ALERT: I stopped blogging because my life got REALLY FREAKING EXCITING. Sorry about that. I moved to Portland. I became immersed in vintage fabric and sewing pattern beauty. I met this amazing guy that swept me off my feet. I biked my butt off for pedalpalooza. I adopted a St. Bernard that weighs as much as I do. HE IS HUGE. And I started a new job in Human Services that is pretty awesome. Moving forward... (with a delay of many months)
This pattern was just too good to be true-- a shirtwaist dress with a semi-circle skirt, an opportunity to test a pattern before release, a pattern name that happened to be the neighborhood I'd just moved to after relocating to PDX from Seattle, and a pattern number that matches my birthday.
I love the way the skirt swings and twirls when I walk, dance, play, etc. My friend Emily gave (read: gives) me a hard for wearing this dress too many days per week, but this is the article of clothing that I feel best in. I took the time to try and get the fit right (sewed my first muslin!) and found that I fell somewhere between size 0 and 2 in this pattern size range. I graded from 0 at the bust to 2 at the waist and had to increase the armscye dept, but otherwise this pattern fit like a charm.
Sewing details? Easy breezy. Colette Patterns have in-depth and some of the best instructions/illustrations for sewing and assembly-- their work is geared toward the burgeoning seamstress and encourages us to learn new techniques or perfect simple things like topstitching. My biggest struggle with this dress is silly in retrospect, but that armscye binding nearly brought me tears. Mind you, this was pre-pattern release and I haven't seen how the instructions have changed, but I read and re-read and read again to no avail. I watched youtube videos. I looked at other books. I was like WHY THE FRACK* IS THIS SO HARD FOR ME?
At the time this was happening the Laurel sewalong (with its many amazing prizes) was taunting me-- I knew I didn't have time to try and slam TWO dresses out. Moving across state lines was hard and I had to hurry and unpack my sewing goods to get going on Hawthorn, and then I broke down and gave up. I just couldn't finish those FREAKING ARMHOLES.And those buttons TAKE FOREVER. I'm just learning to love hand-sewing so don't get mad at me.
IT'S A MIRACLE. Therein lies the answers for one struggling with bias binding! ITS EASY! Just read the tutorial in the free booklet of extras and don't be an idiot! SEE! A pretty red contrast binding.
Project details: A lightweight denim that I bought from goodwill for under $10, and this dress didn't even use half the yardage. Vintage/reclaimed bone buttons. If you look closely, each of these buttons is different and they all appear to have been made by hand. Contrast bias binding for the armscye. Hand-stitched hem. And top-stitching/edge-stitching that is less than perfect because the tension on my machine was EFFED.
Good news, I had my machine serviced at Modern Domestic and got it back just in time to start my next pattern testing project. Weee! I'll show you that pretty piece in one week... once the next pattern is released. :)
*Note: random Battlestar Galactica reference