Sewing, sewing, and more sewing

I have begun to sew my dress at the Christine Shirley Sewing and Design Studio. I have made lessons for the week and will be walking into town (and back) every morning. I am working with Haley Newman to create my graduation garment.

I am using the fabric that I had picked out at JoAnn’s, and will be using a pattern from Butterick (B6453). The dress will consist of a princess seam bodice with a gathered rectangle skirt. Though, there are a couple alterations.

On the first day, Haley and I looked over the pattern and decided the gathered skirt had far too much fabric and would be too heavy. So we reduced it to half of the original pattern. Instead of a facing (as the pattern calls for), I will be doing a lining out of a thin broadcloth.

After deciding what changes we would be making, the first step was to cut out everything. This was surprisingly difficult. The broadcloth was a piece of cake; any simple cotton will cut nicely. However, for the outer fabric, an embroidered eyelet cotton, was like cutting through concrete.

After cutting through all of that fabric, I sewed together the bodice with a standard seam allowance. I did this with both the lining and outer fabric which I then basted together along the top. I used a Heavy Duty Singer sewing machine (and will continue to do so throughout the project.

Princess seams are very difficult, but I had a lot of help which made things much easier (Thanks Haley!). After sewing the bodice, I needed to press the seams. In order to iron and press a princess seam, I would highly suggest a tailors ham (basically a stiff rounded pillow); it helps when ironing a curve by creating a round plane. From the bodice, I will move onto the skirt and the finishing. Wish me luck!

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