Does whatever a spider… um.
Dude, Homer got further than me. Urg.
Questionable theme-song rip-offs aside, I proudly present my (almost timely) Spiderman Dress, made of two metres of thrift store Spiderman fabric. Those of you who know what’s what may recall that Cindy of Cation Designs and I had a totally impromptu sewalong/throwdown for our spiderman dresses. She claims it’s a match of n00b against l33t. I’ll let you decide which is which… I’m pretty sure I just got pwned. (incidentally, my children use “pwned” in conversation. I didn’t even know you could pronounce that word. It’s pronounced “poned,” apparently.) You are warned now, she took totally cool perched-on-top-of-building-photos. I did not.
The pattern, as I mentioned before, is New Look 6459. This is actually a fairly recent pattern (2005) and I even remembered to check the reviews on Pattern Review before cutting! Yay me! (I used to do this all the time, but as my obsession with the thrift store pattern set has grown, I got out of the habit. They just don’t have thorough coverage of 1970s patterns on that site for some reason ;).) Anyway, this was my first try at a New Look pattern. The reviews all agreed that the dress ran large. I was a bit puzzled by this, since it does have the allegedly helpful “finished garment size” measurements printed on the pattern itself, and they suggested a very reasonable 1″ of ease at the bust. However, I was suspicious enough to take my measuring-tape to it (it’s a pretty simple pattern, anyway), and sure enough, the amount of ease at the bust in the pattern was much more like 2-3″.
So I traced the pattern with a size 10 at the top (I am a size 12 by bust measurement), but past experience has made me wary of A-line skirts in the bottom half department, so I graduated out to the 12 below the waist. Which waist I shortened by about 3 cm. This is all in the skirt, by the way. The bodice piece I traced exactly as a size 10; the only change I made was a bit of careful dart-reshaping in the hopes of avoiding the niplicious look. I also did my usual swayback alteration. In short, I did all my standard alterations except the square shoulder, which obviously doesn’t apply. The waist-height ended up pretty much perfect, so win. The height of the bodice itself is none too generous, however—if you have any kind of a larger bust you would need to add some serious length there to get decent coverage. I wouldn’t have minded an extra half-inch at the top myself, although it’s perfectly wearable as is.
I had intended to make View C, but forgot to mark the stitch-line for the notch on the pattern piece and ended up making something resembling view B but with halter ties. Oopsie.
I decided the dark print needed something bright to make it pop, and, very uncharacteristically for me, it had to be yellow (to draw on the tiny flecks of yellow windows in the buildings on the print). I tried to talk myself into red, which is much more my style, but nope. It had to be yellow. Fortunately my excessive stash of thrift-store bias binding turned up some bright yellow, so I used that to make a flat piping for the upper edge (much easier since I clean forgot about that notch) and a ribbon-type look on the top of the skirt.
I find there’s a real tension in sewing between finishing something nicely and being able to fit as you sew. I certainly ran into that a *lot* with this dress. Because of the piping and ribbon, it was impossible to alter the side-seams and take it in there. I wound up taking the excess (yes, even going down a size, I still took out about an inch) at the back zipper (tapering to nothing below the waist), which I think contributes to some of the odd folding around the back, not to mention the way the side-seams run towards the back. Oh, well.
I had opted to add inseam pockets, but they were a bit bulky for the fairly slim skirt, and just didn’t look right, so off they came. I suppose I can put them in something else if I really feel the need…
I liked the length un-hemmed (remembering I lost an inch when I shortened the waist), so I decided to use up some more stash—this time a red bias hem facing I bought way back when I was finishing my Lady Grey jacket and waffling over the best way to finish that hem. I do like hem facings, although probably this particular fabric didn’t need any more body at the hem. I really like the flash of red there, though.
All in all I’m pretty tickled. I could wish it was a little more figure hugging or didn’t have this or that odd hang-up, but for what it is, it’s pretty sweet, especially since summer has arrived in southern Alberta (possibly for the first time in the five years I’ve lived here) and we’ve had several days of +25C (that’s over 80F) temperatures, with more to come. It passed 30C today, and I couldn’t be happier. Ok, if someone called up and offered me a million-dollar contract to be their personal stylist and technical illustrator, I might be happier…
And it’s superhero-y.
Well, unless I have to go up against Cationess.