Me..use a pattern? I know! Shocking, right???!!! I am so proud to say that I tackled my fear of patterns head on! That annoying crinkly paper actually did not eat me alive.
So, for my first pattern I selected Simplicity's 0883. You may have noticed this dress at your local Wal-Mart. They put out a few of these 'easy' costume patterns about a month ago, just in time for the Halloween season. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make my 1st dress using my first pattern while also making my daughter's the happiest girls on the block.
I went with pink and purple, of course. I mean, really, are there any other colors in a little girl's world?
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS LIKE MEBefore I started this project there were a few things I needed to purchase in order for this to go as smoothly as possible. I did not want to be discouraged from ever doing this again!
1.) The first item I purchased was a good set of pinking shears. This material tends to fray, so the pinking shears help to prevent this from happening. The pink material was a heavier satin material and did not fray at all after clipping with the shears. The purple fabric still frayed a lot. I think it is what people call the cheap costume material. I cannot imagine how bad it would have been without the shears.
DID YOU KNOW??
Did you know that pinking shears are called 'PINKING' shears because they produce an edge that is similar to a carnation-like flower that has a ruffled edge and is called Pink.
Just a little bit of trivia. :)
2.) Second, I purchased some small universal needles. I ended up using size 11 and 14 and they both did just fine. For this material the smaller needle is supposed to prevent snagging.
3.) The third thing I want to mention has nothing to do with purchasing anything, but it was another good tip I came across while researching the fabric. I read that pins can leave snags on your fabric or little pin holes. To prevent this from happening I made sure my pins were in my seam allowance so no marks would be visible when finished.
NOW ON TO THE DRESSES....
Here you can really see the bodice. It went together nicely and was not difficult.
The V on the bodice was tricky for me. Mainly because for both dresses I forgot to attach the gathered skirt along that V. I kept wanting to attach it straight across the waist. For the pink dress I was able to hide the mistake with the ribbon. On the purple dress I totally missed the mark so I just decided to leave it.
The sleeves were pretty tricky for the pink dress. The directions were not very clear, in my opinion. Somehow they turned out looking pretty normal. Both ends had to be gathered with 2 rows of stitches. After gathering I went back over the edge with a zig zag stitch just to cover up the gathering stitches. I could not get those gathering stitches out without snagging that fabric. So, it just looks kind of sloppy to me. Because of that, on the purple dress I decided to just make the sleeves out of the main material. It went much smoother. I decided to add some ribbon around the cuff.
Would you believe those bows on the pink dress were really the only part of the project that REALLY frustrated me. The measurements they gave me for the length of ribbon needed to make the bow was too short. Somehow I managed to make the bows, but it probably took me a good 30 minutes! Maybe I'm just weird.
It also said to hand stitch the bows onto the long strips of ribbon and THEN hand stitch the entire piece to the skirt. Are you kidding me??? Hand stitch? I don't think so. The dress fit perfectly fine under the machine and I had that ribbon on there in no time.
Obviously for the purple dress I decided to drop the bows and just add a sweet little ribbon trim to the bottom.
The zipper did not give me any problem, but looking at this picture I'm thinking.....it does need some work. I used the 14" zipper like they suggested, but I needed a longer one for the pink dress. I'll have to add a hook and eye closure to the top. The bottom of the zipper is a little funky for both. I will need to figure out how to do this better for my next dress. Any suggestions?
I had so much fun making these dresses! The best part was hearing my oldest say, "I love my dress, Mommy!" They have not taken these dresses off since I made them.
I'm ready for my next pattern! Be sure to follow me so we can learn together!
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