Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sewing in the Spring...Love it!

I love springtime. I love the beautiful flowers, the sometimes sunny skies, the occasional spring storms, but I also love all the new fabrics that come out as well. I love going through the fabric store and seeing all the beautiful colors and flowey fabrics and thinking of all the dresses, skirts, and outfits I can make with them. I get excited finding the right pattern for the right fabric and getting ready to see the finished project. With a teenage daughter the most fun thing to look forward to sewing is her prom dress. This year was Senior prom. The last big dance before she graduates and is off into the world. (sigh, tear, sniff) My daughter loves looking at the patterns and figuring out her dress as much as I do. This year we decided on a McCall pattern for her dress.

She loved the three tiered skirt with the sheer bodice overlay. So, like I always do for patterns, I waited patiently for the pattern sale at Joanns and bought it when it was $1.99 a pattern. To me that is the only time to buy patterns. Why pay $18 or more for a pattern. Part of the reason I sew my own clothes is to save money on them, not spend a boat load on a pattern.

     Once we had the pattern picked out it was time to decide on the fabric. She had originally wanted to use a Casa Collection color from Joanns called wisteria, but alas, it had been discontinued and there was none of it left in the entire city. Go figure. She was determined to have a lilac overlay with a black satin underlining. So we started searching clearance sections, scouring through all of the special occasion fabrics until we got lucky There was a clearance fabric at Joanns that was a sheer lilac with butterflies imprinted and a tiny swiss dots all over.


     So with our overlay in hand and the black Casa Collection satin for underneath, we went to the cutting counter. Now, let me tell you, the fabric was obviously meant to be hers. When the measured it out, there was just barely enough to meet what we needed for our pattern. Phew, I held my breath the whole time she was measuring. After we had our fabric, we also needed boning and a "14 inch invisible zipper. Not to mention the thread to match. Thread was an easy one. I sew a lot with these colors so I already had some at home.  So, with our goodies in hand we headed home to begin our project. Normally, I wash fabrics before I sew with them, but with these fabrics I just ironed them on a steam setting instead.

     I began by unfolding the pattern, which had a really cool, wannabe fashion designer page to it so you can plan out what you want to make based on the bodice and skirt options included.

*One note with this type of pattern. In order to find out exactly how much yardage you need you have to open the pattern and look at directions. The entire yardage is not listed on the pattern package. Neither are all of the notions.
     This is a really neat feature if you aren't quite sure what you want to do but love the look of the pattern. Thankfully, she already knew what she wanted. I set out to cutting the pattern pieces and pinning them so I could get everything ready to start sewing. Now, please do not believe this all happened in one day. I am a Mom to 3 teenagers, and a Wife to a busy husband. I work part time for a doctor and I go to school full time as well for nursing. Needless to say, this all occurred over several days if not weeks. Anyway, pinning and cutting ensued until we had everything ready to start assembling.


As we started assembly I realized my daughter is a bit of a skinny mini. (Not sure where that came from, wish it was me) and I had to alter the top to fit. I had to allow for the bust, but the waist section had to be taken in. No problem, I simply used the sections at the back where the back of the bodice meets and took the unneeded fabric out there. I HIGHLY recommend fitting to the person you are sewing for before you begin sewing. After all, that is what pins are for.
    I did get a little detour in the road as we neared prom. A friend called and had a prom emergency for her daughter and her daughter's friend for their prom which was a week before my daughter's. Their dresses needed hemmed and the lady who was going to do it fell off a ladder. Hmmm, guess she wasn't going to be able to do the alterations. So, I took two evening and altered their dresses before proceeding on my daughter's.
    Between homework, Scouts, church, school, work, and life in general, I actually ended up finishing my daughter's dress the day of prom. I know, cutting it close. But it turned out beautiful!!!! She loved it and received plenty of compliments on it. She loves the fact that she can basically design her own dress and Mom can make it happen. I am in the process of teaching her and her sister how to do it for themselves now, because much to my dismay, they will eventually move out and need to know how to do this for themselves. Anyway, here are pictures of the finished project and my gorgeous daughter in her dress. Hope you enjoy.
I do not have a serger so I use pinking sheers to finish the edges of the fabric. This stuff will fray like nobodies business.

This was the drape of the fabric as I started gathering, and gathering, and gathering, get the idea.

She decided on a black satin ribbon for the edges of the layers so you could appreciate yhe black underneath and distinguish the individual tiers of the skirt.

Hair done, all ready to go.

She chose the flower for the waistline. It is one that is detachable and can be pinned on or clipped in your hair.

See what I mean about skinny mini. But a gorgeous one!

All in all this dress turned out perfect for my girl and I am pleased with it. Even though she will probably never wear it again. (sigh) But, that's what prom dresses are for.

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