Monday 21 July 2014

Make-it Monday: Summer Dress

This week I'd like to share a dress with you.  It's the first time I've used a pattern (although I vaguely remember using one in my teens when making something with my Mum...) and so I've really taken my time with this.  I spent a good while at each step making sure that I read it right and double checking everything.  I wanted to fully understand what I needed to do before diving in.  So this dress has probably taken around two weeks from start to finish but I'm so pleased with how it's turned out.  It's far from perfect but as I said last time, the most important thing is that it fits!

So this is the pattern I was following.  I chose the dress on the right and went for the most basic variation of it - no bows, no frills, just the dress.

The pattern consisted of four pieces; skirt front, skirt back, bodice front, bodice back.  In hindsight I should have paid a little more attention to where I was placing the pattern pieces to make sure that the finished dress would flow well across the join between the bodice and the skirt, but at the time I was just focusing on having the pattern the correct way round on the fabric and making my cutting-out accurate.

So the first new skill I had to overcome was bias binding.  I'd heard of it but had no idea what to do with it.  I found the instructions difficult to understand so I had to read them quite a few times and also consult Google before I felt ready to give it a go.  It turns out that once I'd done it, the instructions made total sense.  The neckline was relatively easy as it was square but I found the curve of the armholes much more difficult.  They're not really smooth but still sit well and look decent so I'm happy.

Then came the zip!  I've added zips onto simple cushion covers before but again, nothing like this.  I had to overlap the fabric from the front bodice section with the back bodice.  There was lots of reading and re-reading and consulting both Google and my Mum but I did it and am very pleased with how it turned out.

Everything else was really just basics.  I don't have an overlocker/serger so I used both stright stitches and zig zags for my seams.  I double-rolled the hem at the base of the skirt and was chuffed to bits that all my pieces and seams lined up well.

Elizabeth loves her new dress and ran into pre-school telling everyone that her Mummy had made it.  I love that she loves it and that's all the praise I need.

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