Here’s what went wrong with my day yesterday.

It was hot. Really hot. 80+ degrees. I went downtown to run some errands–depositing checks, voting early for Obama–and thought to myself, even though I had clearly been looking at the date several times in the day and in fact had signed papers attesting to the date when I voted, “well, since it’s Thursday, I’ll just stay downtown and work here until knitting night!”

I worked for a few hours. Spent a lot of money on refreshing iced drinks. When 7 PM rolled around, I happily ran up to the Copper Cup to meet my pals. Sat there knitting and reading a magazine for about an hour and a half. “Where are they? Surely I’m not the only one wanting to knit tonight? They would have said something if they weren’t coming, right?”

Eventually I decided to take a little Ravelry break… and hovering my cursor over the time, it hit me. I was a day early. It was Wednesday.

I knew I had nothing in the house to eat, so I called Rahul to see if he wanted to grab a bite downtown with me before I went home, but he was working at school, and it was past the hour when normal folk eat dinner, so I didn’t bother calling anyone. I glumly ate some tacos and biked home.

“Well,” I said to myself. “It’s not a total loss. I can work on a sewing project now!” Because it’s so hot and sticky–wonderful weather for swingy skirts and light cotton sundresses. And I’ve been so inspired by gloriana’s and knottygnome’s recent posts about sewing.

So I located the washed and ironed fabric and the pieces of the supposedly super-easy Butterick Walk-Away Dress (Butterick 4790) that I’d cut out about 6 months ago, and set to pinning and cutting. There are only 4 pieces in the pattern, so it didn’t take too long. I spent a long time puzzling over the pieces as I cut them out–the dress layout is pretty enigmatic–trying to figure out if they would fit. The verdict seemed to be yes.

I got out the machine, wound a bobbin, set it up, tested my tension on scrap fabric. So far, so good. I sewed the darts and the skirt seam and went to try the pieces on again.

Disaster! The pieces were about two inches too small–that is to say, they fit around me, but without any room for seam allowances or ease. (The darts were perfect, though!)

How could this have happened? I’m between two dress sizes–my hips and bust are one size, and my waist (I’m sorry to say) is the next size up. I chose the larger of the two sizes and marked all the darts according to that. I’d gained some weight between when I chose a size and cut out the pattern and last night, but I didn’t think it was enough to completely derail my sewing. Surely I had not gained so much weight that I now required the waist size that went with a bust size 6 inches larger than mine? I went to bed feeling very hot, fat, and crabby, and stayed up way too late reading Flowers in the Attic. What an abysmal book. (It seemed much better when I was in 7th grade.) It didn’t help my mood.

This morning I woke up and decided to measure the actual pinned and darted pieces of the pattern. They were exactly the same as, or perhaps a bit smaller than, the stated waist size on the pattern. Wait a minute… I went back to the pattern and looked at it again, more carefully. I’d cut out the smaller size. And, of course, since I’d done that, the larger size was now lost to the ether, because I hadn’t wanted to buy muslin or tracing paper. (The darts were all marked for the larger size, though, and they fit just fine.)

Now that I’ve screwed up about 4 yards of fabric (and let us not speak of the half-sewn size-too-small Burdastyle dress and lining hidden in my cabinet, similarly ruined!) I’m not sure how to remedy the situation. I guess this dress is more suitable than most for resizing the waist outwards, and I could probably tape some paper onto the pattern to adjust it to my size if I make this again.

For those of you familiar with the pattern, I’m thinking of either sewing extension panels into the sides of the front piece (the one that wraps around and fastens in the back) before putting the binding on, since it will be hidden behind the back piece, or just making an extra-long button loop for the back closure.

The back piece (the one that wraps around the outside to fasten in the front) is a bit more tricky. I think I might replace the snaps and front buttons called for in the pattern with a set of sort of frog closures–making some self-covered buttons and sewing them on both sides, then making loops to span the front and hook over the buttons on both sides. Does that sound like it would look ridiculous? Could I get away with doing extension panels on the back top piece–maybe in a contrast fabric, or with lace sewed on top? If that wouldn’t look too weird, I could probably cut a wider waistline out of the circle skirt to match, and sew a shorter hem.

The dress, by the way, is a medium cornflower blue cotton from Jo-Ann printed with little white daisies, with a chocolate brown bias binding and (or so I’d planned) white molded plastic flower buttons. If I can get it to fit me, it would be so great for this weather.

My other plan is to lose 2 inches from my waist, but I’m not holding my breath for that one to happen. Why is that store-bought clothes tend to fit me, but whenever I try to make something from a pattern it’s always too big in some places and too small in others? Next time, I’m sewing myself a bag to get my sewing confidence back up.

Anyway, as a reward for making it this far through my bitching about my dress, here are some choice excerpts from Amazon reviews of Flowers in the Attic. They’re possibly more entertaining than the book itself:

“this book is excellent although a little strange that the brother and sister hook up but the book is great.” –lovestoshop82 “eastie girl82″

” i remembered that i loved this book when i was young, so bought it for my god daughter who is 11 and she freaked out”

–Mia, age 40 “stuff lover”

“When I tell people the plot, they are not convinced of the love story, but when they read it, they understand fully how the characters feel and that they have made the best choices possible. It is still my favorite book!!! :)”


“If you are even thinking of reading this book please don’t. Something, anything is better then this book. Something off the Opera book club list is better, or the bible or even the owners manual from the glove box of your car.”

–General Pete


–A Customer

” This is probably the 4th book I’ve ever read in full. I first read Oliver Twist, Hook, the To Kill a Mockingbird. [several paragraphs snipped]… I really couldn’t keep the book down for more than a day.”


“The book that became my life.

This book is absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t put it down. I have become obsessed with the characters now, so much that I have taken up ballet….okay…alright, I admit it, I took up ballet cuz I wanted to…But, still..I’m just really crazy over this book….and I’m just really really obsessed, okay? But, I think that everyone should read this book, cuz it’s just awesome, and well, you’ll become obsessed too. Read it, so we can all be obsessive together…Please? Please…oh, c’mon~! Just read it already~!……..

Why aren’t you gone yet??? HELLO~! LEAVE~! GO GET THE BOOK ALREADY~! Okay, that’s it, I’m gonna go read it again. Bye~!


–A Customer

“Yeah, ok, so this book was a little far from my tastes. I mean, I am not really into this stuff. Actually, male/on/male stuff is my personal favorite.”

–Yuki Shinobi



–A Customer

“In the sequel,”Petals on the wind”, I just wished Cathy would wake up and realise that Chris was her true love. Its not disgusting; its beautiful.”

–A Customer

“Oh look: She’s a world famous ballerina without a Gulag training. Chris: MY didn’t you do well. I seem to remember some strange Bart creature who couldn’t feel pain, although there was no explanation how he became a rich & handsome stud.”

–A Customer

“The perfect book for having tissues!!!!!”

–A Customer