Dressmaking triumph- and another disaster!

So since my last post I’ve actually made two quilts, neither of which I think I can show for months and months yet. Isn’t that always the way!

Between lots of this and that, I’ve been persevering with the dressmaking. The first project is my Shelby Romper (top and below).

This is a pattern by True Bias and I love how they even tell you when to do a seam edge finish in the steps. It’s very comprehensive! I had a couple of hours (no exaggeration) puzzling over the bottom of the button area facing and how to make it the right shape, but I did it, and that was the only stumbling block.

Another great thing is the pattern seemed to be accepting of my belly podge / usually two sizes bigger / hog body waist measurement, and I didn’t have to do any additional grading, I just chose to cut out a size 8. I reduced the back length by 1 1/4″ (because I always have too much fabric in the back), held my breath and went for it! I took the time to test my buttonhole stitch on scraps because I have to use my cheap machine for those and I’m glad I did, that all went without a hitch.

I LOVE how this turned out, despite it being incredibly difficult to try and pattern match a large scale print on princess seams. It’s a polyester drapey fabric which means it comes out of the dryer ready to wear with no wrinkles. And I added pockets!

I then tried to make a t-shirt and cut the pattern too small. So I skipped that.

Next, I mostly made the YoYo Dress from Papercut Patterns. These instructions are a little less comprehensive (meaning I had to think about how and when I was going to finish my seams and what direction to press the darts, etc), and I had to shorten the back 3/4″ and taper from a small bust and hip to between medium and large on the waist. Because it relies on a certain length separating zipper and I shortened the back, I also had to lengthen the dress from the bottom of the skirt area to make up for it. I actually lengthened it two inches and then changed the front split accordingly because I like my dresses to sit a little longer anyway.

So the sizing was a little more involved, and the fabric was very shifty. I mean, so was the Shelby fabric but this was a very silky Fabricland find, meaning even when I used 100 pins to match the lines and cut out with a rotary cutter, those lines still don’t quite match on the cut pieces. The facing is sewn in using the burrito method and I really liked that part, it’s so clever! Oh and I added pockets to this pattern too! I have a standard cardboard template for side seam pockets now that I keep with my patterns, ready to go.

I ended up rejecting the project after accidentally cutting it with my serger, then even with replacing the damaged panel I had an appallingly mismatched front centre and trouble getting the lines to match on the bodice without making the neckline weird, and the zipper bulged at the crotch. I think the answer is to use a slightly heavier fabric, like a linen.

(Pattern printing done at Sew YYC, literally a 5 minute drive from my house!)

So much to sew, so little time!

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