Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Not like I needed yet another hobby, but I have been wanting to learn to sew for a while now. Actually, I can "sew" if that means turning on the machine, figuring out how to wind the bobbin and sew a simple piece of fabric. Curtains? No problemo. Pillowcase? Easy peasy. Anything else? Um, what's an underseam and how in the heck do you make a ruffle? Or put in a zipper? So, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew, and more specifically, be able to sew clothes for the girls. Of course I couldn't attempt this until I had a sewing machine, and since I got that one from my mother-in-law a few weeks back, I've been chomping at the bit to try it out.

The last time we were out and about, I had the girls each pick out a pattern for a dress that looked somewhat "easy". Not that I really had any clue what that meant. Then a week or so later, we made it to the fabric store where they picked out the fabric for their dresses and I picked up all the extras like ribbon, elastic, a zipper and some eye-hook button things. Then, finally, yesterday I had time to get down to it.

I started with Kera's because it looked easiest with no lining, zipper or buttons. I could pretty easily follow the pattern to cut out the fabric correctly and had no problem doing the basic stitches. But then it got to the part where you work the elastic into the back part. Talk about a pain in the rear!! I felt like throwing that particular piece of fabric across the room several times, but finally I got it, even if it wasn't exactly as they said. The rest of it came together pretty easily, though, so I was grateful for that. In the process I did realize that sewing terminology isn't always the same as English, and I did have to resort to searching for a few things on Youtube to get a visual on how to do it. So grateful for that! All in all, it probably took me a good day to do Kera's dress, but I think it turned out okay. It's a bit big on her, so she'll have to wear a tank/tshirt under it but it mostly fits her (she can get it on and its not too short or too tight) and she likes it, so I guess that means I did good.

A view from the front.

and the back.

She likes it!!

After I was done with Kera's I was excited to get going on Lindsay's. I felt even more confident cutting out her fabric after having done Kera's, so that part went fast. Even sewing on the sleeves wasnt' too difficult. Doing the skirt was another thing though. It consisted of two different rows of ruffles and the first one was okay but I didn't get the whole ruffle part very well, so it looks a little shabby. Then the second ruffle I had to pull out a whole long row of stitching and redo it because I didn't notice a setting on my machine had reset back to default. Once I got it redone, though, it was okay. I really dreaded putting in the zipper, but it wasn't that horrible, just took some time figuring out the correct foot for it and pinning it in. Had I to redo it, I would do it differently, but once it was done I didn't feel like re-doing it, so I left it. The end result? The dress mostly fits Lindsay, but it just doesn't hang super well and the neck kind of pulls on her when I hook the button at the top. I'm not sure she exactly likes it, either. In fact she's so picky in how clothes feel that I might have to bribe her to get her to even wear it once (besides the pictures below).

(See that flat area on the light blue that should be ruffley?)

So, I can say I've successfully sewed two dresses for my girls. Sure, they could've been better but I am sort of teaching myself here, so the learning curve could be steep. I'm proud of the fact that I didn't quit halfway and leave a half-sewn dress down stairs in my craft pile!  I think next I will dry something different. A long shirt/tunic, or pj's or something like that. We'll see!

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