Making progress, slowly but surely

01 Black and white dress - in progressThe black and white dress is moving along, slowly but surely!  I’m starting to realize that garment construction, at least for a beginner, is a very slooooow process.  However, despite the glacier-like pace of this project, I’ve been really enjoying both the sewing and the uphill climb of the learning curve.  I like to take on projects that will challenge me a bit, and this is all very new and challenging at this point.  : )  Above you can see the current state of the dress, with the print and lining sandwiched together.  I’m happy with the look of it so far, but I have a long way to go, including the black neckband and fixing some mistakes.

I made a lot of progress this weekend, cutting out all the pattern pieces and starting to sew everything together.  Although I was able to squeeze in the front and back pieces right next to each other on the lining fabric…

02 Cutting the lining… I wasn’t so lucky with the print!  Oh well.  Maybe I can make something small with the scraps of the print (a matching bag??), and perhaps I can line another dress with the cream fabric at some point.

03 Cutting the fashion fabricI found a good method for marking darts on YouTube (sorry, I can’t find the video now to post the link).  If I recall correctly, the little pieces of thread are called “tailor’s tacks” and are used to transfer the location of the dart from the pattern to the fabric.  The method actually worked extremely well – accurately marking the darts and leaving no permanent damage on the fabric.  I just pulled out the threads after I was finished sewing.  Plus, I felt very technical while doing it.  : )  The only downside was that it took FOREVER.

04 Marking the dartsAfter cutting and marking all the pieces, I started assembling the dress.  I got as far as sewing the shoulder seams, side seams, and armholes (which you can see below), in addition to knocking out all the darts.  I have to say, I really like the look of a lined dress.  It looks and feels very professional and luxurious.  : )

05 Closeup of dart and armholeHowever, when I finally had enough seams sewn to try it on, I realized that my fancy shoulder adjustments weren’t needed after all.  Ahhhh!  Now I’ll have to rip out the shoulder seams and part (all?) of the armholes, re-cut the top of all the pieces (and the neckband pieces), and try to re-jigger everything to make it all work.  I’m not sure what happened since I always have a problem in the shoulders, but I was able to pinch out pretty much all the extra length I had added!  Hahaha, oh well.

Progress is slow, remember?  I keep telling myself this.  : )

Anyway, in other news, Maggie must be hitting her rebellious teenage years because I caught her on my dresser (in the photo below) and on my kitchen counters today, neither of which she’s been on since the day I brought her home.  What a little diva!

06 Maggie on dresserHope you all enjoyed the weekend!  It was pretty rainy/cloudy here in Boston, but it made for some good sewing time and Olympics-watching.  Go Team USA!

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