Blueberry crush dress: long-awaited progress

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - neckband with pins

After buying the fabric and cutting out the pieces in August (!!!), I finally have some progress to report on my hot-mama blueberry crush dress (Butterick 5602).  (BTW, have I mentioned how much I love this color combination?)  : )  The pattern is a relatively simple shift dress, but it’s a good opportunity for a sewing novice like me to practice some basic skills.  For example, above you can see the pink neckband ready to be sewn… using about a million pins to hold it in place.  I need the security of lots of pins, people!  An accomplished sewist once told me that the more you sew, the fewer pins you use.  Clearly I’m still in the beginning stages, haha.

I’m using cream-colored Kona cotton for the lining, leftover from my fist version of Butterick 5602 (the black and white dress).  Although it doesn’t really match the blue and pink, it won’t show when I’m wearing it.  Yay for using stash fabric!

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - invisible zipper guts

The outer seam of the neckband didn’t come out to badly, huh?  Clearly the pins are working their magic.  : )  Above you can see a few things that will need to be sewn in place by hand, including sewing the cream lining to the zipper tape and sewing down the interior facing of the neckband.  Oh, how I love tedious hand sewing…

As for the invisible zipper, after pinning it in place three times (ugh!), I finally managed to get it in such that the two back pieces of the dress were aligned properly.  Phew!!  I used the wonderful invisible zipper tutorial over at Coletterie, which worked like a charm.  This was my first truly invisible zipper in which I ironed the teeth flat and everything, and WOW did that make a huge difference!  Lesson learned!  It was a little scary but totally worth the effort.  : )

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - invisible zipper

See how invisible it is?  Awesome.  I think it will look pretty crisp and professional once the neckband edges are all finished.  It’s almost as if I’m really learning how to make garments properly…  : )

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - armhole facingsSince I’m using a lining that doesn’t really match the outside of the dress, I decided to add facings to the armholes using some leftover blue fabric.  And guess what?  I slapped them together myself, without a pattern or anything!  Smug, me?  No way.  : )

I didn’t take any in-progress photos, but basically I just cut out a piece of fabric in the shape of the armhole, pressed the outer edge under 5/8″, and top stitched it in place along the outer edge of the facing.  The inner edge then got sewn into the armhole seam.  I didn’t cut away the cream lining underneath the facing because I wanted the extra stability/support.  It was a little scary to just throw these in without any instructions, but it worked out just fine!  Now I don’t have to worry about the lining peeking out if the armhole gapes a bit.

And speaking of gaping, I doubt much of that will actually be happening, as this dress is super tight.  I wanted it to be a hot-mama dress, right?  : )  I purposefully cut a smaller size because the black and white dress came out a little big, and boy did that make a difference.  This baby will fit me like a glove.

Stay tuned for more progress.  Have you ever made a hot-mama dress?  : )

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