Posts Tagged ‘Simplicity 3943’

Dress Chronicles: Episode 6

June 12, 2012 Leave a comment

With the lining stitched in, all that’s left are the finishing touches – mostly the roses.  I’ll admit to being a bit sloppy when sewing and wrapping them, so they’re a little inconsistent.  I’m lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who also sews, and she has volunteered to make the rest of them.  Once all 36 are done, I’ll sort them into three groups of the most similar ones, and then sew them on.

12 Pink Fabric Roses

I’m not entirely happy with all the roses – I may redo a couple of them

In the meantime, they’ve been pinned on, and it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

Roses look alright on the dress though

Mostly-finished dress, front view

Still to go:

  • Bringing in the side seams to fit
  • Shortening – may do this with just the shoulder straps, or I might go all-out, remove the skirt, shorten it from the waist end, take it in properly, and reattach it all
  • Tidying up loose ends
  • Sewing on the roses
  • Dresses 2 and 3
Categories: Sewing Tags: , , ,

Dress Chronicles: Episode 5

June 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Thus begins my first adventure in zippering!

  1. Discover that I’d forgotten to buy zippers.
  2. Go buy zippers for the 3 dresses.
  3. Discover that I don’t have a zipper foot.
  4. Go buy a zipper foot – all I can find is an “adjustable zipper foot” – close enough?
  5. Baste (temp stitch) zipper to dress.
  6. Get K to try dress on.

    Basted zipper

    Looks like I need to take in the top a ways (zipper isn’t properly sewn in yet)

  7. Discover that I need to take it in by a couple of inches.
  8. Remove zipper, re-press back seam to take in by 1″ on each side at the top, tapering to the bottom of the seam.
  9. Baste zipper back in, try on again.
  10. Install adjustable zipper foot and sew in zipper according to instructions in the foot’s package.
  11. Looks pretty scruffy and sticks in a few spots – ask the lazywebs (via Facebook status update) for tips.
  12. Check out a great tutorial recommended in response to my request.
  13. Discover that I was trying to install a regular zipper with an invisible zipper foot.
  14. Go buy 3 invisible zippers.
  15. Discover that invisible zippers don’t come in the right length.
  16. Decide to go with the shorter one – it’s about the length of the bodice, and the waist is the widest point for preschoolers/toddlers (despite what the pattern would have you believe…).
  17. Baste the new zipper in.
  18. Sew the new zipper in.  Much better!
  19. Hand sew the lining down along the zipper and around the base of the bodice/top of the skirt.
  20. Realize that I’d forgotten to sew in the back of the shoulder strap, so do that by hand too.

Lessons learned and plans for next dress:

  • Sewing a regular zipper with an invisible zipper foot doesn’t work too well
  • Invisible zippers look way better
  • I think I might try to do the zipper on the bodice before sewing it to the skirt next time to reduce the amount of hand-sewing for the lining
  • Definitely planning to sew down the back of the shoulder strap before sewing down the lining

Dress Chronicles: Episode 4

May 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Some preliminary modeling showed that the bodice was definitely going to be way too wide, so I took in the sides and back a bit, figuring that it’s not extraordinarily difficult to take in more later.

With the various sections ready, it’s time to put everything together!

Not shown:

  • Sew together the upper skirt, lower skirt, and lining (including netting)
  • Gather the top of the skirt assembly

Lessons learned:

  • Taking in the bodice but not the skirt meant that the gathers on the skirt were insufficient to match with the bodice circumference, so I had to add some tabs to fake it
  • Tabs are ugly and hard to sew, but seem to be pretty well invisible
  • My sewing table doesn’t have enough space to the left of the machine for that much skirt!
Categories: Sewing Tags: , ,

Dress chronicles: Episode 3

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Cut pieces in hand, time to put them together.  With an hour or so of work each day, each section came together pretty quickly.

Not shown: lining for skirt

Categories: Sewing Tags: , ,

Dress Chronicles: Episode 2

May 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Materials in hand, time to get cutting.  Since K is kind of oddly proportioned, I stuck with size 6 (biggest size on the pattern) across the board, figuring it’s easier to take in than let out if alterations are necessary.

Pretty daunting for a first major sewing project.  I think I’ve done more ironing for this project (just on the first dress!) than the rest of my life combined.

Dress Chronicles: Episode 1

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

My brother-in-law (T) is getting married this summer.  K is going to be one of three flower girls.  T’s fiancée (D) is very particular about the look for the girls’ dresses – colour and style.  Since all three are small (K, at 4, is the oldest), these dresses won’t be getting a lot of use, and since I’m off work for the summer, I suggested that I could help with shopping (since K’s last flower-girl-dress was found on super-sale at Zellers) or failing that, I could make something.

So I did some shopping back in March/April.  No luck finding anything in the colour or style she wanted, let alone both.  So I looked up some patterns, made some suggestions, and she picked Simplicity 3943-H.  After a roundabout adventure in getting it, we went fabric shopping and I got to work on K’s dress.  First because she’s the biggest, but also because if I mess anything up I’d rather it be on hers than either of the others.

Did I mention that I’ve never sewn from a pattern before?

Or installed a zipper?

Or sewn anything beyond some basic repairs & simple pieces for myself, with mixed results?


The pattern came in, and D and I went fabric shopping.  She found something that was “perfect”, so we bought it and held off on lining & netting, since I had enough left over from a (failed) earlier project to do the first dress.

Materials for Flower Girl dresses

Flower girl dresses: Step 0.1 – Materials!