the fizzled firework dress

So I found red-striped knit and made my Fourth-of-July dress. (Though I didn’t end up wearing it on the Fourth, because the forecast for the Oregon coast was just a little too cool for justifying a breezy dress on a breezy, 60-degree beach.) I featured it in my Knitcation entry and wore it on the fifth of July. My verdict: I hate to say that it fizzled a little.

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I know that the dress pulled through on the pattern. This is yet another Colette Patterns Moneta dress (my third so far), and I really have no complaints about the pattern at all. For this version, I used the free downloadable tie-collar. And I love the idea of this dress. It just fell short in execution.

I’m placing the brunt of the blame on the fabric itself. I wanted a red-striped knit so badly and was willing to purchase it blindly. The day I needed to make a firm fabric decision, I found this rayon/poly knit on fabric.com for $4.98 a yard. In doggedly pursuing my vision, I bought the cheap yardage instead of the slightly more expensive polka-dot knit from a designer who I know produces quality knits. And my festive vision ended up suffering for my frugality.

When the fabric arrived in the mail, I was disappointed in how flimsy it felt, but convinced myself that it felt better after the pre-wash. The fact is that this fabric is not quality fabric, plain and simple. I had issues attaching the elastic and shirring the skirt, and the whole waistline is wavy. This could certainly be an issue with the differential feed settings, but I’m leaning toward blaming the fabric.

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The whole day when I was wearing it I didn’t feel festive or flirty. Rather I felt out of place and a little frumpy. That is definitely not how your handmade garments should make you feel. Even the collar came together weird, though I’ll shoulder the responsibility for that outcome. (I should have been more careful in assembling the front and back pieces of the collar. The rolling is user-error on this one.)

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So I’m officially putting this dress in the flopped bin. And at less than $5 a yard for the fabric, it’s not a huge waste of cash. The lesson here is simple: if you have any doubts about buying fabric online (like I did with this purchase), order a swatch first. Or go with the polka-dot knit that you know is from a quality designer.

***Postscript: I am a huge advocate of buying fabric online. I’ve had very few disappointments, and when you purchase from fabric.com, you can return any cut you buy within 30 days for any reason. Don’t let my dud of a dress deter you from shopping online for fabric. If I’d had the time to spare, I would have sent this rayon/poly blend back and ordered the polka-dot cotton knit instead. Like I said, lesson learned.***

I linked this post up to Simple Simon and Company’s Sewing Saturdays linkup!

 

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