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Beachy PEI Wedding…

Finished-dress-1

Pattern

Challenge: Dress for wedding in PEI, Simplicity 2281.

It took me a bit to talk myself into starting this project because of the fabric I chose. The last couple dresses I  made have been of a cotton or poly mix, which are much easier to work with, but this time I chose a silk fabric. I usually tend to curse a little more with this kind of fabric due to the stretch and slippery texture – such a nightmare to work with… however, it does make for a gorgeous dress.

It started as smoothly as I expected (sense the sarcasm), the first step was creating the sleeves which I did twice, first time putting a hole through the material (no idea how), and the second just really couldn’t get myself to accept the way the sleeve laid after it was sewn together:

Bad-Sleeve

You can see in the above picture that the sleeve is not laying flat or even.

Thankfully I had an idea when attempting the third round of the sleeve and recut the sleeve in the light purple silk and also cut it out of the contrasting fabric I chose for the midriff which was a darker linen material. This way the underneith part of the sleeve would be dark purple and the top would be the light purple silk. This gave the sleeve the weight it required to atually lay flat and it worked beautifully. 🙂

Good-and-Bad-Sleeve

Here is a better image of the good sleeve showing the back and front at the same time.

Good-Sleeve

My light purple fabric seems to have a fraying problem – definitely going to have to make sure i serge all raw edges.

Fray

Piecing together…

Bodice-and-Sleeves

This material is proving to be as difficult to work with as expected, I ended up having to cut the material for the back a couple of times because the first time I must have pulled on the fabric and the pieces were completely out of shape. Once I took my time and recut each piece separately instead of having the material folded it turned out nicely.

Back-of-Dress

Just when I thought everything was going nice and smooth (much intended sarcasm here), somehow while sewing the back and sides together I ended up doing this:

Twisted-Sleeve-Side

Yes I managed to twist one sleeve while sewing the pieces together, I think the worst part of that is I did the EXACT same thing on a dress a couple weeks prior… Seriously?!

 

Back-of-bodice-with-Twisted-Sleeve

This is a better shot of how the sleeve should look:

Good-Sleeve-and-Bodice

Once I fixed the sleeve I was able to move onto the skirt portion. My material was boarderline see-through so I figured it might be in my best interest to line the skirt even though it didn’t call for it.

Not knowing the best way to do this and running short on time I simply lined the skirt using the same type of method I did for the Touch of Lace dress when adding the lace layer. With wrong sides together base stitch the edges together, merging them together making a single piece.

I did this for both the front and back of skirt.

Time to tackle the first pocket… I haven’t had the pleasure of doing a pocket since one of my first sewing projects as most of my projects have been dresses and I was happy to see how nicely it was turing out.

Pocket-Out

Pocket-Inside

…Only to find out that I managed to completely screw it up without realizing it until it was done… Leave it to me to sew a beautiful pocket only to figure out once it was done it was put in upside down 😦

Upside-Down-Pocket

Excuse me while I rip this all out 😥

When it comes to sewing, if it is possible I will probably end up doing it… at least once.

Pocket fixed, I would like to say that since I have done the pocket twice now, doing the other side might be easier… this will not be the case. The left pocket is not the same as the right because the zipper is there.

What you will want to do is sew the back of the left pocket directly to the front part of the pocket This way the zipper will fall behind the pocket and not interfer with it:

Hand-in-Pocket

Once the zipper is in all that is left is finishing the tie and doing the hem.

Hem: This fabric would be tricky to do do a blind hem stitch so I have opted to do a rolled hem.

I cut my skirt to the length I wanted it to be when done and then keeping the raw edges of the lining matched up with the raw edges of the fabric and using the proper settings on my serger for a rolled hem I serged away:

Rolled-Hem

I chose to use the dark purple thread for the rolled hem to tie in the dark purple fabric used for the mid section and the tie, I am very satisfied with the results.

Final-Dress-2

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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Dress

 

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My little black dress…

Final

We all know every girl needs her little black dress, before now I actually did not own one – shocking I know,  this being one of fashion’s MUST HAVES it is hard to believe that any female would not have one.

Me being me, I use any and every event as an excuse to sew, usually leaving the project to a week before it is needed to be on me, this one being the worst procrastination to date… making the dress the day before – with no back-up dress so I have every possible thing crossed that it turns out great.

A dress fit for a night out with the ladies – Jade’s Bachelorette!

Oh and if you are questioning the hair in the above photo, we were requested to wear the brightest, most vibrant wig we could find, our little fun way of not losing each other as the night went on and of course to help the bride and her girls stand out in the crowd!

Pattern challenge – Simplicity 2648

2648

After searching the fabric store for material for almost an hour I realized why I don’t own a little black dress, to be blunt they seem quite boring. Each plain black material I looked at, it was just that… plain. Boring. After not being able to pick one I decided I would sneak a little sliver into my ‘little black dress’ and after that decision was made finding the fabric was easy. I bought a black stretch cotton, a silvery satin, black lace to overlay the silver and let’s not forget the super cute, a little pricy buttons!

Fabric

Button

Being an ‘amazing fit’ pattern allows you to get that perfect fit for your body type, however this does making finding the right pattern pieces more complicated and more difficult to read, but not impossible so don’t hesitate because they do give you that great fit!

They can really cram a lot of information on those pieces!

Simplicity does a great job describing how to chose the proper fit for the bodice, but I was a little upset that they didn’t do the same for the skirt, when I had to chose between slim, average or curvy I had no idea how to figure that out based on my measurements so to play it safe I just stuck with average fit.

Noteworthy: I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but a while back I purchased artist drawing paper from Currys Art Store  so I can start tracing all of my purchased patterns. This is a little more time-consuming however worth it because now all of my patterns can be reused at any time and as any size. Best thing I have started doing to date 🙂

Pattern-Tracing-Paper

Pattern-Pieces-Being-Traced

I now have all of my pattern pieces traced and cut out I have also sorted them so that I know what pattern pieces go with what material.

Material-and-Pattern-Pieces

All cut, LET’S SEW!

The only ‘tricky’ part of the cutting out I would say was making sure when I cut out the lace that the pattern was all facing the same way – if you have flowers or some sort of design on your lace you want to make sure it is cut proper or part of it might end up upside down!

OH! I also don’t think I mentioned my new scissors before either! This post just has all sorts of new goodies to talk about! I got these babies for Christmas from my parents and let me say they totally ROCK!

New-Scissors

Old-Scissors-with-New

Haha but in all seriousness they are by far the best scissors ever. I am sure you all understand  what a world of difference it makes to have the proper tools, and while yes I did have a great pair of sewing scissors I got for Christmas about 5 years ago that still cut great, they are much heavier and larger so a little more difficult to manipulate while cutting. I used to not be able to go in and cut notices with ease but look at these beauties…

Notches

Moving on with my project, I marked the wrong side of all the black cotton pieces so it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to get the right and wrong side of the fabric confused… those that know my sewing know how bad I am for that when the right and wrong sides are so extremely close in appearance… I always struggle when that is the case – but I REFUSE to struggle this time – I don’t have time I need this dress to be ready in just under 24 hours (I know, I know – my own fault).

White-Xs

So when prepping my material for sewing I had a little issue with my bobbin, no idea why it did this… but a bobbin should NOT look like this 😉

Messy-Bobbin


It even tangled all around the bobbin holder!

Bobbin-Mess-on-Machine

After a little work I managed to pull out all the tangled thread

Clean-Bobbin-Winder

and once I detangled the mess and tried again it my bobbin turned out perfect 🙂

Good-Bobbin

An issue I ended up encountering… When I removed the pattern pieces from my bodice fabric I seen why…
1 – I prefer using my pattern weights over my pins and
2 – that I DEFINITELY need new pins.

My pins pretty badly damaged my satin material 😦

Pin-Damage

Thankfully the lace will hide this but before I sew my lace onto my satin I am going to try and fix the pull by softly pulling it and flattening it out and by using the iron on the proper setting to smooth everything out the best I can.

Now it is almost like it never happened but goes to show you how important it is to toss all your old pins and replenish frequently. You can still see it a little but like I said once the lace is on top you won’t – if I wasn’t using the lace this would have ended bad.

Fixed-Satin

To start I am going to use the same process I used when making A Touch of Lace dress and sew the lace pieces to the appropriate satin pieces. Remember to sew the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the satin so both the right sides will face out.

Lace-stitched-to-satin

I always love the look of the bodice coming together 🙂

Bodice-Coming-Together

The skirt isn’t shaping up too bad either. I really like the fabric I chose for the shirt, it sews and presses beautifully!

Bodice-and-Skirt-Pinned-to-Dress-Form

I really wanted to play around with this dress and do some simple yet decorative features that I haven’t played around with much, so instead of serging the entire seam off I serged just the edge not removing any extra fabric so there was still about 5/8″ seam that I pressed towards the front of the skirt.

Seam-and-Serged-Edged

Once that was nicely pressed I pulled out my double needle and using grey/silver embroidery thread I did a double top stitch on only the front seams. I chose silver so that it would tie in the silver satin with the pure black skirt.

This is what the double need looks like for my Brother Machine:

Double-Needle

This is how my machine sets up to hold 2 spools of thread, you will see that an additional thread holder fits on top of my bobbin winder spot:

Double-Thread

You thread both spools exactly the same way and just thread one thread per needle:

Double-Needle-Threaded

I love how straight and professional the double top stitch looks, I will definitely start using this more often.

Close-up-on-top-stitch

I used embroidery thread instead of the regular thread because it is shinnier so it just looks a little more decorative than regular thread:) I tried 3 different silvers, one which was a metallic silver and it looked awesome but didn’t match the silver satin… definitely need to find something in the future to topstitch with the metal silver though!!!

Onto the bodice back – this allowed me to use another ‘new’ tool to play with. I say ‘new’ in quotation marks because this is actually a tool I have had for a very long time I just never attempted to use it before… I can see this being something I use all the time now that I have found out how amazing it is!

The tracing wheel. I used this to trace my darts. What you need is the tracing wheel and tracing paper.

Tracing-Wheel

Tracing-paper

These items you can find at a sewing store or even a craft store. This is an extremly simple method of tracing your pattern marks and I honestly don’t know why I have never used it before!

What to do:

Place your tracing paper down with the whiter side down and the black side up

Tracing-Paper-Sides

Then place your fabric wrong side down on the black side of the paper and your pattern piece on top of the fabric

Tracing-paper-in-place

Lay your pattern piece on top of your material and using the tracing wheel trace over any markings you want transferred onto the wrong side of your fabric. Use a back and forth movement of the wheel.

Ta-da!

Please note – do this on the WRONG side of your fabric, I have not tried to remove the marks to date so I am not sure how easily they remove from the material, if they even remove at all.

Transfered-lines

The zipper was where I got a little stuck and probably strayed from the pattern at this point. However it worked out nicely:) I did have to remove the seam in the skirt back once the zipper was in because it was no longer laying proper but I was able to make it work with a new seam!

Hidden Zipper:

Hidden-Zipper

Zipper revealed:

Zipper-Revealed

For the neck facing: I sewed the neck facing to the neckline but I did not serge this, I used a triple stitch to make it extra sturdy and then clipped through the seam allowance all the way around so that it would lay flat. You won’t see this seam as you will fold the facing in and top stitch it in place – this will hide that not so pretty clipped seam.

Clipped-Seam

I was initially going to use the satin for the neck facing but didn’t have enough left so I made it out of the cotton, which I think this was a really good thing because it helped me get a really nice flat finish – how gorgeous is this neckline?!

Finished-Neckline

Now onto the sleeve (flange): I have never made a flange before but I can’t even describe how excited I am to do this! I have a feeling this is going to be a super easy and cute chic sleeve for some feature projects of mine!

This is what the pattern piece looks like

Sleeve-Folded

You fold it in half and sew on – done! LUV it!

So cute right?

Finished-Sleeve

Finished-Sleeve-Side

After this all that was needed was a beautiful handcrafted label (tutorial coming soon!) and a nicely done blind hem stitch and I was read to party!

label

Final-Close-up

Until next time ~ happy sewing! 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Dress, Tips and Tricks, Tools

 

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Modern to Victorian

Before-and-after

If we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in January?!? My way of saying once again a little late on this post… but better late than never 😛

A week before Halloween I finally buckled down to figure out what my costume was going to be for 2012.

Those that know me know that Halloween is by far my most favourite holiday so of course I have been thinking about it weeks prior… I had gone to the Spirit Halloween store several times, was on the website even more than I can count but still couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me.

Those of you that have also hunted for a pre-made costume know that it is extremely hard to find a non-skimpy version of anything these days. I find it almost comical how they can create even the most random costumes ‘sexy’.

My first purchase for Halloween this year was a pair of red contact lenses. I can’t even describe the excitement or anticipation I had waiting to wear them!

LUV THEM!

Red-Eyes

That was the start of my costume… I had decided to build a costume around red eyes. The best and most obvious choice was of course vampire.

Though a vampire is the most over used Halloween character, I figured I could still make it my own.

First I had to pick what ‘time’ I would be from. I could have simply chosen a the typical all black gear, but I wanted something a little more unique and challenging!

It started with tearing through my closet one day, I came across an old bridesmaid dress I still had and figured it would be a perfect start. My goal is to take a modern dress and turn it into a Victorian dress.

Now I have my theme I need to take a trip or two to fabricland and get some material to help this transition. I really should have had some sort of plan before hunting for fabric but of course I didn’t.

After a couple trips to the fabric store I had several miscellaneous meters of black fabric ranging from fabric with black spiders on it, sliver spiderweb fabric, black satin, few meters of black elastic, black tulle, black ribbon trim and some black netting.

Mixture-of-fabric
But still no clue what I wanted to do with any of it. I had too many ideas running through my head at once to actually put together a single step. So I decided for once to sit down and try to illustrate what I saw in my mind, and this is what I came up with…

Sketch

Ok now I have a plan, I think this could actually work!

Here is what I ended up doing and remember all ‘terms’ are not to be taken literally, a lot of the ‘names’ that I gave items here are probably completely made up 😛

Let’s begin!

Cut open top 2 layers of original dress to make it split on one side

Make ‘frill’ above left breast:
I cut a piece of the satin material 12” long by 3” tall. I hemmed the top and both sides. I cut a piece of elastic 6” long and while sewing it across the 12” length of the satin I pulled the elastic tight so that it would force the fabric to gather once the elastic went back to the 6” length.

Frill

My next step is to make the ‘puffs’ of the skirt. I measured from the waist of the dress to the floor and this was about 42”, knowing I wanted 4 puff layers I divided 42 by 4 and knew each layer needed to be 10.5” long – to make life easy for me I just made it 11”.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to make these ‘puffy’ so my plan was to make each layer double (so 22”) fold it in half and between the layer put stiff interfacing so that it would stay puffy. Below I have added step by step of this!

I am going to make these out of the spider material and spider web material (2 layers of each).

How I made each one:

I cut my material to be 36” wide and 22” tall. I have lined this will the black satin (so my satin piece was cut the same size). I then sewed these two pieces together. I only lined my material because the Halloween spider material was transparent. If I didn’t line it you would have seen the interfacing through the layers which wouldn’t have looked too pretty.

Material-on-linning

I cut a piece of interfacing 36” long by 4” tall and ironed that exactly in the middle of the fabric.

Interfacing-on-inside-of-puff

Puff-folded

I then folded the fabric in half wrong sides together. You can see in the picture that where the fabric is folded it has a bit of a puff now from the interfacing.

I still don’t feel this is the effect I was looking for… so I thought I would try gathering…

my piece being 36” long I figured simple math is always the best and divided 36 by 4 and every 9 inches I gathered the fabric from the fold to the top where the raw edges meet.

Gather

Now that I have done 4 gathers in my layer I now had 4 pockets so I stuffed them with tulle and this gave a signifant puff on each layer! I proceeded to do this 3 more times for a total of 4 layers.

2puffs

3Puffs

Due to gathering sections of each layer my length of the ‘puffs’ was shortened quite a bit, so I had to add a 5th layer which I didn’t gather and I didn’t stuff, this was just to provide the length that I required to hit the floor. I then hemmed that layer with just a normal hem.

5-layers

Now that the base is done it is time to sew that in place! This might be more difficult than I thought as 1) I am sewing onto a finished garment, and 2) I have to sew underneath 2 other layers.

It was pretty difficult, the dress was becoming quite large and pretty heavy to maneuver through the machine!

Look how small my machine looks compared to the dress! I eventually ended up having to pull out my old Janome as my Brother could no longer handle sewing through all the layers! This was my first sewing machine given to me for my 15th birthday I believe from my Mom 🙂 It never fails me.

Big-Dress

Sleeves:
I used a pattern piece from a pattern I had here to make my sleeves. I could only use this pattern piece as a starting point.

I wanted to make my sleeves match my puffs so I used the black spider material and the silver web material lining them with the black and red satin. Using the pattern piece I folded in the parts I didn’t need (the shoulder) and then folded the pattern piece in half so I could cut 2 of each material so that when sewn together I will have each sleeve in both materials.

Sleeves

Sleeves-Finished
Once I finished the sleeves I trimmed all the raw edges of the dress with black lace, and other than minor adjustments my costume was finished!

Close-up-on-lace
I am happy to brag say that all my work paid off and I won best costume at work for 2012 🙂

Scary at work:

Scary-at-work

And dressed to party!!!

Final1

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Dress

 

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Touch of lace

I can’t believe how fast the past year has flown… I keep telling myself I need to make more time for this blog which in return would mean more sewing time, which I desperately need and want… however the months seem to pass by faster than I realize and the weeks even faster!

With that being said it is time to reveal a piece I finished in August of this year, the results had me so thrilled I can’t even put words to it.

Back on August 4 I had a wedding to attend, which meant I had a dress to make. While knowing this a couple months in advance I still only left myself the week before to actually make something.

I spent some time searching through patterns online and the design I chose to use was Simplicity 1876.

Before running to the store to pick up what I needed, I shuffled through the small stockpile of fabric I had to see if anything would be of use. I ended up finding 3 meters of a gold satin I originally bought to make a dress for New Years 2012 that was never used and knew it would work perfectly.

There was more than enough fabric to make the dress but when I draped the material around me to see how the colour looked I felt it needed something more… My initial thought was to make a few of the pedals on the skirt in a bold graphic fabric while the others were made from the gold in attempt to create texture, but once I started my hunt for something that matched I ended up finding a beautiful black lace instead. I had no idea how this would work or how I would piece it together but I could picture the finished product and that was more than enough to make my decision to purchase it.  😉

The above picture shows you what the lace looks like overlapping the gold. Excited yet??

For a small dress it seemed like I had a small mountain of fabric once I cut out all the pieces! Between the gold satin, black lace, interfacing and lining I had a large number of pieces to try and keep organized!

Now the real fun begins – Let’s Sew!

My plan: Add lace to the bodice, top right pedal and bottom left pedal.

Starting with the bodice I wanted to sew the satin and the lace at the same time so the raw edges of both would be sewn in the same seam; to make this easier since the satin is slippery I machine stitched with a large stitch length (baste stitched) the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the gold satin all the way around the edges so this would technically create a single piece with one right side and one wrong side.

In the above picture you can see the baste stitching I did to combine the satin and lace as one piece. I did that with all the bodice pieces and then sewed the bodice together as instructed.

Create the skirt: I wasn’t changing this at all so I simply followed the instructions and constructed the skirt.

The dress was moving along smoothly and my excitement was growing quickly!

Pedals – the skirt bottom: each pedal had 3 components to it, a front and back made of the gold satin and interfacing. The pedals that I chose to do with lace had 4 pieces to them. Once you have these all sewn together they do add quite a bit of bulk to the dress with the layers.

To make the lace pedals: Place the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the front of the pedal (gold satin), stitch together using a long stitch length and stitch within your seam allowance (same as I did for the bodice). You need to really pay attention to what you are during in these steps as the pedal pieces all look very similar and if you end up sewing the lace to the back of the pedal piece you won’t see it. This took me a little pre-laying out and using my dress form to see where the pedals would fall so I made sure not to do the same two pedals with lace. I wanted them staggered.

Here is how it was turning out:

I did the same thing as I did for the first to pedals to the last two pedals, only opposite and pinned them in place.

Tip: be sure to clip your seam allowances on all the pedals before turning so once you press your pedals they should lay flat and you will have much smoother curves!

This next part was a little tricky for me as now I actually had to sew the pedals into place. To do this you need to sew the rows of pedals together making sure to match your markings properly so your overlap is in the right place. This may sound difficult since you have to sew onto the skirt that is already constructed but remember we haven’t put in the zipper yet so your back is completely open:

The above image shows what the back of the dress looks like prior to the zipper. You need to keep this open so you can easily sew the pedals onto the skirt.

This is what your bottom row will look like once the left and right pedals are sewn together:

Once you have those together for both rows you have to sew them onto your skirt. Your markings that you transferred from your pattern pieces should show you exactly where to place the bottom row of pedals. Make sure you add the bottom row first so the top row covers the top of the bottom row.

Once your bottom row in sewn in place you can attach the top row of pedals to the waistline.

As you can see I used a ton of pins here. With the amount of layers the dress was getting a little heavy so I was trying to avoid any movement from the material while sewing.

Once the pedals are sewn on you are ready to sew the top of the skirt (with pedals attached) to the bottom of the bodice matching the raw edges, right sides together.

Only day two into the project and I have made great progress with little error or confusion.  At this point most of the dress was constructed and all that was left was the lining and zipper. If you have made it this far the rest is easy!

Put your lining together in the same manner as the dress, minus the lace. Sew that to your dress and put your zipper in as instructed. Be sure not to skip top sewing along the top of the bodice when you are finished. It will really help the heart shaped neckline lay nicely.

There you have it, make the matching belt and find the perfect shoes and you will feel like you belong on the red carpet!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Dress

 

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A Dress Fit For The Awards…

Those of you that know me know that I started a new job October 17th of this year; well I was honoured to receive a call from my prior manager inviting me to attend the Awards of Distinction taking place on November 4th.

I saw this as a perfect opportunity to take on a new project of course! I did not however see this turning into the adventure it ended up becoming.

Adventure one begins.

I was off to Fabricland to find the perfect dress pattern. Those of you that follow read my blog sewing journal know that 99.9% of the patterns I use are Kwik Sew and you will be excited to see that I have branched out into Simplicity!

Ok well maybe the excitement is more on my end but hey I can pretend that my fellow followers (thanks Mom and Dad) will be excited that I have tried something a tiny bit more advanced and new;)

The perfect dress pattern for this event was Simplicity 2053 Dress ‘C’.

Pattern Found. Now let the search begin for the perfect material.

I had my heart set on finding a really nice back satin, unfortunately the only back satin that Fabricland had was in stock was bride white and well that would not work. So this adventure led me to Lens Mill.

I am sure all of you at one point or another have been to a Lens Mill, they always seem to have good prices and tons of selection; but with my luck I still couldn’t find any back satin and when I asked, no one seemed to know what I was talking about. So I started shuffling through piles and piles of fabric… I couldn’t find anything that I ‘loved’ but I did find a nice red poly blend that I thought would work and with time running short and the lack of fabric stores in KW I knew I had to pick something and move on.

So pattern and material purchased…

Pattern and Fabric

Pattern and Fabric

Time to head home and get started!

Based on my measurements and the measurements on the pattern envelope I figured that the size 10 would best suit me so that is size I cut out.

The pattern was super simple to follow and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Simplicity to any beginner nor will I hesitate to purchase from them again.

The first couple steps explain how to create the first shoulder strap, however I chose to not use that strap because I wanted the dress off the shoulder on one side so skipping to the next part, I created the top portion of the dress (the bodice).

The top involved simple elements like front and back facing and darts. It is projects like this that remind you how important your friend the iron is in every step. The dress would not have turned out as well as it did without carefully pressing every step of the way. This allowed the facing to lay perfectly flat and the darts not to bulge.

Top portion completed, next part was to sew the skirt front to the top front. Once that was done it was time to try something new… pleats!

Pleats are very much like darts however with a dart you would sew right off the fabric in a V form where a pleat you sew a section which may not start or end at the edge of your fabric (kind of like making a fold in the fabric). Pleats are used as a design element where a dart is used to fit a garment.

This pattern called for about 8 pleats all the way down the one side of the dress.

Darts in the back of the dress. You will see the darts lay are pressed flat:

Darts

Darts

Pleats down the side of the dress. See how they differ from darts? They more overlap or bulge/ruffle…

Pleats

Pleats

The fabric I chose turned out to not be very photogenic so it made taking photos of the progress a little more difficult. I apologize.

After sewing the skirt front to the top front (bodice) and the skirt back to the bodice back it was just a matter of sewing the side seams and the zipper and the dress was well on its way.

The zipper instructions were a little fuzzy to me so I put in the zipper my own way, as that is what I know and it works for me!

My process for zippers is super easy; I base stitch (use a long stitch) the seam together and press the seam open. I place the zipper face down against the middle of the seam and pin in place. I then proceed to sew the zipper in place using my zipper foot. Once both sides are in sewn I use my seam ripper to open up the base stitching and voila my version of an invisible zipper! It never fails me.

Once the bulk of the dress was sewn together to a point that I was able to try it on and see how it was fitting I did so, this pretty much resulted in the end of adventure one and the start of adventure two…

The size 10 was a tad tight on me. With the facing and zipper in place I didn’t want to go through and try and fiddle with making the seams smaller to see if the I could get it to fit a little looser and since I only paid just over $13 for the fabric I figured I would go out and get more material and try again. As bad as it sounds it only gets worse if you read on 😉

So even though I had to start over it wasn’t a total waste as my sister had a wedding to go to on the 11th and she needed a dress and loved the one I made so in a way it was a win win for her!

Adventure two begins.

Back to Lens Mill to find the same fabric so I can make dress number two. I found the fabric close to the same location as I found it the first time in the store and I re-bought the pattern a second time as I had already cut the size 10 so instead of trying to figure out how to make the 10 a 12 I figured I would just buy the pattern again and cut the size 12 to save me some time.

Get everything home and start all over again…

With the first dress taking just a little over 4 hours to make I wasn’t worried about making it the second time. Actually I didn’t mind at all since doing it a second time allows me to change what I didn’t like about the first round.

Things I wanted to remember for round two was pay closer attention to the zipper height at the top of the dress and back stitch at both the start and finish of my pleats so they don’t come out as they were on the first dress.

Now back at a point where I can try the dress on… and it fits! Perfectly I might add!

There was only one small issue, at the back of the dress it dropped a bit due to leaving out the one shoulder strap. This ended up being an easy fix, though because this was in the back and I don’t own a dress form (yet) I had to call mom over to help me pin while wearing it.

Once the pins where in place and I knew where to take in and how much I just simply added a third dart to the bodice back. This allowed the back to lay flat for me and gave it a much better fit and look.

The reveal of the final dress number two:

My Final Dress

My Final Dress

Where normally this photo would represent the end of the adventure this one goes on to a story that provided many (those that where there and even those I told after) with a good laugh…

The dress looked great, it felt great and I received a number of compliments while at the Awards of Distinction… though all did not end well.

About half way through the night my dress ended up ripping – right where my butt was! Words can’t even explain how embarrassed I was and without being able to see myself I am sure my face matched the colour of my dress. Thankfully being with good company they helped tie a sweater around my waist so my butt wasn’t hanging out for all to see and we all shared in a good laugh.

The words of a good friend “at least I handled the situation with cl’ass…”  Ha ha 😉

Ripped Dress

Ripped Dress

Here is a better view of the rip with the dress off:

Ripped Dress Photo 2

Ripped Dress Photo 2

You can see that the fabric literally ripped away from the seam, which was even serged!

At this point I have convinced myself that I completely suck at sewing and I will never wear anything I make ever again!

I couldn’t imagine how my sister would have felt had she worn the dress and this happened to her instead! There was no way I was letting her wear dress number one! This then took me to adventure three…

Adventure three begins.

Mom and I had planned before any of this even happened a trip to Hamilton to check out the fabric district. I took a sample piece of fabric with me so I could talk to some people that know a thing or two about fabric and sewing. I was determined to find out what went wrong so that either I can make sure something like this would never happen again or second option give up sewing all together.

After talking to some super nice and extremely helpful staff at the Fabricland in Hamilton I found out that it was in fact faulty fabric and NOT my sewing that made this happen. Talk about being relieved.

They took the sample fabric and showed me how they were able to rip it in different ways and even rubbing it between your fingers allowed the fibers to loosen from each other. They told me that that should obviously NOT happen and that fabric should only ever rip in one direction not all directions.

So with my confidence slightly restored and still owing my sister a dress I started looking for fabric a third time.

Being in Hamilton allowed for a much larger selection of fabric and I found a beautiful burgundy satin for her dress. The fabric was much nicer than the original fabric bought so again I was excited to get started.

Satin Choices

Satin Choices

Once home I laid the fabric out so I could start placing my pattern pieces for cutting. Looking at the fabric laying on the floor I thought to myself how the fabric looked strangely small but I just shook my head and carried on.

I laid the pattern pieces one by one before pinning in place. When I got to one of the final pieces and realized… hmm there is no room for it? I sat there starring blankly for a few moments until suddenly I realized what happened. I bought enough material for the dress had the material been a width of 60” (which most fashion fabrics are) and you probably guessed it, the fabric I bought was only a width of 45’.

SERIOUSLY?!? 

At this point I didn’t know if I should laugh, cry or scream.

Adventure number four begins.

Back to Fabricland I went as there was no way I was ever buying material at Lens Mill again after the past experience and to find material for the fourth time.

Had it not been 8 PM at night I would have gone back to Hamilton for the selection but there was no time left. I raced off to Fabricland as I only had an hour before they closed. Thankfully since the last time I was there looking for myself they had got in a few more polyester options. So I grabbed a nice red material (again) and another zipper and more thread and headed home to start.

Of course I definitely double-checked the width of the fabric before requesting it to be cut this time!

This time all went smoothly, I mean I could have probably sewn the dress together without looking at the instructions at all at this point but at the end of the day this oh so simple dress has taught me a handful of things that will most definitely help me out in the future.

And my sister’s final dress and the end of this adventure…

Final Dress

Final Dress

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Dress

 

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