Thursday, December 8, 2016

Watermelon Halter Dress - First Wearable (In Public) Garment!! : The Making Of

Yes!! I made something that I could wear in public!! I rawk!!

Heh, in all honesty, it was *nearly* ok for wearing in public...but I'll explain that in further detail later on in this post.

I was working a 2nd job at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts 2 years ago, and so had visibility to a lot of awesome fabrics, not to mention an employee discount! ;)

One of the fabrics I saw there that I just HAD to buy was this wonderful watermelon fabric!! It's awesome and all, but I had to get a coordinating fabric so I got this green stripes/dots fabric as an accent. Don't they look just wonderful together!!

Now, I had to figure out what dress I should make with these fabric choices...

Ah yes! This one will work! 

Since I've never sewn a dress before, one of the first things I did, even before deciding which size pattern pieces I needed to use mind you, was to guess and use muslin as practice. I'm still relatively new to garment patterns since I've had more practice with, and am MUCH better at simple things like tablet cases and similar types of accessories, so I didn't want to waste my patterned fabric by messing up.

After I got the muslin pieces cut, I could pull out the pattern and try to figure out how everything is connected. I pinned together the bodice front top and bottom pieces, and the fun began!

Here are the pinned muslin pieces from one side:

And the same pinned pieces from the other side. See the gap? I couldn't figure out how to close it/stitch them together properly!!!

I guess I can figure that out later though. For now, let's pin all the pieces together and see if they're at least the right size!

From the front:

And from the back. Yay! I can bring the sides together, with folded over edges to allow for stitching the seam allowances for the zipper! W00t!!

Alright, now that I've confirmed I'm using the right size pieces, I have to cut all the pieces of watermelon fabric and then figure out how to actually stitch those points on the bust and get the top and bottom pieces together properly on my final piece.

I had juuuuuuuuuuust enough of the watermelon fabric to get all of the pieces I needed for the main dress. The only things I didn't have enough fabric for were the top pieces of the bodice, which is ok, because that's intended to be for the accent anyways, and the green stripes/dots fabric was perfect for that!

As you can somewhat see below, all that's left are just pieces, scraps!! I had to be careful, but I got everything cut out of this fabric that I needed.

Wanna hear something that really cracked me up though? I didn't realize until I was laying out the pattern pieces on my fabric, arranging them to fit so I can get it all cut out, that this dress pattern HAS POCKETS!!!! Yayyyy!!!!  I will say though, sure I was able to get all the pieces cut for the pattern, but I had to shave off a corner of each pocket to make the best of what space I had, but the pockets started out as pretty big anyway, so I wasn't missing much!

Ok, now to try and figure out how the top and bottom bodice pieces go together.

Let's see, what does the pattern say? Step 2 (Cutting was step 1) says, "Reinforce inner corner of FRONT BAND, pivoting at small circle. Clip to small circle."

Umm,.. what?

Then Step 3, "Pin BODICE FRONT sections to lower edge of front bands, matching symbols and having raw edges even. Stitch, pivoting at small circles, as shown." Ok, that doesn't sound too hard, that's what I did after all. Well, at least, the pinning of the pieces together. But what in the world is it talking about stitching, circles, and what now??

I read it over, and over, again. Looked at the pictures, looked at my pieces, tried to piece them together and imagine how they'd stitch together, but I just couldn't understand what it was telling me to do!

I was so clueless and desperate to figure out what the pattern wanted me to do, and not sure how to go about it, I took pictures of the pattern instructions for this whole part, took a bunch of pictures, created an Imgur gallery, and was seconds away from posting it on Reddit asking for help!! Before I did however, I decided to step away for a bit, sleep on it.

Once I came back to it, and re-read (a few more times), it FINALLY clicked!!

I went back to the actual pattern piece and really looked at it closer.... Hmmm, there's a dotted line, with a little circle at the top, just like the WORDS say....

Oh. I get it! I stitch along THOSE dotted lines!!

Here's what the pattern pieces look like so you can actually see the stitch line since the stitch line on the muslin is really hard to see:

I apologize, I didn't get a picture, so just imagine that I'd actually cut up from the inside of the point to the top point of the stitched "V".

When you do that, the pieces line up muuuuch better!! Why you ask? Well, when you cut into the corner up to the peak of that stitched V, it allows for the fabric to be more malleable when lining it up with the bottom piece.

Because it's funny by the way, before I figured this out, I tried stitching them together, and this is what it looked like. That's how I knew I had TOTALLY messed up and had to seriously re-think what I was doing, but the good thing about stitching vs cutting, I was just able to seam-rip the stitches out and fix the mistake! No big!

Anywho, this is what the pieces look like put together properly:

This looks much better than the first attempt, doesn't it?!

Next I went ahead and attached the bodice side pieces:

This is when I started getting really excited about how this was going to look with my fabric choices!!

After figuring out how to properly stitch the pieces together, and just for the sake of it, I cut mini skirt pieces and stitched them on to see how it'd sit on my tummy/hips:

I'm not thrilled about how it's sitting on my mid-section, but at least it fits and isn't too tight? 

At this point, I've decided I like the fit and sizing well enough, and work towards finishing the dress. 

I will share the final pictures, as well as my review of the pattern as being an intermediate level sewer, in the next post as this one has been a bit long and photo heavy. Aren't you excited to see the final result?!?!

Until then,......

Craft ya laters!!

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