Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Dress for Me!

Several things have happened/are going on, that have me determined to start sewing for myself.  Hopefully I will post more again.

More on those in a later post.  Nothing major, just time to make changes.  Axelgirl is going to be a Junior next year, and our schedule is changing.

I have made 2 things for myself in the last several weeks.  I am going to share the second one first.  There are pictures of me in the outfit.  This will be very rare  :)  Most of the time, you will get to see the hanger.

I have liked the Sis Boom Jamie   dress pattern since I saw it, but have been afraid to try it for me, I was concerned with the skirt fullness, and the gathering, afraid it would make my already large size even larger..  I went ahead and did yesterday.  Overall, I like the dress, but there will be several changes when I make it again.

We are heading out to Arizona on vacation this year, and one of the things I wanted was a cotton sundress if we decide to need anything nicer than shorts.  I didn't want to wear pants because of the heat.  I want to see if I can find a shrug and shoes to go with it before then.  The shrug is just in case it is chilly inside.

The fabric is a Top Drawer fabric from Hancock Fabrics (one of the benefits of being a part time employee is a discount, after my first paycheck, I spent more than that shopping there).  I prewashed and dried it, so I don't have to worry about shrinkage in the future.

Changes I made

  • Made the dress larger than the pattern.  I measured a 3X in her patterns, and because I had read that most people had to size up, I went ahead and did that.  Big mistake for me.  It might be different for you.  I was able to bring it in some, but the top is still too large.    Next time I will make a 2X.  Measure yourself and the pattern pieces carefully
  • Used an invisible zipper.  Many of the pictures I had seen online used a regular zipper, and that is what the pattern called for.  I find it easier to use an invisible zipper, and I prefer the look.  In some of the pictures the zipper looked 'messy' at the waistband.  I don't know if that was the seamstress or due to the shirring there, but I decided to stick with what I was more comfortable with.
  • Shortened the elastic by about an inch on the front and the back over what the pattern called for
  • I didn't purchase any lining fabric, so I used a pima gingham.  This worked great, and is just fun on the inside.  I'd like to have about 5 yards of each color, just because it is so versatile for things.
  • I cut the skirt long, then let Axelgirl determine the length.
  • Used the blind hem on the machine.  I was running out of time when I got to this point.   We were leaving for Cirque du Soleil in about an hour, and still needed to get ready, and I wanted to wear it that night.
  • I reduced the width in the skirt by 7 inches on each piece.  I didn't want or need the fullness.  With a thinner fabric, and for a dressier look, it might be ok.
Changes I will make in the future
  • Evaluate size choices carefully-Smaller for me, will measure carefully if I use it for Axelgirl
  • Change the straps.  Definately shorter, and may only use a smaller piece of elastic in the back.  It just didn't feel secure enough on the top.
  • Lengthen the bodice on the top and bottom a bit.  I would like the waistband not so high, and a little higher on the chest area.  
  • I haven't decided whether or not to make it with the waistband in the back.  I think it might just be a bit to much with the gathers back there for me
  • Will change the sewing order, adding the skirt on last.  If you completely construct the top, except zipper, including adding the straps, this will make it  much easier to fit.  
Overall I liked the pattern.  The instructions and pictures were clear, and simple to read.  Almost to simple in some ways, as I tend to not read pattern directions, and just move ahead, so that may have slowed me down a bit.

This is the finished dress.  I obviously need to reconsider my eating habits and get some sun!


  1. Maggie, I really Like it! Love the fabric prnt! You can easily change out the color accessories and shoes for a new look each time. Glad to hear your going to AZ for vac. Have fun! Lori H.

  2. I think it's really cute, Maggie! I would not raise the chest area. I think it's at a great height. It you raise it, it may make you look older than you are. The "What Not to Wear" people say that showing a little skin (not too much of course) and having a good fit (not baggy) will make you younger. I tend to go a little too loose because of being self-conscious, but I know that if I go too loose I do look larger. Same with the skin. Unless the picture is deceiving, you're not showing cleavage, just chest, and that has a slenderizing effect. :o)

  3. Maggie, It's really cute! The colors are good on you!...and like Lori said there are many possibilities for accessorizing. Made in a day?? I like quick and easy! Might have to get that pattern. Euny

  4. This looks great on you!! The colors work well with your skin and give you so many options for accessories. I agree with Kris, don't raise the chest. It does not look revealing in any way and it is very flattering on you!

  5. Maggie, the dress is great and you look gorgeous! I'm with the others - leave the chest where it is. You're not showing cleavage and looks good.

    It really is lovely, I may buy that pattern!

  6. Your dress is pretty. The front looks great. There is a slight gaping near the shoulder blades on the back, which is always to hardest part to fit without help. I am a health enthusiast. These are the first things I learned about being thinner and still do: Drink 8 glasses of water(0 calories-awesome!) above whatever else you drink. Lower the calories you take in, but make sure you maintain a high level of nutrition including fiber(I carry an apple in my purse incase I need a snack), and the bad word(that we must accept as good)--SWEAT! Sweating improves circulation, increases oxygen and flushes toxins from your body. Take a brisk walk for 45 min- 1 hour 4 times a week. I usually walk while my kids,5 and 8 years old, ride their bikes. I also just did my first cleanse which was mild,but invigorating. It was a 10-day herbal cleanse called "First Cleanse". I found it at the whole food section of my grocery store. I was easy. If you are on meds, check with your doctor before doing a herbal cleanse.