Thursday, September 29, 2011

A "little" sewing project

I sewed myself a bridemaid's dress last week.

(How simple to say, and how little that reveals about how much it was on my mind, every single minute until I got it done.)

It all started out with a dislike of every bridesmaid's dress in every dress shop in town, and a gorgeous pattern that captivated my imagination.

Vogue V1162
A masterpiece, no?

But Rebekah wouldn't be Rebekah if she didn't have to branch out and do her own thing, now would she?

Salient points that dictated my alterations of the dress:
1) The dress must be orange.
2) The dress must be floor length.
3) The dress must FIT.
4) The flower-sleeve part must be a versatile accessory that I can pair with all kinds of other outfits.

First order of business: design the bolero jacket that would feature those sleeves. Using and adapting the pattern pieces from the dress and from a bolero jacket pattern, plus creating some pieces of my own, I cut one out and sewed it from some navy blue scrap fabric.
My room became a grand central station of sewing patterns, fabric, machine, and notions. It's a wonder I was able to keep all the pieces straight!

Then I didn't like the design, prompting a redesign, which I still didn't like, but I had already cut it out of the "real" fabric and sewed the framing pieces together, prompting a minor trim of the pattern pieces. Good enough.

Then I had to make my own pattern pieces from a dress I bought at a yard sale that fits me quite perfectly. My thanks go to my friend Cora who showed me how to do this and suggested I obtain a copy of the book Patterns from Finished Clothes by Tracy Doyle.

Armed with my Dritz sewing board and a roll of parchment paper, I set to work.
The method involves pinning the fabric down to the board and using a tracing wheel to go over the seams, leaving holes in the paper where the pattern piece edges are. You then go over these holes with a pencil or marker, add seam allowances, and voila! You have pattern pieces!
 Pattern pieces made, I then proceeded to cutting out, then to sewing.
Notice the large coffee mug. I only got 5 hours of sleep or less for a week, but time was still running short. I had only just finished installing the invisible zipper when it was time to leave for the wedding. So I packed it all up in Matilda's trusty trunk, sewing machine, fabric, pattern pieces, and all, and headed to my cousin's house where I would spend the weekend.

The wedding would be on Saturday; I arrived Thursday night. I got to work as soon as possible and sewed until 2 am. Friday I was still cutting out facing pieces and fusing interfacing to them. Of course it would happen that I accidentally fused one of them to the towel instead of the pattern piece. Oops! Fortunately I was able to tear it off the towel while it was still damp, and happily, it still stuck to the dress fabric when I re-ironed it the right way.

Friday night at the rehearsal dinner, the dress was still not finished. I returned to the house and got to work, accompanied this time by my amazing sister, who is the most talented seamstress EVER! She sewed until 5:00 in the morning. I sewed all night. In the morning, we worked together to put the finishing touches onto the dress.

This is the morning of the wedding. The wedding takes place at 10:00 am. This is probably 8:00 am.

Victory is in sight! Possibility is attainable! But it never would have been possible if it weren't for the efforts of my amazing, selfless, expert sister. THANK YOU, ROSIE!!!!

Just moments before the wedding, I took my last stitch, donned the dress, and headed out to the chapel. Ahhhh, sweet success.

You wouldn't know these were the same two girls who were busily humming away on that sewing machine just that morning, would you? (Funny how we just happened to match, too!)

1 comment:

  1. WOW, I was reading that and getting confused! How did you think all that straight? It turned out gorgeous! I can't wait to talk to you sometime and catch up dear! I hope you get some rest now!


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