February 9, 2016

Christmas Dress

I started this dress last Christmas (2014). I found this tutorial and free pattern. And totally copied it. 

Except ...
As you've heard me say here a few times, I am no seamstress. Clothes making is usually very stressful for me. I get confused in the directions, the language is foreign to me and majority of the time end up calling my mom (multiple times) or have her do the 'tricky' part.

I thought I was doing pretty good with this dress - until I sewed the sleeves. I must have missed something while reading and re-reading the instructions. Also, I'm just not that good. My first run at it ended up making the sleeves look like armor. I really should have taken a picture! I was so frustrated with it, I gave up!

And there it sat. Balled up in the corner for a year. I would look at it every once in a while and think to myself 'I really should finish that'. But as soon as those armor sleeves showed themselves, I was out!
I finally talked myself into tackling it once again. After unpicking nearly the entire bodice, I got the sleeves on and looking decent. whew!

The rest should be a breeze, right?! Practically yes! I did have one other little hiccup though. There was supposed to be a band just under the bodice. It was there. My girl tried the dress on, and I did not like it. More specifically, I did not like the band. It made the dress look too big for her. I suppose I could have shortened the bodice, moving the band up. But I was feeling a bit of a time crunch with getting the dress finished, and just took the band off. 

Then, there was the zipper. I can do zippers. Just not this one. 
The elusive invisible zipper. 
I'm not really sure how it's sewn different. That's just what I'm told. And the diagrams that come with the zipper confuse me more than sewing on these sleeves. Luckily, my mom is an expert and had it on in no time.

Despite my incompetence to dress-making, this really is a beautiful dress. I love the way the shoulders are exposed, giving it a simple elegance. If I were to make this dress again (I really would like to), I would adjust the bodice and band to fit her better. Taking the band out made the skirt just a little tighter around. The poof is still there. However, when she sits down, we have to constantly adjust the skirt so she is properly covered. I might also make the skirt just a bit fuller, too.

This little girl loves to get dressed up!
Makes it all worth it. Even if it did take me a year to get it finished ;)

It's not the dress, it's me -- I cut out a dress last Summer -- and that's as far as I got.
I'm hoping to get to it before the end of this Summer. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming to think about it.
Then it's done, and I'm already planning the next one :)

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