Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Project: Mendocino Sundress, Part 1

My latest sewing project is Heather Ross's pattern for a really cute sundress. My friend Miss Fae sent me the link to the pattern (thank you Miss Fae!!).

The Pattern & Directions:

I downloaded the pattern and directions (in PDF format), printed the pattern out on nine sheets of tabloid paper, and then laid out the sheets and taped them together. Acrobat calculates how to print the pattern over multiple sheets; you choose the amount of overlap.

I’d really recommend reading the directions. Obvious? Yes, but even though I’m a beginner and really need all the instructions I can get, I am sometimes impatient.

I have to admit, I kept wondering how the one piece of fabric was going to fit me, especially with the shirring. It wasn't until I started measuring out how to enlarge the pattern when I realized I needed to cut out two piece sets (dress front and back and four pocket pieces – two for front and two for back), duh!

I cut out the pattern with kitchen scissors as I didn't want to cut the regular paper with my rotary fabric cutter. I can’t say enough about a big self-healing cutting board and a rotary cutter (lovely gift from my special man). I am terrified of the rotary cutter and it would cut right through your fingers if you’re not careful, so I treat it with the utmost respect. I think there is a safer version that I should buy.

The Fabric:

I realized the fabric was critical for this dress to fit my style. I was lucky to find this vintage-style Hawaiian print, cotton fabric at Discount Fabrics (on Irving Street between 24th and 25th Ave. in San Francisco). The nice woman helping me said she used this fabric to make a shirt for her husband and went on to say she threw it in the wash and dryer and it looked great.

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