May 29, 2013

Fitting and some tips on sewing with patterns

I've a lot to say on this post, so I'll do my best to not be so long. I decided taking some pictures (just to have some fun :-D) while I was fitting this dress I made for myself. As I couldn't ask my two years old to take the pictures, so those are the pics I've got! :-)

I chose a very simple  dress to make inspired in the 1960's  from the book BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern. I bought the fabric specially for this project. It's Carnaby Street  Black Tea from Art Gallery (by Pat Bravo) from a collection totally inspired in the 60's too! Perfect! The instructions in the book are fair enough and the pattern so easy that I couldn't' go wrong, right? Oh, well, not exactly...

When I was drawing the pattern on the paper I realize the patterns in this book doesn't come with seam allowances included. So, I decided to draw a extra 1/4 inch around the pattern. I did it with my regular ruler for quilting, not a curved one. As you can imagine it was very hard (and time consuming) with a lot of curves on the pattern specially on the lining pieces. I probably added a little bit more than 1/4 inch around the pattern, but I thought it should be good having some ease to better fit the dress (first mistake).

While fitting I realized the dress didn't fit well on the back (too large) and the hems were too short (not my fault! kind of...).  I could've avoided this surprise if I had sewing with muslin first as I've learned is the best way to avoid mistakes and also it gives a chance to make some changes before cutting your precious fabric (second mistake :-/) Some patterns will just not fit you perfectly, the pattern companies adopt different size charts for their patterns. Different countries have different charts too.

Here are some tips to not make the same mistakes I did on this one!

1- Take your measurements accurately. Never go for the next or smaller size on your own and use a curved ruler if you need to ad seam allowances on your pattern.

2- Use muslin to test your pattern! Muslin fabric is so cheap, you can buy one yard for $1.99 or less (I usually buy at Joann). Oh, yes I had a lot of muslin, I just underestimated the simplicity of the pattern and thought I was at Project Runway and could sew this dress in no time :-)

3- Don't get frustrated or discouraged with some mistakes you made on the way. If you didn't cut your precious fabric in pieces there is always a way to fix some minor errors. I could fix the hem (too short in my opinion) adding a 1 1/2 inches stripe on the bottom and folding it  to the wrong side of the dress. I got a very nice hem and was happy with my finishing. I also can fix the back (too large) with darts or using a simple belt!

See more pictures of this dress here. Yes, I finished it and it is kind of cute ;-) I also made one for my daughter (same print on green) and she is darling cute on it! I'll be back soon!


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