Wednesday, October 24, 2012

McCalls 6460

Let's just say I love this dress!  So much so that I'm going to make one for myself.  I'm modeling the one made for my oldest daughter who always needs something for her sorority functions.  It's her second LBD in that many months.  The first was reviewed a few weeks ago on my blog, McCalls 6111.

My full review of this pattern can be found at PR.  It's a dress that you really want to read all the reviews, google for information before you ever lay a scissors to your fabric.  There are some issues, but none that can't be worked out beforehand.  Doing so will create a beautiful dress with a beautiful fit.  My review includes all the particulars including fit issues I encountered as well as all my alterations. 

Still bloggers want to see the full review on blogs?  Some do, some don't, and I haven't been blogging a while so I just decide to keep my full, detailed reviews on PR.  Please let me know.

And now, without further adieu, here is McCalls 6460:

Swing Jacket is a Simplicity Retro pattern, leather purse with custom-made handle was created from the book, Vintage Bags, and a reminder to never arch back for a posterior shot.  My poor satin backed crepe started puddling on me :( .  Otherwise it was looking pretty good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Analysis: Strapless Dresses

This is a post I've been wanting to discuss on another one of my blogs but I'm doing it on this one because there is a purpose for it.  I'm going to refer back to this when I do an upcoming dress review.

I have an issue with the fit of strapless dresses.  Over the past three years I've been looking at prom gowns, prom dress photos, have gone to several prom-picture taking opportunities, and I see the same thing popping up time and time again.  It's when women of various ages wear a strapless dress that isn't quite right.  It's off in proportion to their upper body as if it's pulling down their boobs or the dress just look low and not in a flattering way.  Often this look is paired with (what I dub) "chicken wings".  I tell girls when I alter their prom dresses about "chicken wings".  This is when the strapless dress they love so much feels like it's falling down, and they are constantly using their hands to pull up the side/upper top edges of the strapless dress.  You can spot these girls instantly because they pull their dresses up every minute.  I've even seen prom videos of girls doing chicken wings while standing in line for whatever or dancing on the floor. 

Of course, chicken wings are also due to the interior construction of the dress.  When a strapless dress isn't properly anchored at the waist, there are going to be issues like this.  Many a dress is altered with no thought to a waist stay and the top edge isn't designed to hold up the entire dress.  The anchoring is at our mid sections.  This I can't help them with if I'm not the one altering their dresses.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about with a strapless dress edge that is too low:

This dress appears to be pulling her boobs down.  It's simply pulling everything that's in its way south, and I just want to run over and pull it up myself.

Here's another one, take notice of the pink dress:

Miss Pink is not standing up straight either.  However, it's not entirely her fault.  I guarantee you though, if she was standing up straight the dress would be even lower on her body.  I later learned her zipper broke the day of the prom and the back was held together with pins.  Of all the things my daughter used to volunteer me for, why did she not ask me to help this poor girl!  She had a terrible case of the "chicken wings" that day.  However, I noticed right away that the dress just didn't look right.  Too much length in the chest area with a strapless dress that falls too low on her torso.  It simply, as if the proportion isn't quite right.  And IMO, it's not.

Now look at the girl in the grey.  It's acceptable.  And the girl in the green, she's got it right.  I watched these girls.  Watched them move and go about their business for almost an hour in these dresses.  Now look at them 45 minutes later in front of their limo bus.  Miss Pink is still noticeably low but her shoulders are rolled forward which is actually de-emphasizing the visual issue.  Miss Grey is amost ready to pop out of her dress (other pictures of her looked like she was going to experience dangerous exposure), and Miss Green is still perfect.

You could argue the point and say it's just me.  Perhaps.  But I've asked my daughters and they concur with my assessments of various strapless dresses on a number of girls.  Some do it right, some are so so, and some just are way off.

What I think is working here is the top edge in relation to the armpit and chest.  Miss Green and Miss Grey get it right.  The top edge is not only closer to their armpit crease, the cup edges come up higher to encase the entire breast.  It's makes a noticeable visual difference. Miss Grey's problem is she's got good, ample assets which works 20% of the time in this dress.  If she could stay still, more specifically if boobs could stay still the other 80% of the time, the dress would be more flattering on her.  (What some of us would do to be that well endowed though :) .

Miss Green really got it right.  I have other pics of her and her strapless dress looks good in every shot.  It's in good proportion, it's fitted with good support, and the top edges are close, but not cutting into her arm crease.  The dress simply is not moving her body parts south.

I leave you with one of my fave fashion icons.  Usually good 'ol Grace gets it right.  But here are two pics one of which I feel is done right, the other is  

Done right:

And pulling everything south.  Gosh it makes her torso look abnormally long.  But darn!  She's still so beautiful. 

Till next time when I come back to readdress this post in a pattern review!

An "Interesting" Discovery

It was interesting to me at first, then a bit disturbing when I was viewing a recent JC Penney ad.  I'm not sure, but I think it might be a case of photo trickery.  So I decided to ask my husband.

Here are two pics from a recent ad.  Look at the models on these two pages.  Yes, three of the four pics are of the same girl.  But look at the thighs.  They look almost identical in all four pics.  All four have that "inner thigh gap" as if thighs should not be touching.  Each picture appears to have an indent about 4" below the crotch line.  Forget trying to slide a manilla folder between their legs, you could slide a 2X4 right through without it every touching their thighs lol!  Very few people I know have thighs like that.  There are some but they are a tiny minority.

Point is, I hate advertising like this.  As if they pants they sell are going to make us normal people look like we have this huge inner thigh gap.  Or like it's even desired.  It's not normal.  Not that it's abnormal, it's just not a mainstream look and most women and teens I know are simply not built this way.  Except for that very small minority.

Now, look at a model from another JC Penney ad.  It was either the same ad or maybe a week or two apart.  This model has realistic hips and thighs.  They are fuller and normal looking.  No, not heavy at all.  Simply normal like the way many of us are built.

Please JC Penney, use young teens in your ads that have thighs built like the majority.  Go for the manilla-folder-could-fit-between-the-thighs look.  Not a stinkin' 2X4.  And if these pics were photoshopped like many are, shame on you.