Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm in love...

...with a pattern - Butterick 5001, to be exact. Seriously, I think this 'tres facile' pattern will be a go-to pattern for me when I need a quick and easy dress. I picked up this pattern at a $1 sale and had been trying to find the right material to make it with. That, and to build the gumption to attempt working with knits, which I have been absolutely terrified of doing!

I found some jersey on sale for $2.99/yard at, and decided to take the plunge, ordering enough to make a dress. Unfortunately, it sat in the delivery box for weeks while we entertained guests, I traveled for work, and  I was sucked into the never ending project at work. Last weekend, I decided to finally give it a go and cut the pattern pieces. I also decided at that time to try grading the pattern up to accommodate my very full hips, using instructions in a Singer sewing book my sister bought me years ago. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but the grading was easier than I expected (at least for this simple pattern) and the cutting (of both the pattern and the material) went pretty smoothly. (Of course, I had no idea how it was actually going to work during contruction, but that challenge was for another day!)

This weekend, I tackled the actual sewing, using my sister's borrowed Brother machine. Overall, it worked out okay, though I was having some serious bobbin thread tension issues. I'm happy to take credit for user error when I am indeed the problem, but I am not sure I was the culprit this time. In the end, though, I figured it all out, and now have a new dress for less than $10 - $7.48 for the material, and then a few dollars for some stay tape for the shoulders. As you can tell, I opted for View A since we are heading to Greece and Turkey in late August, but I will definitely make some View B and C versions for my wardrobe!

The dress fit looks a bit wonky in this picture, but it looks better in person, I swear!


That's what I have to say about work taking over my life for two months. Can you believe that - two months! I'm clawing my way back from the abyss, and finally have started working on my sewing projects again. It was a fantastic feeling to get behind the sewing machine again. First on my list was finishing up a summer blouse I started way back in the beginning of June. It was my second clothing attempt outside of my sewing class and my first attempt at making clothing for myself. I actually got most of it done before I had to head out to Seattle for work mid-month, but didn't get to finish the hem until recently.

The pattern I used was McCalls 5640 - I did View A, the tank top. I love the material I chose - a cheap polyester from Hancock Fabric. I know it seems wrong to say I love a cheap poly material, but the pattern is so cute! I was bummed to realize that the material had an imperfection, but I kept at it since I didn't want to deal with a return and it would still be okay for a knock-around shirt. Overall, I wasn't thrilled with the pattern. It came out looking like a very voluminous muu muu. Not so great. But, I was happy to get more practice and I am pretty impressed (if I can say so myself) with the seams. So pretty looking - so much better than the seams on my husband's pajama bottoms. I also got to work with bias tape for the first time, which turned out fairly well from what I can tell. Then again, what do I know?

Seams and seam binding!
On the hanger