Red polka dot dress – finished!

01 Red polka dot dress - finishedWell there you have it, my first dress, finished!  : )  It’s far from perfect, but for my first attempt at garment construction, I’d say it was a success.  And I mean really, what dress couldn’t be a success in such a lively, fun print?  : )  My red polka dot dress is based on Butterick B5676 with a healthy dose of alterations.  I think the finished product is a nice combination of cute and classy, perfect for a summer night out in Boston.  All in all, I love it!

Continue reading

And the winner is…

Butterick B5602

Butterick 5602!  With the clear shaping lines and the instructions for lining the dress, I figured this would be a good next project for me.  I can learn a few new skills and continue to practice altering patterns, and hopefully I’ll wind up with a sexy finished product.  : )

Continue reading

Choosing a dress based on fit

Butterick B5676 line artTime to choose a new project!  While my red polka dot dress is waiting for its fitting session (for which I’ve successfully recruited a friend!), I’ve been thinking about what to tackle next… taking into account a few lessons learned from my first dress.  While I love the look of the red polka dot dress (Butterick B5676, line drawing shown above), I’ve learned through actually making it that it incorporates very little fitting, hence the need for a friend to pinch in all the excess for me.  Now I can see the lack of darts in the line drawing – hindsight is 20/20, right?  There is a slight curve in at the waist, but a well-fitted dress really needs shaping in the front and back, not just along the sides.  Also, bust darts are a must.  Even for small boobs like mine!  So, with these newly-acquired bits of knowledge in mind, I’ve come up with a handful of prospects.

Continue reading

Finishing an armhole with bias tape

Finished bias tape armholeWondering how to finish the armhole of your sleeveless garment?  Bias tape!  I am in awe of its magical powers, seriously.  I used this tutorial over at Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing to finish the armholes of my red polka dot dress, and it worked fabulously.  Thanks Amanda!  (BTW, her blog is filled with amazing handmade garments – go check it out!)  This was my first attempt at using bias tape  and my first time finishing armholes, so needless to say, it was a bit of an adventure.  However, I’m happy to report that it was a success.  Awesome!  Here’s what I did:

Continue reading

Darts for perfectionists

Long time, no post!  Funny how life gets in the way of things.  Between now and my last post (eeek, March!), I passed my Qualifying Exam in school (hooray!), did a bunch of traveling (for work and otherwise), and… I bought a sewing machine!!!  And not just any sewing machine, oh no.  I got a Bernina.  Ohhhhhh Bernina, how do I love thee?  It’s an Activa 210, the basic model but quite the robust piece of machinery.  I am in love with it.  You know how I fall in love with my crafts, ahem.  : )

Anyway, I started working on a red polka dot dress right after my exam.  At this point it’s all put together, and I’m currently working on fitting and finishing.  Today’s post: DARTS!  My first-ever darts on my first-ever dress.  How exciting!  Disclaimer: I have no idea how to sew darts.  Really.  So, in lieu of actually looking up how to do it properly, I figured out a way that works for me and my perfectionist tendencies.  Enjoy!

Continue reading