Bit of a bold title, but I’m over the moon at how well this experiment turned out so I thought I might as well brag a bit! Those who read my blog regularly will know that I’m not much of a seamstress. I have a bash every so often, but the things I make are rarely complicated and are generally quite small.
The idea of making a dress was, therefore, a bit ambitious to say the least. However I was quite determined as I wanted a new dress and hadn’t seen anything I particularly liked in the shops. I took a wander down to the fabric stall on Portobello Market and managed to find a lovely wool fabric that I thought would work with the design I had in mind.
Sadly I don’t have any work in progress photos as I was too busy concentrating, but it basically went like this:
- Step 1. Have a look at photos online of things that were vaguely what I had in mind.
- Step 2. Doodle on a bit of paper and come up with a pattern.
- Step 3. Bit of a new experience for me as I’m usually very vague and tend to guesstimate sizes, but I measured myself and then spent some time working out what sizes my pattern pieces needed to be.
- Step 4. I cut the pattern pieces out of felt and then pinned the lot together so I could see if the idea worked. It did!
- Step 5. I cut the pattern out of my lovely new fabric and then spent an awful lot of time bent over my sewing machine. I’m not a great seamstress so it took me a while. The sewing together of the dress was actually quite straightforward, but what was really fiddly was putting in the zip and tidying up the seams inside the dress.
I know, without progress photos it’s probably pretty pointless describing what I did. The point I’m trying to make is that this was very much a trial and error process (not too many errors thankfully, but I do think that was more due to luck than judgement!), and that I think most people could do this if they put their mind to it.
Not bad eh? Here are some close ups of the dress, you can see that I covered the inner seams with bias binding to stop them fraying, as I don’t have an overlocker for my sewing machine. I also hemmed it by hand to give an invisible hem. I chose pink bias binding for the inside of the hem so that it would at least look fetching if the wind caught it and flipped the dress up! The zip was quite tricky to put in as I didn’t have a zipper foot (I’ve now ordered one to use on my next dress, lesson learned!) but I think it’s come out ok. The only thing I keep forgetting to do is sew on a hook and eye at the top of the zip just to finish it off.
Thus ends my first foray into dressmaking. I’ve worn the dress a few times already and it really is perfect for me. Nice and comfy (well you’d hope so, given it was made to fit!), quite warm due to the choice of fabric, and nice roomy pockets for all the dog treats and poop bags I’m inevitably carrying around. I went to the market on Saturday and bought some more fabric (a lovely black wool with pinstripes – photo below, although the black looks grey there) and intend to make another dress with the same pattern very soon.