Sloppy Sewing Is Still Sewing

polka dot shoes
Biiiiig smiles.

I finished something!!!! And my camera came back to life!!! HUZZAHHHHHHHHH

Also, I’ve finally converted to the pro-interfacing camp, courtesy of this make. Yes, this is a knit dress — and yes, knits look better interfaced. Also, yes: I did go through almost a dozen pairs of shoes to shoot this dress. I want to show how versatile it is! Grey can be boring, or it can be a great staple. (Or it can be a boring, great staple …. :p)

“The” dress.

This is yet another version of Butterick B6041, which is easily my favorite pattern — perhaps even more favorite than McCall’s M6078, which is saying a lot. More tweaks are in order: the sleeves should either be gathered more, or less. My upper chest is not bountiful, so I need to take a dart above the bust, through the armhole. I suppose if I take that dart, the sleeve as-is will automatically become more gathered, as compared to the armhole…two birds one stone.

darkish blue wedges

Interfacing: here’s the first exhibit in the case for using it. See all the wrinkles emanating from the side lower side seam? It’s due to the amount of flare needed to accommodate ye olde hips. This knit, like many knits, has unpredictable stretch on the bias. If I’d interfaced the stitching line before sewing, I’m certain the flare area would have sewn together smoothly.

black wedge sneakers

Here’s another curved seam, the center back. You can see the same ripples: caused by the same issue, resolvable by the same method. You can also see the back of my wedge sneakers: they’re much trendier than my normal footwear, and I like how they give the dress an urban toughness.


Observe here the lettuce-like hem, blowing in the breeze. Yuck! Interfacing before hemming would have yielded  a smooth, straight, figure flattering hem. This raggedy hem looks as though it got stretched out squeezing over my hips — which is not the case at all. Observe also the fabulous (I hope) boots — I finally decided to get a pair of attractive, feminine boots for winter. My first ever such pair! I love how the height only exposes my knees, allowing me to get crazy with fun tights without being overwhelming.

brown flats
Are you ready for a whinge fest?

Other than needing interfacing, this version of B6041 is special because I mashed it up with McCall’s M6964, the t-shirt pattern. The disappointing t-shirt pattern. I hope it’s due to my lack of using interfacing, but the crewneck neckline on this top is actually an awkward cross between a boat neck and a scoop neck. I also applied sleeve length/width C to this version of B6041. It’s too long by at least an inch. It feels awkward, and the width is too wide. *whine*

black pointy heels
Those shoes, tho.

Here’s a good shot of the awful neckband: I take full responsibility for this trainwreck. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I consistently have issues with neckbands on knit tops. The only success I ever have is by cutting a binding/band longer than the length I need, and gently stretching it to gather the neckline as I sew it up. But pre-cut neckbands? No way, Jose. Suck city.

brown boots
Robin hooood!

Another change/addition I’d like to make on future versions is patch pockets. I think this dress would look great with fairly large patch pockets on the front. I’ve heard that patch pockets add visual width in an unflattering way, but on an already wide person it actually helps break up the space and give a smaller impression overall. And, pockets are practical. (And clearly, I never threw these boots away.)


But you know what? Sloppy sewing is still sewing, and a less-than-perfect make is still wearable. #sewingwin!

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  1. I find a good general rule for neck bands is to measure the neckline it is going to be set into, then cut the neck band length to be 90% of that. Some people also like to pin the neckband to the neckline, stretching it as they go along, then trim off the extra.

    This dress is a great neutral! Medium gray is such a versatile color, and the dots make it more interesting. I know people often fawn over bold prints and bright colors, but the neutrals in my wardrobe get the most wear. I know for some sewing is a strictly creative process but for me the stuff I make HAS to be wearable.

    1. You know what’s so funny? Grey became my go-to color during one of the hardest years of my life … when things turned around, I stopped wearing it. But either I’m bummed out now, or I’ve rediscovered its versatility! Black and white prints are my typical neutral, but a nice grey is really chic.

      Thank you so much for your neckband tip, I am going to try it on my next banded top. A well-laying neckband is such an important finishing touch…

  2. First off – great job on working this to the end. You finished, you learned and you grow. It is all part of the learning process – the mistakes that we make – once we figure them out we rarely make them again – so kudos for trying

    1. Thank you very much! Sticking with something until the end is a skill I learned on my sewing journey. And the journey is definitely not done, as you are quite right — we learn from mistakes, and those never stop cropping up. :)

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