Monday, March 12, 2012

In the present

Happy Daylight Savings Time! Ugh. I woke up early today- before the sun was even up! My honey had to get up in the cold and dark to go to work in this first week of Daylight Saving, so I got up to keep him company.

Uh-huh, right. I got up to play my new addiction, err- game, Star Wars The Old Republic. It’s very moreish, as in one more minute/quest/hour. . . It’s also a time suck, which is why I get up at the crack of dawn to play it, so I don’t loose any crafting/sewing/cooking/chore time for the rest of the day. Which is how I’ve been able to get this done for you:

b5618sewalong blog

My first sew-along! I’ve been working really hard (okay, so it’s only got two pieces. . . I’ve done other things, too. Like gotten to level 10 in three days! ahem.) Let’s get started, shall we?

I’ve been wanting a new spring dress like this for a few years, but never had the guts to start one, ‘cause I thought it would be too hard. Darts and all, you see- darts are hard, right? Not as hard as I once thought. I am soo glad I made up this dress! This first dress is what’s called a toile- a first draft, a warm-up, a fitting shell as it were. I like it a lot, and plan on wearing it as is- but I’m glad I went to the trouble of making it, so that I was able to locate the areas that need a little work. The next one I make should fit perfectly- and, I now know what size patterns to buy, since I took the time to measure everything. Let’s look at the steps I took to make this, shall we?

measure everything blog

Step one- I measured everything. And I mean EVERYTHING- I had my husband help me measure my back. Then, and here’s the sneaky part- I added an inch to every measurement. That adds your ease, automatically. I then used that measurement to pick out my patterns, and you know what? It worked! Turns out I’ve been buying the wrong size for years, which is why nothing I ever made fit, and why I lost patience time after time and had almost decided I hate to sew. I am soo glad I gave it another shot.

Step two- deciding what I want to make. I went through my list of demands, and went to the store with an idea in mind of what I wanted. Here’s what that list looked like:

  1. less than five pattern pieces
  2. no sleeves
  3. darts
  4. no gathering
  5. cotton fabric

I resurfaced from the fabric store with about five different patterns- they were on sale, and I needed to start rebuilding my collection with the right size range anyway, so it was an awesome deal. I’ll get to the other patterns later in the year, now that I’ve gotten a successful project under my belt- finally. It feels good to be sewing for myself again!

Step three- picking out the fabric. I had a lot of quilter’s cotton in shades of pink, mauve and purples I wanted to use, so I dug those out of my stash, washed and ironed them. I know there’s a whole wash-don’t-wash before sewing debate out there, but that’s for quilters who want their quilt to come out looked smooth or rumpled, not sewing garments. You have to wash your fabric before cutting it, or it’ll shrink and be a size smaller after you’re done sewing and washing it. Or worse, the pieces will all shrink different amounts (especially if your lining with a different fabric content!) Wash, dry and iron your fabric- it’ll save you some heartache, promise. That takes me a whole afternoon, so I decided to spend a day per step with this project- I’ve tried too many times in the past to rush my sewing projects, only to end up hating the results. I’ve learned for myself I would rather stretch something out over two weeks that try to get it done by the weekend.

Oh, and a note here- I don’t craft on the weekend. My husband works during the week, and I am done before he gets home at night, too. It is less stressful for me to get my “work” done while I’m at home alone- I can relax and focus on the job at hand without distractions, and I don’t have to get embarrassed that someone see’s me loose my temper with a crooked seam. . .

So, at this point I’ve measured myself, picked out a pattern, chosen my fabric and gotten it prepped for sewing. I’ll show you the next few steps after you’ve had a chance to catch up. Meanwhile, I’ve got to lock up the sewing machine before the faeries take it out for a spin. Last time I caught them trying to sew their shoes to their feet. Something about losing shadows. . .

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