Thursday, February 12, 2015

Failure Files: Don't F*** with a Bias Cut Dress

It's been a while since my last Failure File! I don't know if that's because I'm getting better at this or I'm playing it safe...either way, I give you on this glorious Thursday...

Don't fuck with a bias cut dress. Just don't.

Click "Read More" to find out why. Because oh yeah. I documented the hell out of this failure. :D

Picked up this dress months and months ago from the Goodwill for an awesome $3:

I never much liked wearing it though. It's super pretty and I liked the color, and for a dress with a high collar it even was kinda sorta flattering. But it never felt like it sat right on my body.

At first I thought it was because the lining and the outer chiffon fabrics are completely not attached anywhere except the collar and armhole seams:

But then as I was pondering how to refashion it today, I realized the horrible truth. The pieces of this dress were cut...on the bias.

For those who don't know (I had to look it up myself to figure out what to call this particularly annoying technique), cutting something on the bias is basically cutting out your pattern pieces diagonally on the fabric, in comparison to the grain of the fabric itself. With woven fabric, this gives the kinda-sorta illusion that the fabric is stretchy...basically it allows the dress to stretch so I can get it over my head. But because of the way it was cut, that's why it felt weird on me. I'd tug on the bottom left part of the skirt and I'd feel the resultant tugging on my right shoulder, and vice versa. Really weird, and from what I read? VERY difficult to work with.

But I thought I'd try anyway, since I am an expert* in clothing refashion.

I knew I wanted to turn it into a cool asymmetrical top, so I laid the dress flat on the cutting surface and lifted the chiffon outer layer up so the lining was exposed.

Then I cut it across at a point where it would hit the top of my hip.

Then I folded the outer layer back down and cut it as well, several inches longer than the lining.

I folded up the edge of the lining and pinned it:

Then sewed the hem in place:

Apparently this was my first big mistake (other than buying the dress in the first place, of course).

See, by hemming a dress cut on the bias, it is almost impossible to ensure that the hem is lying flat over every single inch of it. So I ended up with a wonky, wobbly hem that puckered and stuck out in weird places - especially right over my hip, where I would least prefer that my shirt pucker and stick out.

But I pressed onward, thinking perhaps there would still be some hope. I really liked the floral pattern on the chiffon overlay so I decided to cut right along the bottom of those flowers, at a diagonal across the front and back of the dress:

I also cut down from the center front to open the neckline a little, but after I tried it on I realized...

This thing sucked.

The hemline made it all too wonky, and the more I cut and fussed with it, the less comfortably it sat on my torso. I just couldn't look at it anymore. Maybe there's still some hope for it, or at least for the pieces it's made of, so into my fabric stash it went.

The moral of the story? Unless you really, really know what you're doing, just don't fuck with a bias cut dress. It is crazier than you and it will kick. Your. Ass.

Now let's never speak of this again.


* Totally NOT an expert. Like, at all.

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