Simplicity 1606

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A few days ago I actually completed my third dress, ever. Yes it took me a year, but hey – at least it is done!

Usually I will get eighty percent of the way done with a dress and when I try it on, my OCD is triggered and then I cannot make myself finish it. Feeling like all that effort was wasted. This time it almost was.

But before I tell that story, let me introduce you to her.

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Now, I did have enough of both fabrics to make two of each in just the selected fabric alone, but something just called about this purple and red together. And as of late I have gathered a habit of making just the bodice first before cutting out my flared/circle/huge skirts just in case I throw another fit and waste over a yard of fabric on a skirt that will never meet the bodice.

And when I finished this bodice, I had just come out to the living room to check on my mom and close the front door for the night when I noticed she had chosen this purple cotton for the doorway this time and I couldn’t stop touching it and looking at it.

So I stuck it to my bodice and fell in love. Even more so when I hemmed it and added the lace seam tape.

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You may also notice if you are familiar with Simplicity 1606, that there is no hi/lo option and then skirt is just three pieces, not five.

I may have been a bit hack happy and chopped the hem to impropriety.

It was a very uncomfortable time in the library after I realized, and some kind folks in a passing car made sure I was very aware about the length.
No, really. They thought I had it tucked up on accident or something and pulled over to try to help me and let me know. No sarcasm.

I know. No sarcasm? I might as well be speaking French for all it is common to me.

But I fixed the skirt as soon as I got home. I had luckily saved what I had chopped off the hem in one big piece and simply graded it out to the side seams and then sewed it onto the two skirt back pieces and continued the red hem tape.

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I have already worn this dress out three or four times, but I haven’t been able to get a picture of me in it. Maybe tomorrow when I take my mom to the Flower and Garden Festival before my doctor’s appointment.

What do you guys think  of the dress? It was my first time lining a bodice fully, as well!

I am now at the library (of course, my favorite place ever) and researching school for Fashion Design. I finally had made up my mind.

Pesky Purple Dress

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So.

This thing has been a nightmare.

It started off well enough. I was excited for the challenge. I am quite the amateur when it comes to sewing so this pattern provided many news challenges and wonders for me to embark upon. Lining, pockets, and damned princess seams. Using silk brocade that has been sitting in my hope chest of sorts for nearly twelve years. I have more where that came from, I was a bit obsessed in middle school. You can see it in the background of the bodice lining photo.

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I used Simplicity 1687 with bodice view A from their Runway line. Many great possibilities were seen for this pattern but after actually pulling up a garment, there definite fitting issues I need to address. It almost fits true straight off without altering it except of course as with all my dresses the top of the side seams need pinching, the waist a bit but most importantly – the upper bodice. The neckline gapes in the most unseemly way and the shoulder seams want to slide down and off my shoulders entirely to fix the problem.

Normally I would just pinch and dart my way out of these problems but the fact the upper bodice is lined makes it too bulky and it just looks unattractive.

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Raw edges. I know.

There is pleating on every section of the skirt and it actually looks really nice. There were only four panels unlike the six I am generally used to.

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The pockets aren’t inseam using a yoke or the side seam. Actually the pockets are slowly pieced together as you make the lower bodice and pleat the front skirt panels. I quite liked the process. I do plan to add small hidden hooks and eyes as I believe the weight of the fabric is too much and the bands gape.

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I still much much prefer hand picking my zippers. I happened upon the perfect color match amongst my mothers thread supply. You can’t even see the color difference.

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I know I will come to love this dress and any variation there after as soon as I address and fix these fit issues. Of course I would greatly accept any advice that can be given. 🙂

I will post photos wearing the actual dress as soon as I get outside and can wrangle someone to be my photographer.

Powering Through Dyslexia

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I took up sewing entirely based on the fact there was no money for clothes. So when I finally get the call back to work and that mean five days (at the least) of professional attire and all the clothes I had were either left over from high school (2010) or from garage sales. I didn’t ask to go shopping so I could have nice clothes to properly present myself to my new leaders and coworkers. Instead I went through piles of fabric that date from the seventies and on to attempt several levels of difficulty higher than what I have attempted thus far. It is so frustrating whenever I attempt to ask for help and my dyslexia is turning everything backwards and the reaction I recieve is contempt and discriminatory.

As many of you know, I suffer from severe dyslexia and it has been one of the reasons for my bullying ever since I was a small child. To be raked over the coals like that by someone who recognized my dyslexia for what it was as a toddler, and never even tried to get me help for this – hurts.

Anyways. I’m trying to use mostly dress patterns since I honestly don’t have any blouses. The problem now present however is most of the fabric I have found in the house is two yards or less. Mostly scrap fabric bits that have been essentially hoarded in piles since the seventies.

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Please, do ignore the Chinese take away.  Haha.

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I really love the design of this pattern but it requires over 3 yards of fabric not including the lining! Yowza!

Recently, I decided this next pattern would be choice even though it required princess seams (which is a skill I apparently suck at. But I will get better with practice!) and on its way to three yards of fabric. At 2 5/8 yards, those 3/8 of a yard really count when you are trying to squeeze a pattern onto the panels.

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I did acquire these really pretty and flowy “silky prints” from Jo Anns during their firefly sale but only two yards of each excusing the butterfly which I was able to get a 3/4 remnant.

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I’m just going to have to keep trying and sew into the night. As long as mom has her tv on it shouldn’t wake her up. I would be more worried about waking up my dad in the adjacent room.

Do you have any tips for working through sewing or life in general with dyslexia?

P.S. Please excuse any typos, I’m back to posting from my phone!

Hand Picking

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Hello there!

So, if any of y’all follow me on Twitter you may have heard about a little incident that may have caused some frustration this past Saturday night. I thankfully was able to save it for the most part, but I will be having to reinforce most of the seams and maybe add an extra length of fabric along the inside of the zipper bed so I can redo the stitching on the Hummingbird Dress.

Anywho, this prompted me to kick into gear and bang out another dress out of some red tag fabric I had picked up from Jo Anns a while back! This pretty neat print with some lotus blossoms and the like.

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     As this was an on-the-fly-I-can’t-even-find-the-pattern-instructions-anymore dress, I decided the say screw it and wing quite a bit of it. This presented itself mostly in way of inserting the zipper.

Now, I have a supreme and utter crippling fear of inserting zippers. I’m as jumpy as a grasshopper in May. Stories of needles breaking, needles breaking people, and bobbin cases cracking have all played a part. So when I came upon Tasia’s tutorial on how to Hand-pick a zipper into a dress a few weeks ago, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

It is actually very simple as long as you know how to perform a back stitch! I also learned this technique from my favorite Designer and DIY…er from YouTube, SecretLifeOfABionerd thanks to her many sewing tutorials.

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     All it took for me to figure it out was to think as I naturally do, which is backwards. I am constantly translating things to being read or perceived in the manner they should rather than backwards or jumbled. To complete a back stitch just take your (hand sewing) needle and bring through from the underside of the fabric about a 1/4″ from where you actually would normally start. Then, take your needle and make a stitch back at the point where you would normally start your sewing. Thus a backwards stitch. Supposedly this is a much more sturdy stitch and if you were hand sewing a garment from start to finish, this is the stitch you should use.

And a prick stitch is just a back stitch that is teensy weensy on the actual back stitch part.

…. By no means is this a tutorial! I would be much more clear minded and provided pictures of the process.

So, please forgive my rambling and crappy explanations. 😀

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        There was so much more control and ease in inserting this zipper that I actually found it quite calming and relaxing. I am looking forward to the next zipper I have to install! It was very easy for me to adjust the tape really just take my time with it. When I am using a machine, I am so terrified I just want it done with! So, I zip whoop pun! through it and I am not too happy with the results.

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     As you can see there is quite a bit of tangled thread, uneven application and the top of the tape was not done is such good taste. I found even using the universal invisible zipper foot I found, it just wasn’t easy! It may have also been because of my feed dogs. They started to actually feed the fabric… sideways. I kid you not. Kinda like testing the alignment of your car.

     “Look, Ma! No hands!” And if you your car is like any of the ones I have had in my possession, they will almost always slide to the right or left. Beauty of living down country dirt roads. Lotsa, lotsa sugar sand.

     And that is exactly what my machine did. I always thought perhaps it was just the table I was using since it is slightly wobbly and unstable. I would always have to have a firm hand and feel like I was feeding a line through a reel.

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     Even down towards the end here you can see that it was indeed rough. But with the hand-picked zipper, this prick stitch is barely visible and still adds this cute little dotted detail. …I also have a weird eye for things.

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     I don’t know exactly how I am going to fix this raveling issue for the poor Hummingbird Dress, but hopefully I will. Cause I love this dress. Lots. We have this special bond, ya know?

     How would you guys fix something like this? Have you ever tried a prick stitch or hand-picked zipper?

     ….I really shouldn’t be asking this for my own sake but I want to know! Do you have any zipper horror stories?

          Til next time!

The Hummingbird Dress Is Here!

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*When I feel like I have failed, have no control or don’t like the upcoming out come, I abandon it.

*New Look 1080 View C

*Skipped interfacing since we didn’t have any and Mom said the cotton was sturdy enough for it. Big mistake. Stupid girl (I mean me)! The facing could have really used some interfacing. 😛

*Totally Jury Rigged the hem and… it turned out better than expected! (meme moment)

*I need to put some darts in the bodice front some how or just make a note for next time. I don’t like how it seems to poof out strangely under the bust.

*Should I post it like this or just use this as an outline? I feel like I’m trying to force this if I try to post as I normally do.

My blog! Why am I worrying about this?! Gah.

Lara, you crazy.

Pictures!

I love my phone, and I love it very much. But it is very difficult to take photos of myself on it. It is hard to take photos of myself in general. So attempting to take photos of my dress was extra aggravating. I did get plenty of likes on Facebook however! Well, eleven but that is an astounding number for anything I do. In general, Facebook or otherwise. So I felt special for a moment.

    “Mama, am I pretty?”

    “What does Facebook say?”

    Not an actual conversation. Just my mind.

Anyways, onto pictures!

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Maxi, one of our wolves had come over wondering what the heck I was doing in a skirt. She was quite fascinated smelling the hemline. No, I do not know what that means and I don’t think I want to linger on what it may mean. Haha.

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This was one of the two pictures that I had posted to Facebook and eventually became my profile picture. I hadn’t changed that thing since… last August, I believe? Haha.

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I was trying to show how swingy/swirly/skirty the skirt was, and just failed, miserably. It was hard okay! I was trying to get the bodice in the shot, otherwise mostly my knobby knees were the star of the show and that would simply be a bad show.

In an attempt to cover up the evidence of my mother’s disease, I quickly jury rigged a back drop. It doesn’t look to fantastic but hey! I tried! It actually turned into a bit of a work out. 😛

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My noodle arm shows exactly one of the reasons why it was extra awkward. Anyways, this was the picture that showed the little pleats in the neckline the best. I was so darn proud of those little things.

We cut out a size 12, which was actually a lot harder for me to come to terms with than I would have thought. I thought I had beat the anorexia and all the demons with it. I weigh only 125 pounds. I have worked hard to accept that that is okay and actually quite awesome, but apparently I haven’t as well as I thought I had.

   Bust – 33 1/2″

‘Band’ – 29″

Natural Waist – 26″

Hips – 39″

   That’s good. That’s good, right? I wound up taking it in, in the side seams a solid inch and a half using a dart because the waist was about perfect. It’s good. I’m good. 125 lbs is good.

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This picture shows the actually coloring of the fabric the best. I was and am truly in love the fabric. It sing spring, and happiness and bright thoughts to me. Just what I needed. I love to choose to wear brighter colors, and designs. In high school and every year before that you would only find me in dark clothes and black. (No I was not goth or emo or what have you.)

Brighter color and designs helps me feeling brighter, and happier. It promotes positive thoughts for me. Dark outfits tend to darken my mood, as odd as it sounds. It brings me back to my dark years where I didn’t have control over my depression and anxiety.

…I don’t have control still, but I am not swallowed by it as I was in the past.

 

Anyways, I hope you like the dress, and the photos! I am really still trying to find “my style” and “my fashion”. So please, if you have any pattern or fabric suggestions, I would love the help!

Have a magical amazing day, and hold your loved ones close.