Sometimes it is satisfying to sew something for myself. I have been sewing for years, since I was ten years old and my mother signed me up for a sewing class because I kept begging to use the sewing machine. Being a chunky kid, I sewed a lot of my own clothes by the time I got to high school and when I was a stay at home mom, I sewed clothes for my family, curtains, drapes, and other stuff for my house, and even a wedding dress for a friend.
When I was sewing a new dress the other day, I thought about how many people I know that don't know how to sew or find it difficult, so I decided to pass on some helpful and timesaving tips.
First of all, I have a grid printed on cardboard, which I open up and lay on the dining room table. I cut out everything at once (I was making two dresses, a scarf, and a pillowcase.) For the dress I am going to show you, I ironed the fabric (having washed and dried it beforehand to pre-shrink it, and important step) and ironed the pattern pieces I needed before cutting them out. After cutting, I made marks for the darts with a special washable marker, then took the pins out and folded the fabric once or twice with the pattern, so I would know which pieces were which.
Next, I pinned all the darts and pieces together where I could. There are two important things to making something look great - sew it well and press as you go. I made a pile of items that were pinned and sewed each one, putting the sewn pieces in another pile, and then I pressed the seams:
After that, I kept sewing and pressing. I have a serger set up with the correct color of thread and I usually sew with that for most of the garment. In this case, I decided to line the dress, so I did not need to have serged edges.
The dress I made is like the purple one on the pattern envelope. The bodice is supposed to be lined but I decided to line the skirt, since the fabric is mostly white. It makes it easier in a way, but on the other hand, I am really sewing two dresses and putting them together. Once both the dress and the lining were sewn together, I basted the zipper in place (SOOO worth the time and effort!) and sewed the zipper, hemmed the dress and lining and I was done. I have a white belt that I put with it, though if I hadn't I would have bought the materials needed and made my own. (Maybe that can be another blog.)
My dress when done:
The best part is while I was sewing it, I came up with the idea for a new book.....