Sunday, 1 April 2012

The 'Spring in my Step' Lonsdale Dress

I MADE A DRESS, like, a whole dress all by myself! Hurray for me! It only took, oh, about a month and a half, but, I did it. 

I am so very proud of this dress. That's not to say that it is anywhere near perfect, there are plenty of things that could do with being fixed, like the waistband, my mortal enemy, is not straight. The bodice fit is a bit off, if I make this pattern again I will probably shorten it. The hem is a bit of a mess, It doesn't hang quite right, I still need to master folding and pinning a curve. However, none of these things bother me too much because this is the first real pattern I've ever sewn and it is definitely wearable. Yay! 

Sarai of Colette Patterns fame wrote a great post about documenting the things you learn with each sewing project, not to mention the finished slip project featured in the post is just too gorgeous for words. I shall take a leaf out of her book. As a beginner I hope this will help me to remember the things I have learnt and show, over time, how much I am learning and improving (I hope!!) So here goes:

Lessons Learnt on the Lonsdale.

1. How to cut out a pattern: seems obvious? Not to me it didn't, I mainly used Tasia's great post on cutting fabric from the Pendrell Sew-Along, it was super helpful. I had no idea what a grain line was, never mind how to utilise it! 

2. Keep the iron on low when working with synthetic fabric: ah, lessons learnt the hard way...melted lining was a low point but at least I learnt something from it!

3. Markings and notches are there for a reason: having sewn the wrong edges of my bodice pieces together I realise how important it is to make notches and pattern markings clear and to take the time to match them up properly.

4. The seam ripper is my friend: fast becoming my best friend. I am a beginner, I will make mistakes, probably quite a few of them. Without my friendly seam ripper I can't fix those mistakes. All hail the seam ripper. 

5. How to sew french seams: I love french seams, I don't have a serger and i don't really like using zig zag stitches for finishing seam allowances, french seams are so lovely and neat and, where appropriate, I will be using them as much as I can.

6. How to hand pick zip: this one is a work in progress, I originally hand picked the zip for this dress but it came out bumpy and rubbish so I ripped it out and tried something else.

7. How to use the zip foot on my machine: the zip insertion in my muslin of this dress was a big ol' mess, because I used the regular foot not the zip foot, I didn't know such a thing existed! Looking in my machine's manual I found the instructions for the zip foot, gave it a go and hey presto a much neater zip. It's not perfect but it's an improvement. 

It's not perfect, but it's mine!
8. How to slip stitch: I slip stitched the inner waist band and the hem (although the hem could do with a bit of a re-work). It's a nifty little stitch that one.

Phew, lots of things learnt there, probably a few more I've already forgotten! 

I think my favourite part of the dress is the pockets, I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I think they're a great design feature.

Love them pockets.

I've named it the 'Spring in my Step' dress because spring has well and truly sprung around these parts and the joy of finishing this dress had made me all bouncy!

Hurray for spring
I hope there are lots of things putting a spring in your step. I'm off to do some spring cleaning!

Alice x

1 comment:

  1. Wow, well done! It's lovely - a perfect dress for spring. x