MY FIRST ATTEMPT
I have made clothes for myself before. Two skirts to be exact. One with an elastic waste and one with a zippered waist. Working with a quarter of the body is actually pretty easy. And skirts are pretty easy to make anyway. A dressmaker I am not…at least not yet. In a recent post I wrote that I was jonesing to make something for myself: “I’m getting really antsy to sew something for myself. And I’m feeling that it needs to be something big, like a dress or skirt or top or something…” to quote myself.
I have gone and done just that. My very first attempt at an adult-sized dress (if you’re going to make fun then go ahead and leave it in a comment, I want to laugh too):
(Photo by Reagan) Where did my waist go?
I found this fabric for $1 a yard and a pattern for $3.50. So, overall this dress cost me about $8 to construct. It’s a good thing because this dress stinks. It doesn’t smell bad. It’s crappy. But, as my husband keeps reminding me, it’s my first attempt. I think Project Runway has me thinking I should be able to construct haute couture right from the start.
The fabric is as thin as Bible paper and very slinky. I was worried about it being see through and so I layered two layers of the fabric and then a layer of lining. So my waist is hiding under all that fabric. It’s so thick around the middle. Doesn’t help that God didn’t proportion me like a Barbie doll (my proportions are more like Ken’s). The dress is a little big too.
I was really proud of myself with the sleeves. I’ve never made sleeves before, even on kid clothes. However, I see in the photo above that they’re not even. Oh well, I’ve always got a kid on my hip, so no one will notice. The hem actually turned out pretty even. I did spend a long time on that, comparatively. But with that kid on my hip it won’t look even. This is also the first time I’ve ever done darts. There were six total on this dress. I’ll just tell you now, and maybe you already know this: trying to make darts in slinky fabric is, well, let’s just say it’s difficult.
I really liked the fabric when it was rolled up on the bolt. Not too sure about it now. It does hide sewing imperfections. Small imperfections. The big ones stand out even more–I didn’t even try to match up the pattern when piecing the dress together. One of the pieces is even upside down (you don’t have to look that hard to see it).
So, even though it stinks, it’s my stinky dress that I made and I’m going to wear it. If I only wear it once I got my money’s worth out of it.
ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS
I am not done with the home-sewn look though. I’m moving on to bigger and better things (let’s hope, right). Here’s what’s next:
in this fabric (it’s plaid with velvet flowers)
2) This outfit
The top will be
and the pants will be
it’s a white twill
3) This jacket
The sleeves will have a straight cuff, not ruffled. The yoke will be the low neck (like in the inset) and will have a collar. The length will be longer than in the picture. It will be in this fabric
It’s a shiny goldy-silvery concoction.
Total investment in these four new pieces: $19 (great use of a Christmas gift card and sales.)
Ambitious? I’d say so. But who got anywhere by sitting still? I’m learning that I have to be willing to try–and mess up along the way. That’s the only way to get better. Since nobody’s all that good when they first begin. Right?