Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My latest fabric obsession turned maxi dress

Once again, while surfing the net on, I found another fabric that I HAD to have. Keepsake  Calico Jacobean Red. It was just begging me to bring it home and make something pretty out of it.
See how pretty it is?
So, after obsessing over this fabric I went searching through my stash of patterns trying to find one that would be perfect. I found it in an out of print pattern from McCalls. I have been holding onto it for close to 10 years and never got around to making it. This was the perfect occasion to do so.
Since maxi dresses are all the rage right now I decided I would make view C. Boy was that the right decision. With 4th of July approaching I decided to set to work on my creation.
A trip to Joann's with my oldest daughter and best helper and we found the fabric and set about finding the trim to really set it off. We did succeed. The beautiful navy trim really brings out the blue in the fabric.

I washed my fabric with the trim to prepare it as I always do. This helps remove any sizing that the manufacturer has added to the fabric and also prevents puckering in your finished project, which can occur if the fabric shrinks. All washed and ironed, I was ready to go. Pattern pieces were cut out at a size 12. (In off the rack garments I wear an 8, but as you may or may not know, pattern sizing is different. It is important to go by your measurements and not your off the rack size.) After pinning the pattern pieces down and cutting out all the pieces I began assembling my dress.


I use my pins that hold my pattern pieces down to mark my pattern markings on both sides so I can mark the fabric. I use a singer washable fabric pencil to mark the fabric so it comes off easily. Be careful when pressing with steam though, as it can fade your markings some times. 

After getting all the pieces cut out I began with the bodice per the pattern instructions. This pattern comes together very easily. The Easy title on this pattern is not lying. After sewing pieces together, and before pressing, I use pinking shears to finish the edges. Since I don't have a serger, pinking shears are my best option. It prevents the fabric from fraying when washed. After pinking the edges I press the seams according to pattern instructions.

So, after assembling the bodice and skirt pieces, attaching sleeves, and adding the trim the time came to place the zipper. This has been a challenge for me sometimes, since I always seem to have trouble with the top and bottom portions. Weird, I know. But, I used a tutorial off of to learn some tricks for zipper installation. It worked well and my zipper went in smoothly.

After all that, I hemmed it and it was done. I love how it turned out. I had my son take pictures of me in the dress after I finished it, but it was 11:00pm, I had been sewing for awhile, and I looked like a hot mess even if the dress looked great. So, I took pictures of the dress itself. Maybe when I wear it again I will post new pictures. LOL

There it is. My beautiful 4th of July maxi dress. Not so 4th of July-ish that I can't wear it other times, but it is definitely a good red, white, and blue celebration choice. I just love it.

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