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First Adventure in Sewing

So I just finished sewing a dress.  This is my first real sewing project.  I've made pajama pants out of uncomfortable fabric for girl scouts and those stuffed animal patterns for home ec in middle school.  This is the first time I've really made something for realz.

I learned a lot from this process and I'm going to share it here so others can learn, but if sewing is not your thing and you couldn't care less, may I recommend skipping this post?  I don't want to waste your time.

I pulled out my trusty sewing case
Yes, this did not originate as mine...
It was a requirement to take Home Ec in middle school so Mom put together a nice sewing box with all the requirements when my brother was in 6th grade.  He used it for the class and never again so on it went to my sister.  She used it for the class and never again so you see where this is going... on it went to me.  I kept it.
Clearly it only had the basics, but I can now accurately vouch the tracing paper has definitely lost it's tracing abilities.  Sad.  Yes, it was bought in '93.
And somehow it lost it's seam ripper, not sure if it was even there by the time I got it in 6th grade, but it's definitely not there now.  This made my dress experience a bit more challenging....

So let's get started.

Rubina helped me pick out some patterns & fabric at the going out of business sale at Hancock Fabrics on Broadway.  We just kept saying we would keep it nice and easy for my first adventure in sewing.

This time I decided to make Simplicity 1776.  No sleeves.  No contrast binding or embellishments.  There were 11 pattern pieces (I didn't have to use all of them.)
Cutting out fabric and lining.  Easy peasy.

I was cruising along, no problem, until I got to the pockets and then I started to realize the pattern is very difficult to understand as a novice.  
Words I learned:
Ease stitches these help to form the underside of the pockets to bunch up the fabric.  You can see them on this photo of me pressing the pockets after pulling the ease stitches
Interfacing does in fact have a right side!  I figured this out after fusing it to the wrong fabric several times.  I figured it out by just flipping it over, but I hear there is a shiny side and that's the side that goes down facing the fabric.
Sewing on the lining was just plain confusing!  As I learned and cannot say enough:  YouTube is my best friend.  Don't be ashamed or shy.
During my time sewing on the lining I had to completely rip it off, which was less than fun to say nicely.  Especially considering I didn't have a seam ripper...

I also found the zipper quite challenging (to ensure it lines up correctly... it can throw off the entire orientation of the dress... so much pressure!).
One fun thing I discovered was that sewing machines have zipper foots.
I'm glad I at least had that to help me.  I can't imagine how much I would have struggled without it.

So those were my most challenging parts of this dress, but I definitely learned a lot so I'm happy about that!

seam ripper
fabric marker
tracing paper

Things I'm unhappy with: *The drafts pucker.  And I tried to follow the directions so closely so it would NOT do this!
*It is a bit big.  When choosing which pattern size I would follow I was almost scared it would be too small.  Not so.
*the zipper is not perfect by a long shot.  it's rather difficult to zip up.

I have a long way to go....
BUT I'm on my way!!!
No, I did not wear it out like this... but this is the only photo I have right now.

I'm gearing up for my next sewing project.
I was going to make the middle one (with pockets) in black basically the same way it is here and then a few things happened.
1- I found the fabrics listed SO confusing.  I couldn't figure out what they were talking about or how to find it online.
2- I became so overwhelmed by the number of fabric options.
3- I don't know what fabrics are good for making a dress yet.
4- I started getting depressed about the winter.
And this is what I choose.

Needless to say, I have no idea how it's going to turn out.
On to the next adventure...


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