Sewing Adventures: a tale of 2 dresses


Over the past few weeks I have set myself the task of getting my “to do” pile of sewing down to a more manageable size. My usual way of preparing a garment to be sewn is to cut it out, include all the fabrics, trims, interfacing, pattern etc into a jumbo zip lock bag, seal it up and add it to the in progress box. This works great, it keeps things tidy, the cat is less likely to want to sleep on top of it and if I can’t get to it straight away then I can’t lose any of the pieces.

Cynthia Rowley detail

In working my way through the stack I came across 2 very pretty dresses. This Cynthia Rowley one from Simplicity in navy and the Gathered Sundress from Pattern Runway in white. Both cut out in Japanese Lawn. Setting aside some time I made them up, as it got closer to the time to add in the zips something became very clear.

I’ve put on weight.

These are not going to fit. Now normally this would relegate them back into the “to do” pile, but I need the space. So I finished the dresses. The navy Cynthia Rowley style only needs a zip in the side seam and it’s done. The white Pattern Runway dress needs a centre back zip and the hem to be done. So all in, these dresses need less than half an hours work to be wearable.

Cynthia Rowley, Pattern Runway

I however need more than half an hour. I’ve not been exercising as much and some incredibly high stress levels means I’ve been stress eating. In addition to weight gain this has also meant an increase in migraines and some other issues, most of which I know are more easily taken care of when I am being active.

So my plan is to pop them in the cupboard, work away with my fitness and my diet and in a couple of weeks try again. Then if they don’t fit, I try my fitness again, basically repeat until they fit.

gathered pocket

Now I want to be very clear, this is not about size, this is about fitness. When I am fitter my body has a different shape,  it gets stronger, it supports me, physically and mentally I feel better. After a winter of plenty of working from home (comfy track pants and loose tshirts may feel awesome, but they also hide when the weight starts to change), too much comfort food and not enough exercise has turned my muscle to pudge. Pudge sits on my body in a weird way and this is why things aren’t fitting the way they should.

Once again sewing has taught me to enjoy and use all the skills I have in all areas of my life. Because when one gets put off balance there are follow on effects. In this case it means dresses that don’t fit now, but it’s OK. They will fit later and in the meantime act as good incentive to get moving.

So has anyone else ever had the problem of not fitting into their projects? or anyone want to come and get fit with me?

23 Comment

  1. Erin says:

    Yep, same. I’ll be there in 17 days. <3

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      oh yay only 17 days! oh I guess we should give you a few days to hang out with Bob before we all descend on you, but yay!

  2. erin says:

    I really like your spirit and determination to fit into these dresses, go for it girl! When there’s a will, there’s a way. Now if I could muster up some of that determination to lose a couple of pounds, that would be so nice too 🙂

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      thank you! hopefully the determination last longer than a few days and I can make it all happen. Thankfully the hot weather of summer is another incentive so fingers crossed it all pays off.

  3. Lauren says:

    You have such a great attitude towards something incredibly frustrating! I need to put on weight but am reluctant to do so because I’ve so put much love and time into my clothes!

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      It’s just one of those things that happens and I can’t imagine that being overly annoyed will help me any so I figure why not just go with it and have a plan. Seems easier.

      You are still growing so no need to stress yourself, it will all sort itself out in time.

  4. Kirsty says:

    These dresses are gorgeous – definitely an inspiration to get yourself healthy.

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      Thanks, they are pretty aren’t they. I’m quite pleased with the finished result so I’m sure it will act as added incentive!

  5. Fabric Tragic says:

    Great motivation! It’s so easy to have a little extra weight at the end of winter, I’m on a fitness kick too – makes me feel so much better. Hope you’re in your frocks soon!

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      good luck! I hope your fitness kick works too, am so with you on it making you feel better.

  6. Lynne says:

    Oh, I so get what you’re saying! It’s not about losing weight, it’s about feeling healthier. I was in the same position a month or so ago. I hurt my foot (running!) and was under doctors orders to rest it. Even though I tried to sensible about what I ate, some of my dresses and my jeans were getting a bit tight. Fortunately I was able to start exercising about a month ago, and everything is fitting a lot better now! Good luck with your fitness plans, you’ll be into those lovely dresses in no time. 😉

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      so glad you are back to excercising, getting injured is the worst as you have the motivation but just physically can’t do it.

      I’ve been working hard already and I’m only on day 2 so fingers crossed it will be no time at all to feeling and being healthier.

  7. Bec says:

    Dresses looks fabulous – hopefully you get to to wear them soon enough! 🙂

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      They do look so pretty don’t they? it’s great motivation to keep at it!

  8. Beth says:

    Those dresses are so pretty! I have the Cynthia Rowley pattern and have been thinking about making View A with the cross in front but I read that it’s tight at the neck. But your View B with the X in back looks great! I’ve lost some weight in recent years by exercising and eating more healthily which means some of my clothes are now too big. Not a bad problem but annoying all the same. Good luck with your new regime!

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      I thought about the X in front but as I’m so short it looked like it was choking me! ha ha.

      How annoying that some of your pieces are now too big? I guess it’s a good chance to make some more. All the kind words are motivation to keep up the regime!

  9. Jodie says:

    I hear ya! I made a new dress for Christmas Day but did something weird with it and it was WAY too small. seeing as I wanted to get healthier and slimmer for wedding/honeymoon this year it have me great motivation to fit into the dress. I’m happy to report that the dress fits me now and it’s the best feeling reaching a target AND having a cute new dress to celebrate the hard work!

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      ohh I hope that happens to me (minus the wedding stress bit). So glad you fit into your dress now, am hoping my hard work will pay off later on down the track and I’ll be able to wear these ones!

  10. Gabrielle says:

    Oh how annoying – the dresses are so pretty! I realized about 12 months ago that I’d been gradually putting on weight, and was feeling really unwell (and getting migraines every weekend!). For me it ended up being a matter of revisiting a longstanding thyroid issue – I looked up my old GP and went back to her. She ran a lot of tests and discovered that the medication I was on wasn’t working, and likely hadn’t been working for a few years. There were other implications for my health that i can’t reverse, but changing medication has made me feel well again and brought my weight back to a level that feels OK :).

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      it is annoying, but thankfully fixable with a bit of discipline.

      Am so glad you could get help to fix your medication, weekend migraines are just the pits aren’t they? feeling well is underrated, we don’t miss it till we have it again.Then we wonder why we ever gave it up in the first place!

  11. Catherine says:

    good on you for knowing when to take a break. So many of us don’t listen to our bodies any more and we go around in daze asking the doctor to medicate us when all we need is good food, exercise and a little down time. I hope you’re able to chill back down to your chirpy self and can get back to the dresses before the hot weather sets in – they look like they’d be perfect for summer picnics!

    1. Susan Goodwin says:

      good food and exercise is so essential. Am actually happy to be able to focus on it for a bit and just enjoy looking after myself for a bit. Of course pretty dresses are a big motivation!

  12. […] I like plenty of their lines, a notable highlight being the Japanese Lawn which I’ve used here, here, here, here, here, here and a bunch of not yet blogged makes. I genuinely like the fabric and […]

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