Sgt. Pepper dress: getting there!

Sgt Pepper dress - progress 2 - front

Remember about 10 years ago when I started this project?  Oh wait, it was only 3 weeks ago?  Man, that seems like forever!  This past month has been super busy with work, and then I went to the west coast for a week, and then I caught a cold on the last day of my trip… all of which makes for slow progress on the sewing front.  Boo!  Thankfully, I’m happy to report that I’m back home, mostly recovered from my cold, and back to my normal sewing routine.  And behold: I’ve actually made some progress on my funky dress!

Continue reading

The invisible zipper is my sewing nemesis

Yellow polka dot dress - invisible zipper installed

It took me 2 hours and a lot of cursing, sweating, and exasperated sighs… but I managed to install the invisible zipper on my yellow polka dot dress.  Phew!  Why is this always such a challenge for me?  I tell myself that it’s because I don’t have an invisible zipper foot and am using a regular zipper foot, but can it really make that much of a difference?  Regardless, it’s done now, and I don’t want to think about zippers again for a good long while.  : )

Despite all the drama, I’m actually fairly pleased with how everything came out.  I guess all my frustration was worth it?  You can see from the photo above that there are no glaring errors and that the neckband and waistband seams match up pretty well, so I guess I’m calling this a success.  Hurrah!

Continue reading

Long weekend = lots of sewing progress!

Turquoise and yellow dress - outside front

Apparently all I needed to really get this dress in gear was a 3-day weekend, because this baby is almost DONE!  Woo hoo!  : )  Between yesterday and tonight after work, I put the skirt pieces together, attached them to the bodice, and put in the invisible zipper.  This just goes to show how much sewing I could get done if I didn’t have to work!  Wouldn’t that be nice?  : )

Continue reading

A full day of sewing!

Bright happy dress - sneak peek

I got a ton of sewing done on my bright happy dress yesterday – see how cute it’s looking so far?  : )  The photo above is just a little sneak peak… because you *know* I had to try it on as soon as the zipper went in, haha.  Lots of in-progress photos below – enjoy!

Continue reading

One pattern, four spring skirts!

Four skirts - Butterick 5613 - View A - View C

Spring has sprung!  I whipped up these four spring skirts from a single pattern – Butterick 5613.  How cute!  The top two are View A, a gathered skirt with side seam pockets and a matching sash, and the bottom two are View C, a pleated skirt with a deeper waistband.  Each skirt probably took me about 2 weekends to put together – not bad at all.

Butterick 5613 pattern art

Above is the pattern art – the pink skirt all the way on the right is View A (corresponding to my two cream colored skirts), and the yellow one on the left is View C (my pink and black/white skirts).  I made a few modifications as I’ll describe below, but overall I followed the pattern pretty closely.  Lots more photos below!

Continue reading

Mad Men dress: more hand sewing

Mad Men dress - hand sewing the liningI’ve been slowly but surely plugging away on my purple Mad Men dress (vintage Vogue 7298).  I didn’t find much sewing time this week, but tonight I managed to finish hand-sewing the lining into the bodice.  I folded under the edges of the lining along the zipper tape and along the top of the skirt and tacked them in place using a simple mattress stitch.  Easy peasy! Continue reading

Finishing a dress with hand-sewn details

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - lining pinned to zipper tape

Thanks to a relaxing weekend at home, my blueberry crush dress is moving right along.  I wanted to highlight a few of the hand-sewn finishing details in this post, mainly for two reasons: (1) I think details like this are a nice touch for a handmade garment; and (2) I have a lot of room for improvement in my hand-sewing skills!  Perhaps we can all learn from each other.  : )

First up, hand-sewing the lining to the zipper tape.  In the photo above, I’ve pressed under the 5/8″ seam allowance on each edge of the cream lining fabric, and I’ve carefully pinned the lining to the zipper tape.  (Note that I had already inserted the invisible zipper into the fashion fabric in a previous step.)  To avoid any stitching lines on the outside of the garment (and to keep the zipper as invisible as possible), the pattern (Butterick 5602)  calls for hand stitching the lining to the tape.  Ugh, what a task!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading