Polyester Delight

December 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Who else loves real, cold, hard patterns? You know those ones you don’t have to try to decipher from a Burda magazine or just draw them from scratch. As much as I love the challenge of drawing my own patterns, when it comes to making a dress for your boyfriend’s mother, it is a lot less risky just to hand over the cash and get the wisdom of someone else who has been trained and has probably been doing it for years (technically I didn’t hand over the cash, my mother did, but that is a mere detail!).

As mentioned here, I decided to sew a dress for my boyfriend’s mother for Christmas, specifically one New Look 6000, which has had a lot of good reviews over on Pattern Review. I accosted a younger sister and we rifled through her mum’s closet, racking our brains to remember which dresses fitted the best so I could take measurements. I ended up with a 6 at the bust, graded to a 10 at the waist and an 8 at the hips. This is the first time I have ever needed to grade anything, I’m a straight size through my upper bust, waist and hips and I just do a FBA for the chest situation, so naturally, the pattern was separated in to 4,6,8 and 10,12,14 for some of the pieces and other pieces only had one size per line drawing. It was definitely a learning curve!

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I made the version with the pleats at the waist and the longer sleeves just without the collar and cuffs. I haven’t hemmed the dress yet. I’m planning on getting that done once she had tried it on and I have made any fitting alterations. Grading through the pleats stumped me for a while and they still don’t look perfect but I know no one else will ever be able to see it. I lined the dress by just using the plain darted bodice. The fabrics are a polyester crepe from my mum and a polyester lining . Polyester! Polyester everywhere!

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Instead of using both a lining and a facing, which many people vote both for and against, I just cut the facings from interfacing and ironed the interfacing straight on to the lining. All the stiffness with none of the extra bulk. By accident, I swear it was and not just laziness, I ended up sewing the lining with the side seams of the fashion fabric. Whoops! Late night sewing never seems to do me any good. But I figure it will still work and she wears a petticoat. I’m safe, right?

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This was also the first time I had to sew sleeves all on my lonesome. I haven’t sewn sleeves since high school sewing class when we had to sew a sweatshirt. They were a pain in the ass then and I just assumed they would be now too. As luck would have it, following the instructions included in the pattern (benefits already, people!) and careful use of ease stitching, I managed pretty easily and I think they look rather great, especially since we have been playing a very long game of Hide and Seek. Guess who was the hide-ee.

On an unrelated note, how sweet is this card that my little sister made for me?

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Two more posts to come before Christmas; one sewing related and the other is more edible. Santa Claus is comin’ to town!

Til next time.

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