A-Dress-ing The Matter

First and foremost, I’ll apologise for the punny title, but I couldn’t NOT do it.

This one’s going to be all about the process of making my first ever handmade garment (knitting included). I’ll say now that the dress isn’t technically finished yet, a lot of hemming and last minute darts and other adjustments need to be added in, but I’d say it’s 90% of the way there.

 The lack of sewing machine was, granted, a bit of a challenge and has meant that some of the parts of this dress aren’t super duper neat, but perfection wasn’t the aim –  I just wanted to make something that could be worn! (I think I was just able to manage that).

PART ONE 

THE PATTERN CUTTING 

I raided my nana’s stash for a pattern that looked relatively simple, but one that I would actually wear. Lo and behold, a 2012 Prima pattern revealed itself. The very same day I journeyed on down to my local fabric shop and bought a very pretty navy blue cotton with little daisies, which I hoped I could transform into a dress.

Here I am wearing a dress that very much clashes with the fabric!

PART TWO: THE SEWING

This took a very very long time. I managed to sew together the skirt front and skirt side front relatively quickly, but hit a little bit of a wall when it got to the bodice. Being a first-time sewer, I had very little idea about what it was I was meant to be doing, particularly when it came to the gathers. Google wasn’t my best friend at this point, as it kept telling me to use the gather function on my sewing machine (which, as I have mentioned, I do not own). As a result, I decided to wing it and do a loose running stitch and just pull through. After I experienced this gathering bit, I realised that a lone skirt would have been a simpler task (and is what I plan to do next). Because I am a hobbit-sized human, standing at a towering height of 4 foot 11 and the smallest size the pattern offered was two larger than my own, a lot of adjusting was required. Mum to the rescue.

I’m sorry – if I’d have known that this picture would end up on the blog I would’ve tidied!

 This is the stage I’m on at the moment – I need to add a hook and eye fastening on the back, hem the bottom, back collar and one last bit on the cutouts at the back, and put some darts in the front to make it a little more flattering for my chesty area. Just to make it look a little more ‘finished’ too, I bought some very pretty ribbon to sew around the bottom of the skirt as well, and maybe for the cutout pieces on the back. I would put in a photo of it here, but it seems to have been lost in one of my many tote bags – it might have to wait until an official finished dress post! 😦

So, to end and commemorate my first ever garment sewing experience, here are some photos: