Is it a Bird? Is it a Crane? No, it’s a Canard*!

*Canard: french for duck. Also means a misleading/unfounded rumour or story. Or a beautiful dress that you’ll never wear.

Check out this gorge fabric. I bought it in Rome, and had my scissors into it within hours of landing back home in Toronto. When I bought it I thought those were cranes, but on closer inspection they look like ducks or geese. Canard! Ducks and geese just don’t have the same cachet as cranes, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜‰


It’s a very finely woven cotton — ‘crisp’ is the word that comes to mind. It also creases like a sunnuvabitch the minute you look at it, as you can see from the photos taken after wearing the dress for about 4 seconds. The fabric hasn’t got much drape but rather it’s quite structured, so I thought it would be perfect for M6959, a fit-and-flare wrap dress with contrast trim, and indeed it had the perfect weight and body for this dress.

M6959 dress pattern

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.08.25 PM

Note to Longsuffering Husband Photographer: there’s a cat growing out of my head.

I was going out on a bit of a limb choosing this style, as I’m generally not one for the fit-and-flare shape. I think they look fabulous on others, and while it’s true that I get a lot of my sewing inspiration from seeing other sewists’ fit-and-flares, I just feel a bit froufy wearing this style. I’m definitely more of a jeans-and-tops kind of person, with the occasional sheath-style dress thrown in, but I’m one of those sewists who just. keeps. buying. dress. patterns. It’s pathological. I have a closet full of dresses I hardly ever wear. But man, are they fun to sew!

Hello 1950’s housewife. (I’m thinking a little snap at the bust might be needed, yes?)

I definitely love the look of this dress, if not actually wearing it. It’s been hanging outside of my closet so I can admire it daily. ๐Ÿ™‚ I particularly love the orange bias binding around the edges that play off the orange spots on the fabric — what a great contrast to the periwinkle blue.


One other issue I had with the fit (or maybe the fabric selection) is that I can’t raise my arms above shoulder height — the sleeves are holding my arms prisoner. They’re not particularly tight around the armscye, but the fabric has no stretch to it at all so it’s completely unforgiving that way. One more reason why I probably won’t wear this. I wonder if there’s something I could have done differently with the sleeve caps to avoid this….do you have any advice?

I just discovered twirling is hard…I seriously almost barfed after twirling around 3 times. Also, that’s about as high as I can raise my arms in this dress.

However, I still think this is a great dress and it was very easy to put together. I haven’t used bias binding to finish edges before and I love it — so easy using purchased binding, and no fiddling with hems.


Alright, WHO AM I KIDDING when I say I will never wear this? I’ll find myself someplace to go where I will not be required to lift my arms above my shoulders for any reason (so it’ll have to be a short stay — not long enough to have to powder my forehead, which means this oil-slick-faced gal’s outing will last no longer than, say, 15 minutes). But one outing should suffice for a compliment or two with the requisite “Why thank you! I made it myself” replies. I will reach up to coyly pat my hair and realize I can’t, but there will nonetheless be much ensuing cooing and clucking. Or honking and quacking as the case may be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Special thanks to Longsuffering Husband Photographer, my #UnsungSewingBlogHero!

21 thoughts on “Is it a Bird? Is it a Crane? No, it’s a Canard*!

  1. You have to wear the dress — it’s got Canada geese all over it! At least go find a flock and get that hubby photographer to take a picture of you in the middle of it ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I had the arm motion problem with almost every sleeve I sewed until I took a class on craftsy that showed me a sleeve range of motion adjustment. Now I do that to every sleeve pattern before I even sew up a muslin. Making sure the armhole isn’t low is also a key factor.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Great advice — i will check that out. Shoulders are definitely too wide. That’s even after I adjusted them after sewing a sleeve in. I guess I didn’t adjust them enough. It’s amazing what you learn about your body when you sew….I didn’t know I had particularly narrow shoulders but just about every pattern I’ve sewn, I’ve had to make the shoulders narrower.


  3. Love the coloring! And if you style it up – hair makeup the whole shebang I’m sure you’ll feel less froufy in this. But I’m with you on dresses. I too have way too many dress patterns considering that I prefer separates.

    As for the straightjacket sleeves…Apart from checking the armhole isn’t too low as Holly suggested you might also want to try gussets. I did an experiment with gussets a while back. They definitely help. And the cut-on variety is hardly noticeable. You can see comparison photos of No Gusset vs Cut-On Gusset vs Separate Gusset here: http://overflowingstash.com/2014/07/07/fitted-sleeve-sloper-part-2-built-in-gusset/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks great! I hope you can fix the sleeves and let us know. I also have that pattern. I find that often I love the style of a dress and I don’t see anything like it in a top so I just make a “short dress” or top!


    1. That’s a great idea, Sue. I’ll have to remember that the next time I fall in love with a dress pattern that I really don’t need in my wardrobe. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. What a fantastic dress! I certainly hope that you find an occasion to wear it out, because it is way too cute to be seen only by you (and all of us reading this blog post ;-)) And I think geese and ducks can be pretty awesome little birds. Wear them with pride! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love the crane fabric and the contrasting bias tape choice.
    Good point about not having to fiddle with hems. I’m doing a sew-along of this dress on my blog right now and was a bit freaked out by the amount of bias tape I have to buy. It looks great though, so I better go get more bias tape (all 7m of it)!


What do you think? Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s