew easily. ( I'm not a risk taker, I like to meet my deadlines!)

Hop on over to A Stitching Odyssey's blog for my review of McCalls pattern 4417.

This project should have been a breeze, and yet at every stage I was being sabotaged. I say sabotaged because really, how is it possible that I kept doing everything wrong?
Some greater force must have been involved!

Ok, to start with a pattern piece was missing, which I didn't realise until I was making a mock up. Sat at the sewing machine, sewing the bodice together I was baffled as to why I couldn't make the pieces fit.
 Duh! Missing piece!
This has never happened to me before. It is vintage though so it was bound to happen at some point. 

Cue trying to self draft a front neckline piece that attaches to a weirdly constructured, pleated detail. Arrgh! Hellish! 

But I managed to do it! It took a while, but I was on top of the world!
I'm a sewing genius! Ha! I should have stopped there. Left the project for another day, but no.
 I had to cut out my fabric.

I bought 3 meters of fabric and the pattern calls for 3.25. I played around with the placement and managed to squeeze out all of my pieces. 

Totally smug that I had dodged the bullet on that one, I cut out my pieces. 

Oh dam! The bodice was meant to be on the fold!!! Now there is going to be a seam down the front of my bodice, with the roses not matching. 


I was so mad with my self! How can I have pictures on a sewing bloggers blog with a butchered dress. No one wants to see that. And to make it worse, all the other bloggers are home sewers, this is my actual job!!!
That's like a receptionist that can't answer the phone!

Suddenly, painting the front of my dress, to match the pattern and fill in some roses seemed like a great idea! Keep in mind this is the middle of the night by this point. I was in a sewing frenzy- not in a good way. 

So yes I painted the front of my dress. I painted it and waited for it to dry and then ironed the fabric to set my paint and accidentally left the iron on maximum steam and steamed my paint off my dress and on to my ironing board cover. 

Total ire emanating off the top of my head! 
I'm pretty sure I was radioactive. 

Of course, at this point in the story, one would assume that the silly girl realised that the best thing to do would be to come back to the project with fresh eyes in the morning when she was functioning as an adult and making good choices!

Ha! Yeah right, did I heck!

Back to the painting I went, ironed it and only then, finally off to bed.

Now when I woke up, I thought to myself
"What a good crafty girl you are Christina!
Pat on the back Christina!
You deserve a treat, let's admire our handy work".

I would fill this space with a curse word of some sort, but at this stage, the curses had all been used and really there was nothing left to say.

The steam job has tinged my background kind of orange- I hate orange!
My paint job was a great attempt for a small child.
And for some strange reason, it seemed that I had realised last night that my painting was clumsy and tried to make the rest of the roses on the front look equally as  clumsy by basically blocking the detail out with red paint.

Hay ho, what you gonna do now? Sew the monster together!
So that is what I did. It was super easy and a pleasure to sew. Only problem was, I basically hated this dress.

I went to put in an invisible zip, I needed a white one but I didn't have one to hand so I put in a pink one. Really, who cares now. This dress already hates me.
Throw caution to the wind and wack in a pink zip.
And it was done! Finally the hateful dress was finished, and I never wanted to see her ever again!

It would seem that the solution to all of my troubles would have been to go and buy more fabric. If I had thought of that at the time, then I would have. Of course by the time that thought vaguely cross my mind, the dress was made.
Retrospect is such a fantastic thing!

I put on the horrid beast for pictures, and by some miracle, I'm serious, against all odds, I loved the dress!!!!
Probably one of my favourite dresses I ever made. How did that happen?

The print is so pretty, the cut of this dress fits beautifully, the neckline is the perfect feminine, vintage detail and even I can't notice my amateur painting.

So somehow I managed to fall in love with the monstrous dress from hell!

Bloggers make everything look effortless. We show only the best sides of ourselves. We smile in our pictures, or do that weird, blogger, moody pose and you have no idea as the reader that actually, it took serious effort to get to the point where we published our blog post for the world to scrutinise.

I felt like this post was a life lesson to never give up, but really I reckon it is just a post to say, shit happens, paint the roses red!

I hope you enjoyed this little rant of a post, or at least liked the pretty pictures. I suspect some people skim the words anyway and just enjoy the dresses (yes, you know who you are!)

Anyone else had a similar situation where the odds are stacked against you?

X O X O 



  1. You look so elegant and serene - this setting is so gorgeous, like a scene out of Pride & Prejudice! Which makes it all the more crazy to think what an obstacle this dress was for you, and how many hoops had to be jumped through to negate all of the mishaps. I think you did a brilliant job and the dress really did turn out perfect in the end - I love that you quite literally had to paint the roses! At least this dress makes a great story, and I'm so glad that you no longer hate it now that you've had the chance to wear it. Although, I'm sure for a while to come it will still be associated with the headache involved in its creation :P

  2. Oh Christina, oh my goodness! I can't believe the amount of obstacles that were thrown at you in the construction of this dress. And honestly, if you hadn't said anything I would have no clue that the centre front was supposed to be cut on the fold. The painting idea is absolutely ingenious! I would not have thought of that solution, but it really worked! I'm so sorry you had a nightmare with this dress. I completely agree with you about the side of ourselves that we choose to portray as bloggers. I must have sooo many outtake pictures which have never seen the light of day. I'm so glad that the dress had a happy ending, and you turned out to love it! Hurrah, you should get a medal for innovation and perseverance for this dress! :)
    Jenny xx

  3. You were being so hard on yourself! And it's totally relatable.. There are several projects in my sewing room that I started to hate half way through. Kudos for still finishing! And it looks lovely on you.

  4. Sounds like such a stressful project but oh my gosh it is a stunning dress!! The fit is amazing and I just love this pattern, the fabric is so pretty too! Great job and you patience is amazing. I get so frustrated when sewing projects have issues and I don't always like to sleep on it either haha. I'm glad the dress ended up being something you loved in the end because it is so so pretty x

  5. Oh no! I would have had NO IDEA about all the behind-the-scenes angst if you hadn't mentioned it! I can't believe you painted the front of your dress - I was scrutinising the pictures on Marie's blog too as I wanted to see the neckline details - completely oblivious! I'm so pleased you fell in love with it in the end, it really deserves to be worn and you look beautiful in it. xx

  6. You painted the gaps - that is genius! I can't believe it actually worked, but it really did, I can't even tell where you did it. And I have an eye for these things, even if I can't sew to save my life, so if I can't tell, it's a big thumbs up ;) I can't believe you persevered - this is why I'm not a sewer. If something goes wrong, I immediately hate said thing so much I will never finish it. Not a useful skill to have for crafts ;)

  7. This was such a funny read! I was expecting to come to a point where you went and got more fabric or started over or whatever, but it never came and I see literally no issues with this dress. It's beautiful! I love the rose print, and whatever strange things went into the construction or fixing the print are completely invisible, even to someone really looking for it. I think you did an amazing job here, and I'd definitely be making this dress in half a dozen other colors and prints if I were you!

  8. I was on the the edge of my seat through each harrowing twist and turn of this action packed sewing adventure. Way to go on sticking with it and coming up with such an ingenuous solution (painting) in the process. It's awesome that, when all the dust (and tears?) had settled, you love your new frock. It's a complete beauty and a job very well done, may I add.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  9. Oh god I hate when you find that there are pattern pieces missing, ugh it just makes you want to give up! Well done for carrying on, you've done an amazing job and I absolutely love the style of it and the floral pattern! Well done for such a fantastic job, I hope you get to wear it lots! XxxX

  10. This dress is killer! You look wonderful in it :) Well done!

  11. Gosh! Thank you for telling the truth about the making of this dress. Despite all the issues you had with it I think it has turned out to be lovely!

    1. Thank you so much. I am a story teller at heart so I had to spread the jovial tale of sewing mis haps!!!

  12. This is fabulous. I don't think I've enjoyed a story of sewing frustrations so well, or read one that had such a happy ending despite the problems! I LOVE that you shared all the details with us and you look so brilliant in your dress at the end. Painting the roses to make the pattern match is the best idea I've ever seen. Seriously, reading this has made my day!!

    1. I'm so glad! Writing it made my day. I was so happy to have a positive ending!!!

  13. This is absolutely hilarious, I love your commentary here!! And just LOOK at how fabulous it turned out, because you persevered and you're talented. It fits really nicely too. I have to say that I'm now *slightly* scared about my next beginner's sewing project. So far I keep making the error of pinning my pattern on the 'right' side of the fabric, and I can't really cut or sew in a straight line! So Lord knows how I'm going to cope with some of the more advanced challenges. You did amazingly!! x

    1. You will do great! I have every confidence in you. And if it all goes wrong, do a funny post! Ha ha

  14. Gorgeous! Would you mind me sharing any of your sewing projects on Sassy Sewing Bees in the future? I link to your post and let you know when, on the post in question.

    1. Of course you may. I'm glad you liked my dress.

    2. Thanks. I will let you know when, on the posts in question.

  15. To be shared on SSB tomorrow. Thanks for permitting.