Monday, December 5, 2011

The woodcutter's daughter

My father took two days of leave from his job, but of course he didn't rest even a little: no, he went and help my cousins chop down some trees. I could see them working from my window, and inbetween fetching them hot beverages and snacks, I cut and sewed a front pleated dress from Salme patterns with this "lumberjack" feel in my head.

I'm very sad to say that I was very underwhelmed by this pattern. I didn't make a muslin for this, I simply followed the measurements on the instructions and so I cut an XL. Sewing taught me that it's not about the size on the label, it's about the measurements, but still it was a little depressing.
When I tried it on the first time I wanted to cry. I had this huge sack on me and I was tempted to just give up.
After a few long breaths, I chopped 8 cms from each side and shortened the torso a good 6 cms and decided I could make it work. I skipped the facings and used self-made bias tape for the neckline, armholes and hem. I also shortened the skirt quite a lot (5 cms or so). I probably should have cut a M for the upper part.

In the end, the dress is wearable, but not so lovable. It makes me feel huge in the chest and the pleats don't look as elegant as I thought they would. I know it was dumb to choose plaid fabric for this design, but it's a pattern I wear a lot and the pleats are subtle, but still noticeable.
If any of you tried this pattern please let me know, I'd love to hear your impressions!

p.s. Have you seen my giveaway yet? And that I now accept sponsors?


  1. I'm not familiar with the pattern but I really like the pleating. It does look nice with the belt and cardigan! It has a casual outdoorsy feeling. You have the perfect backdrop for photos.

  2. The dress looks really cute on you! You don't look large up top at all! But I hate it when pattern sizing is way off-- yuck!

  3. You look great but if it doesn't make you feel good...
    I understand what you're feeling. I just finished my second kimono sleeve dress from Pattern Runway and it has a similar silhouette. I think this cut requires a very heavy drape or a very ethereal, lofty fabric. My first was a success but this second doesn't make me feel good and I blame my fabric choice.
    I'll also comment that while I liked several patterns from Salme, I was a bit perplexed by the sizing. I believe a 37" bust was the largest size given for the jumper AND you order a single size based on your measurements. From your experience, there must be quite a bit of ease added.

  4. @liza jane
    Thank you! The woods really are the perfect backdrop, although I'm still struggling with autofocus... sigh!

    Thank you! Unfortunaly, photos are often so forgiving with clothes that don't fit that well...
    Thank you!
    I remember you commenting on the sizing and I agree. I didn't think it was going to be so much bigger than the measurements given, but at least I learnt my lesson. I have more patterns from Salme that I want to try, and next time either a muslin or some careful measuring will be in order.
    oh, if you're curious to see the romper, check out little betty's blog!

  5. Don't worry, I love all your sewing and I've been looking at this pattern and decided against it for the same reasons you find it unflattering for yourself!

  6. @Cirque Du Bebe
    Thank you so much! :D
    I still think the pattern can make a beautiful dress, you just need to be more careful than I was with the sizing.

  7. I'm always so disappointed when a simple pattern ends up taking twice as long as expected due to fit issues. But, your styling is impeccable: slouchy boots and a belt suit the plaid perfectly--and I love the red lip!

  8. @Darsana
    Thank you! That's probably what I love most about cold weather: layering allows me to wear so many things that wouldn't look that great on their own!

  9. Hi Paunnet, you are so artistic in your photos and you look just lovely! Good save on the dress. Thanks for posting on Sew & Tell Saturday!