Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Triumphant Return

Hi everyone. I will apologize, once again and hopefully for the last time, for my absence. Things are finally starting to fall into place and it looks like I might have the energy, motivation, and time to get back into sewing. I haven't returned to my former level of vigor, but I'm tryin', peeps. I'm out of the blogging habit, as you will see from the post, and completely forgot to take in progress pictures.

But despite my lack of outgoing projects, my desire purchase large quantities of fabric was only slightly diminished. So when has one of their clearing out sales, and I have coupons, and I feel the need to do therapy shopping, well, you can imagine what happens.
This beauty was on sale for $4.95/yd and I had a 15% off coupon. I couldn't find any designer information, and the only title I have for this was "Halloween Words and Motifs on Black" - quite creative, right? I didn't realize until after I'd purchased and washed the fabric that "scary" is spelled as "scarey". actually has an entry for the usage on the fabric, so I guess it isn't strictly an incorrect spelling, per se, just non-traditional. I harrumphed a little, but in the end, I decided that if it had taken me that long to notice, no one else ever would. I valiantly resolved to press on.
I purchased this a while back. I picked it because it seemed simple enough to knock off in an afternoon (and it was). I sewed up view A. Despite its easy nature, this pattern did have its odd aspects. The facing had darts, but the dress didn't; it did, however, have gathering that the facing did not.
The facing was not understitched. You can see it that picture that it doesn't lay as flat as it should. I didn't press it, which is part of the issue, but if I made this again, I would certainly understitch. The only real modification I made was the length (I did a 5/8" hem instead of 1 1/4", as I usually do) and instead of creating a button loop out of thread, I cut some leftover fabric on the bias and used that instead. The button here came from the stash. I know it probably shocks readers to know that I just happened to have jack o'lantern buttons laying around.
It has become apparent to me that Azzurra and I are no longer really the same shape. While she is adjustable, I think the waist is at the smallest setting and is still too big. She also bulges in places I don't. I'll have to adjust her and she how much I can fix. I've heard of people taking these forms apart and adding or removing foam, but I think that might be beyond my skill level (and certainly is beyond my current level of motivation). She also doesn't stand straight, though that might be the carpet.
Since I am much less curvy than she is, the dress doesn't cling so much. I'm still pretty happy about how it turned out and I'm looking forward to starting the Halloween countdown. Less than six months to go!

As I previously mentioned this dress was pretty easy. I would say it is a good pattern for a beginner. The challenges include:
  • darts, but in the facing only, so they don't have to be perfect,
  • gathering, but only the small amount I showed above,
  • facings, which I never thought were difficult, but some people do,
  • and inserting a zipper, which is something a sewing enthusiast is going to need to master early on anyway
This could probably be tackled as a first garment.


  1. Oh my God, I love it! And I bought an unreasonable amount of fabric at the last sale...I could probably do nothing but sew for three years with the amount I already have! Oh, well, it's worth it. And I love the pumpkins, they're so cute! It's a great combo with the cut of the dress.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one addicted to buying fabric. I'm *trying* not to buy anything unless I have something definitive planned for it, but I am not always successful.

      Thanks! I agree that this cut was good for the fabric - I think anything too long or too full would have been overwhelmed by the busy-ness of the pattern.

  2. This dress is totally adorable!!! Oh, how I wish I had time to do real sewing, from scratch. I'm quite handy with alterations, but starting with a pattern and ending up with a finished product never seems to work out for me... Except shrugs. Simple, 1-hour shrugs I can handle. :)

    Dumb question - what does understitch mean? Part of my problem with patterns is the occasional sewing term that I don't understand. Maybe I should've taken Home Ec in high school instead of all those Graphic Arts classes!!

    1. I didn't start out being able to make dresses like this. I started with curtains and aprons. It has taken years of work to achieve this. I look back on some of the early garments I produced and all I can think of is how much fabric I wasted. I didn't take Home Ec either - I taught myself through trial and error (quite a bit of error).

      It's hard to explain in words, but after you've sewn your facing to your dress/blouse/whatever, you trim the seam and then sew it down onto the facing. This helps it lay flat and hides the stitching (it's only visible from the facing side).

    2. And thank you. :) It says a lot about my new job that when I wore this, I got "You're wearing Halloween stuff again? Cool!" instead of the "You're wearing Halloween stuff again? When are you going to grow up?" I would have heard at the old job.