Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2 projects with the help of Betsy

Well, I've been a busy little sewing bee! With Betsy's help (and really inexpensive fabric I purchased a few weeks ago)... I set off making a dress. Little did I know that it would actually turn out well... or that I would like it so much that I would actually wear it... and wear it as my Easter dress!  It was a challenge, though.  When I purchased the material I really didn't pay attention to the material.  It was $1.50 a yard and I bought what was left on the bolt (which was about 3 yards).  It felt like cotton, and I really didn't notice that it had a bit of a sheen to it.  When I got it home and washed it (so that I could put it away and it would be ready whenever I decided to use it) I noticed that it was definitely not 100% cotton... it was a blend, and a super fray-ee blend!  Oh great!

Anyway last Friday, after all the morning chores had been completed I decided I wanted to sew... what to sew?  A dress... why not?!  I went through all my patterns (I have a handful of dresses I've picked up over the years, but nearly all of them I've never attempted)... so I found one that I thought would be flattering and modest at this point in my life, and started combing through my fabric for the design and enough yardage.  I finally decided on this fabric.  My thought was, hey if this sucks, then I really didn't lose any REAL money and hopefully would have learned something during the sewing process.  I pulled the fabric and interfacing and set to cutting.  I should interject here and say that I rather dislike the cutting stage.  Ughhhhhh, this part takes FOREVER!  Over the years I've come to understand why really nice clothes cost so much... LABOR!  So most of the cutting was done when I realized that you would be able to see through the material... NICE, not really that modest after all :-).  So I was going to need to line it (thankfully that was already part of the pattern for the bodice).  Sadly I had not been super careful on my pattern placement, and I really didn't have enough to line the ENTIRE dress.  Hmmmm, what to do.  So I again went through my fabric stash.  I had NO WHITE laying around ANYWHERE!  Crazy I tell you... but I apparently used it all during Christmas for those sewing projects.  Okay, feed the boys lunch, load everyone up into the car and head to the store... PLEASE LET THEM STILL HAVE THE FABRIC (for that price).  To my horror, it was put away and the clerk was unable to get to it... Plan B, buy a yard of white to finish this project!  Home again, home again... jiggiedy jig... oh how I was hoping to finish the dress that day.  Unfortunately a few errors on my part (read the entire package of directions before you begin so you don't make stupid mistakes, I only read one page... not the last half), so I had to make alterations to how I was going to finish the pattern due to my errors.  By the end of Friday I needed to attach the skirt to the bodice and install the zipper.

Saturday morning, at 6:00am, I was at it again... attached the two halves and installed the zipper... unfortunately there were a few issues with how I installed it... ughhhh, so after my afternoon at Cabbage Rose, I came home (all inspired) and was able to fix my zipper issues!  I slipped it on, and was in love!  Rarely do I put a dress on and it fits where it is supposed to fit!  Thanks to Betsy, I managed to make a dress that with the first full try on it fit perfectly (I did try it on at different stages, but you really don't know until that zipper is installed and functioning if it is just right).  It was the perfect Easter dress for me!  I wore it to Mass, and even later that day for the family gathering (which is rare for me, I usually change into something much more comfortable).

Alright, next up is the skirt.  Now I did these backwards as far as timelines go... the skirt happened 2 weeks ago, and was my first project with the help of Betsy.  Let me say, my experience with Betsy and this pattern taught me some valuable lessons which helped the dress go smoothly in regard to setting her up right for my fit... because this skirt was anything but smooth.  Good grief!  Thankfully my seam ripper is all ergonomic!  Honestly I'm not sure I've ever had to take something apart so many times.  The reason was that the panels were all just slightly different sizes, and each had one side that was straight, and one side with a slight curve... SLIGHT being the key word!  I would swear I matched up the right pieces only to realize two steps after that one panel was wrong or I reversed where they needed to be attached!  It was a struggle, but in the end I prevailed and have a really cute skirt.  I still need to make a few changes to make the fit just a little better... but she too was wearable and ready last Sunday for Mass.  Yeah!

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