So, here it is my very first hand and machine stitched dress by me. I choose the Project Runway Simplicity Pattern 2444. I'm glad to have started out with this dress because there were quite a few blogs to visit for inspiration and a fabulous tutorial on YouTube that helped me along (more below).
First off, I'd like to say this was a "working" muslin for me. I'm hoping to do this dress again with some corrections to the pattern to better fit me.
Hat -ebay purchase vintage cartwheel hat
Necklace -Bakelite recently purchased
Bracelet -vintage but probably just regular ol'plastic. No matter, bought it to match:)
Dress-details below made by me from Simplicity 2444. Fabric is out of print but it is from Michele D'Amore Marcus Brothers, Metro Collection.
I added a little hook and eye but forgot to close it in this picture.
You can see how I had to add a couple of darts to the front at the top (also to the back). I hope in my next draft this will be corrected.
Work in process images:
1. Biggest issue - I had to add a couple of darts to the top neck area on front and back that I'm not too happy about but I didn't like how much bulk there was on the top. I've seen this issue on a couple of blogs so I'll have to figure out how to fix the pattern up for my next draft. If you have this problem when you try it out, here is a great blog post. I'll try this next.
2. The pattern called for you to cut the skirt into four sections. I don't understand why the front couldn't be one section. Next draft will be one section to the front.
3. I'll probably add to the hemline as I like it a bit longer. In this case I didn't hem anything under so there was no seam allowance. I added a bias strip to the bottom.
4. Next dress I will learn how to add a lining. I didn't like the interfacing on the sleeves and neck area.
5. For some odd reason when I was making the sleeves, one turned out slightly bigger than the other, I'm sure this was totally my fault. Next time, I'll make sure they match before stitching them on. I was able to fix this.
6. When I went to put in the hook and eye, I realized my top was slightly off at the top with the bias binding, too late to correct. I'll have to keep in mind to make sure this lines up better next time before stitching in place. This is completely my fault and not the pattern.
Things I Loved and Learned:
1. I tried out a couple of different stitching foots for my sewing machine. I didn't like the bias foot for my machine ended up doing it by hand with a neat gadget. Much more fun! I also loved making my own bias tape from coordinating fabric. This isn't part of the required dress pattern but is great for finishing off edges.
2. Loved the pockets in the dress, some people have said that they add bulk, but I don't think so. I almost considered not having them, glad I didn't.
3. I barely scraped by on my fabric amount, but this was my fault as I just grabbed the polka dot fabric I had, eyeballed it and thought, "I have more than enough".
4. I think I memorized this tutorial. So glad I had this to refer too! Thank you Professor PinCushion! I actually had bought the pattern and was looking around for resources and came across this one. Boy, did it make it so much easier for me not knowing a thing about how to do a pattern, how to cut, basically everything.
5. Keep note of the grain lines on your pattern, these could be your best friend. I was having a little difficulty laying out some of my pieces based upon the pattern directions. I had cut off a section thinking I didn't need it when, I probably did. But, lucky for me, I just followed the grain line on the fabric pattern and it was okay.
6. Actually loved putting in a zipper. I put in an invisible zipper and it wasn't too difficult. It helped me out a lot that I bought an invisible zipper foot. I recommend this foot to those of you considering making dresses.
7. This pattern does give you the confidence to go out and try other patterns.
8. My belt was total fate! I love the idea of fabric matching belts (in general). It is difficult to find the resources to make these. I was cruising around ebay a few weeks ago and an auction for a bunch of vintage belt kits with just the belt material caught my eye. You may also remember my button buy here. Isn't it great that in this batch of buttons was a matching buckle the perfect color for what I needed for this dress?