Added Mar 19, 2012
This is the first dress I’ve ever made. In fact, before this I could barely sew a pillow case because my sewing skills were still at a complete beginner level. I guess those things were just too simple?
I found the Make This Look for the adorable Salty & Pepper Dress from Modcloth on Sew Weekly, so I decided to go for this, but went with another pattern than the one that was suggested, and disregarded the instructions on there. I loved the slightly nerdy, classic, vintage pin-up style of the dress and felt like I needed more of that in my life.
I was planning on using Simplicity 2176 for the entire dress, but I wanted to to be exactly like the dress I was inspired by and the pattern was close, but not close enough for my liking. I used the basic bodice pattern from 2176, as well as the top collar and the straps. I made the midriff pattern from scratch, added a full circle skirt instead of the one with the pattern, and converted it to a sweetheart neckline. I also chose to completely disregard the strange instructions that 2176 had when it came to sewing on the top band because I wanted it to be an actual collar type band instead of one that was completely attached.
Seeing as this was my first real sewing project and I hadn’t had that much experience or instruction I learned a lot of things from it:
-Gingham is a total pain when it comes to bodices. Keeping your lines straight and lined up correctly on a curve is no fun. I swear half of the time spent working on this was me trying to be a perfectionist when it came to that. (Notice how straight the lines on the bust are.)
-Plastic invisible zipper feet are the bane of my existence, as the “universal” ones disagree with my machine. Invisible zippers are also quite horrid at times. One thread out of place and the zipper refuses to function normally.
-A homemade dress form will save you from mercilessly stabbing yourself with pins. Making sure the pins don’t fall on the floor is also a good way to avoid that.
-Sewing patterns are just suggestions, not the rule. Still, they have some pretty good advice.
-Seam guides can make life so much easier when you’re the type who can’t sew a straight line to save your life.
I still can’t believe that my first official sewing project that was more than a couple of straight lines came out so well. It fits like a dream. I also wish I had a few better pictures, but these will work for now.
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