I recently acquired a new sewing machine and have been sewing up a storm. Going through my draft posts I found this almost three year old sewing post I wrote and never posted. Woops! 🙂 Enjoy.
Some of what I wrote still reflects my sewing experiences of the past month. More on that soon! (And hopefully sooner than 3 years from now. hahaha.)
October 1 (2011), two of our friends were married and I had the brilliant idea to sew myself a dress to wear to their wedding. I searched around for a dress I thought would suit me well and happened upon the Colette Crepe dress. I bought the pattern in June and then got busy with work and forgot about it. In July, while prepping for the bride’s bridal shower, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t purchased any fabric yet. I went to a couple of the quilt and fabric shops in town in search of a nice print. At Sew to Speak I fell in love with a green and cream polka dot print. I then got busy again with work and suddenly it was the beginning of September, I was leaving on vacation and I hadn’t even picked a size to make, woops!
After I got back from vacation I spent a painful evening taking measurements, doing math and scouring the internet for assistance. It’s at times like this that I wish there was a “Ravelry” for the sewing world.
One of the problems I was having was that there was an 8 size difference between my top and bottom in the pattern sizes but not in my actual body. The pattern states that if you are between sizes to go with the larger size, however making this choice was clearly going to leave me swimming in the dress. The pattern also did not provide finished measurements for the hip region – which I honestly don’t know if that’s normal, abnormal or a reasonable expectation on my part. I thought they would be there since it was a measurement given to determine your size. Normally I just do dresses to my bust size but then the hips are usually only off by one size. So given my knitting background I figured the only reasonable thing to do was to figure out the math from the pattern piece measurements.
I did the math and came down to two sizes and went with the larger of the skirt sizes since I figured I could always sew the seams wider to take it in. I started tracing my pattern pieces and with the help of a friend figured out the grading for the waist that I read about in the helpful sew-along I found.
I got the pattern pieces cut out and the skirt sewn together and then left on another business trip. Got home from my business trip sewed the bodice mostly together and then dove into my stash for a contrast fabric for the sash. I was so thrilled again that I chose to do the Solids club at pink chalk fabrics this year. I decided on an awesome raisin color fabric that also went well with the boy’s suit he was planning to wear. I sewed the bodice to the skirt, figured out that something else was wrong, and then it was off for another business trip.
I got home and went with the boy to find french cuff shirts to go with his suit and a tie to coordinate with my sash. Then I went to the bride’s home to help with last minute prep and one of the knit night ladies saved my dress and told me the alteration I needed to do to make it fit better.
I fixed the waist, the boy pinned my hem – because he is awesome! – and I got my hem sewn the night before the wedding. Success!
Here’s an awesome shot of me in the dress at the wedding (swiped from my friend’s flickr feed). 🙂
Things I learned on this dress:
- I am smaller than my measurements.
- I have a lot to learn about sewing patterns not written by simplicity.
- Pockets are pretty easy to put in and are awesome!
- I can sew an entire dress beginning to end in 2.5 weeks even when traveling for work.
- I do want to make more of my own clothing.
I am mostly pleased with how the dress turned out but I think there is still room for improvement and a better fit.