11.30.2010

THE FIFTH DRESS!--ALL DONE!

 
TA DA!!!!  Last day of the month, crazies.  What do you think?  What?  That's my sexy look and my photographer asked for sexy.  

Okay, here's a slightly better view, sorry for the lighting issues.



I know some of you will have to pardon the navy blue dress and black stocking pairing above, but that is how I roll.  When you are dressing in Wisconsin in November, you are trying to cover every square inch of skin before you can even begin to worry about matching. 

Back to the dress...It's hard to tell the length, looks a little longer in the back, no?  Here's a more eye level view of the skirt length:


For as easy as this dress was to sew though, it came out fine.  Not great, just fine.  You can see above that not only is the cheater band a little wonky (my bad), and below you can also tell the neckline is too.  It's wide and falls off the shoulders a bit much.  (Strapless bras, here you come!)  I blame the pattern a bit--it is a quickie weekend project--but also my fabric choice for how this falls.  I'll get into that in my Report Card . 


Pssst--it's also worth mentioning that these picture were taken after a wear and a wash.  A plus about the washing?  It shrinks up the elastic waisting a bit.  Awesome!:


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I'm excited to see how Lauren and Nicole's dresses turn out!  This month's dress was supposed to be a Sew Along for the three of us, but I think we settled for a "Sew Near".  We tried getting together to do some tandem sewing, but it just turned into a gab fest.  No complaints.

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*Fifth Dress Report Card*

PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS: Super easy to follow, with cute drawings to help along the way.  My only complaint is the measurements given for the sash fabric and interfacing were too small.  They would have never worked.  You can read more about that here.  Additionally, the picture given for this dress in Weekend Sewing features a much longer sash than the pattern would make, so if you want that length buy even more fabric.

PATTERN SIZING:  Since the pattern only comes in two sizes (small-medium and large-extra large), be prepared to do some finessing.  The great part is that you can try on the bodice after it's been mostly sewn together: no pins to stab at you!  The skirt will follow the bodice measurement.

FABRIC CHOICE:  I like the fabric pattern a lot, and was glad I could find an exact navy match for the sash and cheater band on a separate shopping trip.  I decided I don't love the contrasting fabric for this project though: it has an off white background and the main fabric only has white, but that's my bad and I'll live (by never tying the sash with that fabric facing out).
The big takeaway from this part of the review, though, is this: don't use a straight 100% cotton fabric for this dress, so matter how much you've convinced yourself it's drapey.  It is not, in fact, drapey.  The book does not call for cotton, so if you listen to the book and try not to pretend you know better, you should be fine.  I blame the awkward neckline fit on my poor fabric choice.

FINANCIALS:
Pattern: $18.15* (the cost of Weekend Sewing on Amazon.  Keep in mind it includes oodles of other patterns.)
Main Fabric: $30.30 (Including shipping.  I need to buy less expensive fabrics.)
Sash Fabric: $4.34
Notions (double sided fusible interfacing): $1.11
Total: $53.90 (or $35.75 if you just want to check the book out of the library.)

*  I didn't include the cost of paper to transfer the pattern on this, as I found water logged wrapping paper does the trick just as well, and I'm sure we all have that lying around.
PERFECT OCCASION:  Going out dressed as adult triplets with Nicole and Lauren.  Terrifying, or fantastic???

WOULD I MAKE THIS DRESS AGAIN?: I would, but I don't think I will.  It was totally easy and definitely doesn't need to take a month to make.  There are just too many dresses I want to make out there.  If I did do it again, it would be in a different fabric. 


11.29.2010

Can You Wear a Kimono Dress in an Operating Room?

Yay for Nicole!  She's almost done with her kimono dress, so please read on about her lie telling.  I don't think it looks like what she think it looks like.

While Sandy has completed yet another beautiful dress at the end of one month's time, my kimono dress is laying, languishing, in a corner during this holiday weekend. I'm stalled out, still trying to decide what to do. I'll give a full recap soon, but the long and the short of it is that it involved a panicked call to Sandy recently after I finished sewing the skirt and bodice together and tried the whole shebang on. As I stood there, admiring my fantastic elastic thread sewing abilities, it dawned on me....the color, the vague pattern, the cut of the neck and wide sleeves...my god, I'd created a hospital gown!




It's not as bad with a scarf playing the part of a makeshift sash, but the jury's still out. Get new fabric and start over to (hopefully) end up with something that I'd actually wear, or forge ahead and finish 'er up? Sandy has very kindly suggested some alterations to help my cause, which would definitely be the fastest way to finish - get a nice patterned fabric in purple for the sash, and add a strip at the skirt hem of the same fabric to visually break up the hospital green-ness. For now, though, indecision reigns. Le sigh.

On a happier note, though, despite my mishaps, this really was a fun first attempt at sewing my own clothing, and my admiration for those who clothe themselves in home-made duds has grown exponentially. 

11.28.2010

Cheater Band, or How I Learned to Love Bias Tape

SOOOOO, I'm all done!  But without a picture.  And right now the dress is already being washed after a sleeve sized helping of Thanksgiving dinner.  Be patient!  But in the mean time, I'll let you know how she wrapped up....

I added the little cheater bad to the bottom, which was a great move: I didn't lose any length, I did have to hem, and I learn a new skizz-ill!  Well, I learned why I should have learned a new skill.  I learned why bias tape is so important and why homemade bias-not-bias tape is close, but not as good.

But backing up a little bit...You may remember why I had to add this little cheater band in the first place, some unintended shortening of the dress skirt.  To compensate for this, I bought extra sash fabric and made a little band to go along the bottom of the dress:


I decided rather than just adding a panel of this fabric to the bottom of the dress, I'd make some homemade bias-not-bias tape to wrap up the loose hem edges.  I liked this idea because it would give the dress a nicer, cleaner finish.

My bias-not-bias tape was about two inches wide and all the raw edges were very thoroughly pressed under so I could just zip around the dress with the hot little contrasting thread and be done with it. 

View of Bias-not-bias Tape
And after ironing the crap out of this, I pinned the crap out of it.  I invested a lot of time in this step, too--maybe a half an hour just to pin a hem?  A small price to pay for a finished dress.  I mean, I wanted to make sure it wasn't warpy (we'll laugh about that more later):



And voila!  The sewing took, like, two minutes.  The dress was all done, and I thought I was a certifiable genius with my clever cover up for my cutting mistakes.  Then I tried the dress on AND....the hem was warpy:



Turns out bias tape is cut on a bias for a reason.  And I quote:
Bias tape will "bend" to a curved edge that a straight grain strip will not curve to without kinks and warping. (from a great little article at about.com)

D'oh!  So, you live and learn.  I'm not too worried about it.  It did a great job of hiding the super ravelly raw edge (a problem I have my sights set on after washing the Fourth Dress, see below), and the whole dress is a little misshapen anyway.  (We'll talk more about why that is and the fabric choice in the Report Card Post.)

Damn you, lack of serger!!!

11.26.2010

The Thanksgiving Post

A day late and a dollar short, but several thousand more calories richer.  I was able to finish the Fifth Dress on Wednesday and wore it Thursday....weather be damned.  Who care that is was 19 degrees when we went home?  This short sleeve cotton dress made it out for the holidays.  I could have timed it a little better though.  It was such a race to the finish that I forgot to snip the threads.  I'm pretty sure some of them got dragged through some gravy and mashed potatoes yesterday.  Oopsies!

Of course, no picture, but I'll have a wrap up for you soon.  In the meantime, here's the list of things I'm thankful for.  I'd make a joke about the obligation to post such a thing, but this is serious, yo!:

I am so thankful for so many things, and one of them is my family.  We ate with Matt's aunt and uncle, who always open up their house when we have friends and family in town without a place to go.  I'm blessed to enjoy the company of both sides, mine and Matt's, and I try to never take this for granted.  Mother-in-law jokes may be fun, but I'll just have to let other people use them.  Yep, for reals.  My parents do a lot of traveling to see us, which is great with the busyness of life, and we always enjoy our time together.  And since I don't get to see either side of the family as much as I would like, I'm especially for my brother who is just up the road in Chicago when I need that quick family fix. 
I'm also extremely thankful for my friends, all of them wonderful, complicated and honest people.  They keep life in perspective for me.

I'm thankful for roller derby, which keeps me sane and in good company.  I'm lucky for the extended MRD and Reservoir Doll family I love so much.

I'm also thankful for mine and my family's health.  I have all four grandparents, all parents, and a healthy nephew on the way.  We were able to enjoy the company of Matt's Gram into her 90s.

I'm so thankful for Matt, for, like, a lot of reasons.  And I told him all why, so go do the same with the people your thankful for.

Hope you and yours had a nice holiday.  Dress wrap up tomorrow!



11.24.2010

Sashay, Shante

Work it girl!  I started and finished the kimono dress sash yesterday, but not before getting RuPaul's great '90s hit, Supermodel, stuck in my head.  Sashay, shante!  (I know.  Yesterday I started with a music-esque aside, and I'm sorry but imma gonna do it again.) SOOOOOOOOOO.....

Speaking of RuPaul......For reasons that are still unknown to me, I ended up watching a RuPaul's Drag Race marathon a few months ago.  You have not lived until you have seen someone "lip synch for their life!".  In addition to tha,t you have also not lived until you have seen the glamorous RuPaul not in drag.  I couldn't believe it.  After a full show segment I realized this little cameo was not RuPaul's assistant, but was actually RuPaul:


And since we're on the topic, I have one more favorite RuPaul story to share: When I was about 10, I asked my mom why RuPaul was always on the news.  She said, "Well, RuPaul was born a guy but feels more comfortable dressed as a woman.  I don't know why people are always talking about it."  Point made, end of conversation, no need to explain something different as something weird.  "Someone was just more comfortable doing something."   Looking back, that was amazing.  So I guess that's less of a favorite RuPaul story and more of a story about how kick ass my mom can be.  Okay, on with the sashay, shante......

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Be Ye Warned: The instructions call for 1/8 yard of contrasting fabric for the sash, but ye shall need more than that.  The two pieces for the sash stack to 6 inches, so get at least 1/6 a yard.  Also, there is a call for a 9 x 20 piece of interfacing, yet the piece you are cutting is 22" long.  Ye Have Been Warned.

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You'll remember the sash fabrics I chose, maybe.  Here they are:


The pattern pieces for this dress didn't get passed around so I was able to trace my own.  They don't look as nice as Lauren's, but I like to think what I lacked in professionalism I made up for in festiveness:


Yes.  That is wrapping paper. 

You can see I bought way more than the 1/2 yard recommended for one of the sash fabrics, which was great because of the 1/8 shortage I mentioned earlier.  So rather than running back out to the fabric store, I improvised a bit and just made the center panel of the sash facing the contrasting fabric.  The rest is the navy.  See what I mean.  (And oh man, is this sucker long....)


The sash called for double sided facing, so I used Heat and Bond.  I recommend leaving the paper lining on as along as possible before peeling.  It makes sewing a lot easier.  I had to ease the interfacing along with some wax paper because I did not do this.


BUT, I finished the sash with no injuries or delays.  I kind of like the happy accident of the fabric shortage because now I have two cool ways to wear my dress.  (And hair, apparently, what the heck am I doing here?)

Contrasting sash with the I Hate Taking Pictures of Myself look
Coordinated Sash with the Nevermind, I'm a Bad Ass look
Now all I have to do is the hem, and voila!  Fifth Dress in the bag.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  Talk to you over the weekend.

11.23.2010

Elasticized

I realize I totally forgot to tell you about my adventures in elastic thread!  But before I get to that, let's run through the short list of songs I've been singing where I replace the word "electric" for "elastic".  Seriously, I could not stop singing these songs while sewing with this thread.  Do I know how to party or what?????   Can you identify the songs?  Trust me, you have a much better chance if you're reading them and not listening to me try to sing them.  Oy.

It's elastic!  Boogiewoogiewoogie!

....elastic eelBaby Girl.  Turn me on with your elastic feel....

'Cause the power, you're supplying, it's elasticizing!

Oh my god, I should never write posts this early in the morning.  Anyway, on to the elastic thread.

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I didn't have the Weekend Sewing book in my possession anymore, so I emailed Lauren:

Me: Blahblahblahtalkingblah (oh, and elastic thread just needs to be wound tightly, correct?)  Thanks!
Lauren:  No, wind it loosely onto a bobbin. Blahblahblahcontinuesonlikei'mnotanidiotthankyoulaurenblahblah.

So you can see it started nice.  But apparently you can wind it more tightly to get a more elasticized look (see this dress tutorial from Jorth!)  Looking back though, you may remember I recommended a tighter wind up if you want the dress to work without a belt.  But it's up to you.  Loose bobbin, hand wound, coming right up!



Oh, and the bobbin part solved a little mystery for me.  I thought I was going to have to lace this fatty fat fat thread through my machine, but no....just underneath.


So anyway, it was pretty fun.  You feed the fabric through (in my case the skirt and the bodice of the kimono dress) and it goes in smooth and comes out like a scrunchie!:


There's s little crinkle there, no?  FANCY!  I highly recommend messing with the thread tension before endeavoring to sew with elastic thread other wise you might not get any crinkle.  I set my tension to the tighter side [Matt will insert his own joke here.].

We're gonna rock down to elastic avenue.

Ugh, okay...its over.

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One more thing though: Down the "weird thread" aisle, which is where I found the elastic thread of course, I also found glow in the dark thread!  Be prepared for that.

11.22.2010

Fifth Dress Do-Over

When we last left off, I had thrown myself into a deep session of self-examination because one side of the dress was a little frumpy.  Boo hoo hoo.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  After a little self help in the form of seam ripping and some group therapy with my fellow dressmakers, I'm back on track:


Ahhhh, smooth.

After seam ripping the dress in two again, I wrapped the bodice around a bit more, which went a long way in a better fit this time around.  You know how I came up with that fix?  I actually tried the bodice on before sewing it together this time!  Originally, it was sewn so that the ends of the wrap were at the side seams.  That wasn't enough, for Nicole or for me, so now the ends of the wrap go about two inches past that seam on either side.  Also, I brought the skirt in a lot.  With a lighter fabric, I could have used the fullness, but with this cotton it was best without.  I cut about an inch off either skirt seam.


Again, much happier now.  Though this dress still isn't very flattering without the sash. It looks better in the picture than it does in real life, but you can tell it lacks a little va-va-va-voom!


But, as predicted, I'm moving ahead.

My tips for you?  Do the above adjustments for a better fit, and if you want to sew this dress and be able to wear it without the sash do these two things as well:

1) Make the waist higher, almost empire.  This sits right in the middle of my rib cage and that doesn't make for a very flattering look.

2) Wind the elastic thread on the bobbin a little tighter.  Instructions for this dress called for a loose wind up, but you should get a more flattering waistline (sans obi sash) with a tighter bobbin.

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All I have to do now is sew the sash (whose pattern pieces I forgot to pick up from an SNL house today) and hem!  I have another project I've been working on to share with you and then I might get a jump start on the Sixth Dress.  December is a busy busy month so I'll take all the extra time I can get.  I've been eyeing this (can I do another Burda so soon??) and this (short sleeves, fitted skirt).  Any other suggestions?  I'm feeling a little pressure to mark the "half way point" in my year long project with something special.   But how do you follow up a sew along with some of you favorite people??

11.21.2010

Will It Fit?

Nicole's ridiculously prescient post about fitting this dress correctly.  Did I tell you she was a planner or what??

Now that I have my side sewing project out of my system, I moved on to my main project and started sewing my kimono dress. I've only been able to get a little sewing in here and there during the evenings lately, but have been able to piece together the bodice of the dress. It's starting already to look like a dress! How very exciting. Here it is inside-out, after sewing the two front pieces to the sleeves, and sewing it all to the back.

 

The sleeves and back reminded me of a strange game of Tetris (who knew that Tetris was born in Moscow?), with all these blocky shapes (minos!) that I needed to fit together (to form Tetriminos, of course!)...I kept having to look at the directions to make sure I didn't put the sleeves on sideways. It definitely helps to have pictoral descriptions. I love that Weekend Sewing has the instructions in written and picture form. There have been times that I've sat, re-reading knitting or sewing instructions for at least an hour before it finally clicks. Pictures definitely help. Way to go, Weekend Sewing!

So now that I had the pieces together, it was time for the first test - will it fit? Nothing to do but try it on...


What do you think? There have been several crafters who have made this dress and found that it's too big, like Miss Behave. Here's some good advice from make & do, to make sure that the bodice doesn't fall off your shoulders. I think I'm going to follow her advice and pin the front in place across the bust before sewing the bodice to the skirt.

And here's a similar dress, but with a different patten, by Sew Weekly who is, well, sewing weekly. Her goal is to sew an item of clothing for herself every week and after a year or so, have her entire wardrobe consist of hand-made items. Super ambitious and cool project, and how cute is she?!

Off to finish up the bodice! I just have to edge stitch around the neck and hem the sleeves, then off to the skirt and putting it all together.



Like Sandy, I'm going to need some confidence and maybe a stiff drink before I tackle the step where I attach the bodice and skirt with elastic thread. Wish us luck!

11.20.2010

Blech!

Blech blech blech blech blech!  I did not fit this dress well enough.  What is going on here?:



Wait, more specifically here, here, & here:



I'm sorry...pardon me.  Oh, hello!  I was just in the middle of telling where I am (or rather am not) with the Fifth Dress.  But I am not surprised by this little misstep.  Oh no.  I'm going to back up to the beginning and tell you about my elastic thread adventures, but first I need to address the larger, less patient issue at hand because, well, I am not patient.  At all.  And that explains why I'm standing there in a weird, gappy dress.

In my personal life, I am a do-er, not a planner.  I love manual labor, moving forward, and a job well finished, if not quite well done.  I see big pictures and figure out details along the way.  I do not research.  I pounce and then trust my instincts.  While this makes for a fun life--seriously, can you imagine an easier way to live??--this is not always helpful in learning new ventures.  I knew from Nicole (she is a researcher) that this dress was going to be big and I did nothing to compensate for that.  As you can see.

And what's so funny is that my co-workers, friends, and sometimes Matt may feel otherwise, but when dealing with myself I could not possibly be more hands off.  Head down, get it done, sort it out.  And trust me: it can usually always be sorted out.

Anyway, I guess that's why this year long (twelve) dresses project is so perfect for me.  Time to accomplish, no time for perfection.  I have really tailored this little endeavor to how I work best.  I may get upset from time to time, but after a second or so I'm just back to putting my head down and getting it done.  See how I've already calmed myself down? 

Shoot, I'm actually excited to seam rip some elastic thread.

11.19.2010

Before I Get To That--

So, I know I promised to *dazzle* you with my elastic thread skillz, but I skipped over a few steps, like hemming for the neckline and um, oh yeah, sewing together the skirt.  Minor things....

About that neckline....In my panicky tear through Joann Fabrics the other night looking for fabric for the sash I managed to grab the interfacing and elastic thread but totally neglected to buy the regular thread for this dress.  I wanted to get a navy to match the special little cheater band I'm putting at the bottom of the dress to make up for my cutting mistake.  But, again, that never happened.  Improvise!


This is the leftover thread from the First Dress, and it matched the green well enough for me.  I think it's a pretty cute detail, actually.


I hesitated for a half a second with all these colors...green thread...navy cheater band...brown contrast sash...red cowboy boots...red cowboy boots?  Oh yes, my pal Salina pretty much has the best fashion sense ever and said this when she saw this fabric:
You NEED some RED shoes for this amazing dress. Yes you can go trendy with some slouchy boots but RED Mary Janes would be my choice :) Oooh or purple ones... 
So I'm leaning trendy and combining ALL these options.  I am officially on the hunt for red boots.

Nicole's Kimono Dress Digression #1

Welcome back, Nicole!  She is gracious enough to entertain you while I'm tackling this elastic thread thing...

As with all big projects in my life, whenever I'm getting ready to tackle something big, I end up getting distracted by something else smaller, and more manageable. I like to think of it as warming up for the big task at hand, but really, I'm just digressing. I even do this when I'm cleaning. Big mess in the kitchen? Let's clean the toilet instead! Since I'm still (usually) doing something productive, I don't worry about it too much. So with that caveat, let's look at what I did instead of starting to sew up my kimono dress pieces!

I started with an old t-shirt given to me by my guy when he was in grad school at the University of Michigan. I didn't end up wearing it much because the fit was a little weird, so here's its second repurposed life - baby pants! It seems like we have a ton of babies around - friends expecting their first or second - and it's nice to have gifts at the ready when a baby shower strikes. I've been building up the baby gift stock with help from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing book, which I love. Amy is from the angry chicken blog fame, which I also love (thanks to S+L for telling me about it!). The book is just like Amy's blog - totally down to earth and approachable, and you just want to be Amy's newest best friend. This book helped me to break in my passed-down sewing machine, and I've been using the Simple Bib pattern to whip up some super fast gifts.  Add a pair of knit baby socks and (ta-da!) you have a cute little gift.

  

But I digress, sorry.

Back to the t-shirt. Using baby pants tutorials found on the internets (I used a hybrid of tutorials found here and here), I made a few cuts and had a few legs before I knew it.


Add a sleeve cut off of another old t-shirt to use as a back pocket, and you have the makings of some cute little pants.


Off to sew! I sewed up the sides and bottom of the pocket first and learned quickly what a b**** it is to sew with knits. How did you do make TWO dresses out of this stuff, Sandy?  I should have taken a picture, but was swearing too much. I kept getting these crazy little rat's nests of tangles on the wrong side of my fabric every time I started sewing. I fiddled with the tension, to no avail. I reread the manual that came with the machine (with my grandma's notes - love it!), which didn't help at all. Did I mention that my machine is from the 70s, with a manual written at the same time?


 And while I love the colors used in the manual, it was definitely written for someone who knew how to sew to begin with. So I googled it, and immediately, help was found. I changed my stitch length to 9 stitches per inch, messed again with the tension, and stretched the fabric a bit while I sewed, to allow the seam to stretch, and that pretty much did the trick. It's still not pretty, folks, but it works.

After I wrested the pocket into submission, I sewed it onto the back of one of the pieces, sewed up the legs, and sewed the two pieces together.


I tried to tackle the waistband before bed, but after sewing it all the way around and realizing I accidentally made the waistband too wide and sewed the pocket closed, I gave up and called it a night. The next morning, I added some elastic and conquered the little pants. By taking a picture strategically crooked, you can't even tell that the legs are two different lengths!

 

And there you have it. Our future children are already cringing at the idea of their home-made clothes.

11.18.2010

Fifth Dress Sewing....Finally.

SO.....My bad.  I've been waiting to get the Weekend Sewing book for Lauren for a week now.  I didn't bug her too much because I knew she was sewing too, and I wanted to be polite.  It's her book after all, right?  Little did I know that sweetheart had already sent all the instructions to Nicole and I um, like, exactly a week ago.  How did I miss that email?  So great!  And the instructions are soooo cute!

So I finally started sewing...



  
The bodice and sleeves come together first.  It's hard to tell with this pattern--you can kinda see the seams above--but the sleeves join waaaaay into the bodice.  I like it.  It creates this narrow little panel on the front of the bodice, which would otherwise look like a basic wrap dress.  Cute detail, Weekend Sewing.  Very cute.  Then you sew the back on:


That part was pretty basic, but looking at this picture I'm pretty excited to see this dress all pulled together with that brown trellis-y fabric.  Yay! 

So this is where I'm stopping tonight.  The next place we're heading is elastic thread territory and something tells me I'll want to be well rested and prepped for that.

11.16.2010

Fabrics: Completed.

So, I finally picked out my contrasting sash fabrics.  Or should I say "contrasting"? 


I got a navy blue for one side of the sash, so that's not really going to set it off (aka "contrasting").  But I got that trellised brown thing for the other side.  A little pattern mix and matchy. 

I had to think long and hard before getting this brown.  And not because of the pattern mixing, I like that mucho.  But because I think I have, like, no pairs of brown shoes.  And YES I know this is a navy dress, and YES I was going to wear black shoes with it anyway, thankyouverymuch, but now that might have to change with this fabric (see my About Me for me progressive ideas on shoe fashion).

I got a bit extra of the navy because I didn't get a bit extra of a certain other fabric, and I think this will make a nice band around the bottom.  I thought about the green, but that may have been too springy?  I'm pleased.

11.13.2010

Snip Snip

Here is guest blogger Nicole's account of starting the Kimono Dress!

Oh, a sew along! Thanks to Sandy for inviting me along for the fun and for letting me tell all you about it here on her lovely blog, which often gets me through those boring spots of the day at work. I'm so excited to be doing a group project with friends. I feel like I have a few real ringers in my group, which is good, since my sewing experience is pretty limited. I'll tell you more about that later in another post.

I got right down to cutting the other night after hanging out with S+L, and the whole process took all of 10 minutes. I was blown away. One dress, composed of only four different pieces. What? It feels like it should be harder than this. But remember, the sewing has yet to begin.

As Sandy mentioned, the book has all of the patterns crammed into one giant sheet of paper.


Lucky for me, Lauren had already traced all the dress pattern pieces onto separate paper, because I don't know if I could have decoded this sprawl of colors. It reminds me of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Your mind thinks "Oh, pretty" when you see the jumble of colors, but it takes a minute to really process what you're seeing.

So with the hard work done for me, I was ready to get started. Breaking out the little weights that came with the sewing machine and accoutrements my grandma passed along to me awhile back, wielding shears (not scissors!), I got to work and was done before I knew it.



Next step, actual sewing!

But before we set needle to this fine fabric, let's do a little warm up sewing. I'll tell you all about my first project digression in my next post. Let's just say that it involves the repurposing an old t-shirt of yours truly.