Curse of the spider dress

We’ll start this post with the good news, shall we? That is, I used my custom pattern – the one that is exactly the right length for me – to adjust a commercial pattern.

Commercial pattern (circa 1974 pattern, Style 4743) on the right is about 4cm too short. So I lengthened it. Hurrah. Simple.

You’ll note too that the commercial pattern has smaller and fewer darts. I wasn’t worried about this because I was going to cheat and make it from cotton jersey – you can get away with a lot thanks to the stretch.

Cute pattern, right? Kinda kicky 1970s-does-1940s, right?


Oh my lord, this came out as the frumpiest Texan Polygamist Compound dress ever. I’m embarassed to post it, but here ’tis.

I don’t have much luck with jersey frocks. I think I’ll give up. I liked this fabric so much, being, as it is, crawling with thousands of SPIDERS:

…but I think the fabric is a big part of the problem. Bleh.

13 thoughts on “Curse of the spider dress

  1. I saw this on SewRetro but decided to comment here…I REALLY don’t think its bad AT ALL! Plain, yes, but NOT horrible! You need a belt first off, and you could easily salvage it with some dark green cuffs on the sleeves and maybe a collar and some solid green decorations on the bodice, a couple stripes or buttons. Make it more 50s style! 🙂 The fabric is creepy, but cool at the exact same time.

  2. I think you did a great job! But I see what you mean…from a distance the spiders are sort of calico-ish, aren’t they? Are you going to try it again? It’s such a great style!

  3. I hate it when that happens. I love both the pattern and the fabric. I think sometimes dresses with small prints can end up looking like something Nicki off Big Love would wear. Maybe if you tried it with a solid colour or a larger print.

  4. This is hilarious. Your loss is craft comedy’s gain.

    The dress is totally polygamist cult! Yet also sinister and alluring… like you’re the last wife standing out of a dozen or so. Now THAT’S a Black Widow.

    I’m sure somebody out there will fall in love with it!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t like the final result. But it really isn’t that bad, is it? Well, maybe if you wear it just as it, it’s a bit.. dull, but you could style it with cardigans in funky colours for example. And have you tried belting it? I wouldn’t give up on it that easily if I were you…. how does it feel on your body? Comfortable I can imagine? Then I’d give it a shot with some styling experiments..

    Good luck!

  6. I have the same pattern! have tried it twice! Once as a top, the other as a dress, never quite worked for me either! I found it really baggy around the bust area….. made me look like a flat chest…….

  7. I totally agree with Rueby – this really isn’t as bad as all that. Wear it with a kickass belt with a big buckle, lower the neckline about 3 inches, maybe take the skirt length above the knee, add opaque tights in a slightly funky colour, and wear chunky heels or boots. The fabric is fabulous and the busy print is really on-trend (at least here in the UK). It fits you beautifully too (good job on the alterations) so don’t give up on it just yet!

  8. Saw you on Sew Retro. It does look very goody-two-shoes-Mom-ish. Which really stinks because the fabric is so cool. However, it fits your figure perfectly so at least you can hold that up as a victory.

  9. I too came from Sew Retro. I think the other ladies have offered up good suggestions such as lowering the neckline and adding a wide belt. If you’re still determined to be rid of it – I’d love a shot a restyling it! The color and the print are too good not to save.

  10. Although I’m sorry to hear that anyone wasted their time with a pattern, I have to say that your appraisal of the dress gave me such a good laugh! Thanks for making me smile, from one “too tall for vintage clothing gal” to another!

    PS. I actually really do think the spider fabric is very cool!

    “Texan polygamist compound dress”
    Hysterical, but I see what you mean. I tend to avoid that style of dress like the plague. They look delightful in the pictures but awful on a real person. Yes, and jersey is the spawn of satan. I also avoid that like the plague… especially if something requires a lot of seams.

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