Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Completion! Love New Dress!!


Happy dance!! New dress, new dress, la la la!!!

Me in Newly Completed Dress!
Clearly only dancing the happy dance in my head

So so excited! I finished my new dress in record time (2 months). I did little bits of the project here and there with a few long blocks of hours (wow, all the marking, the finishing of edges, the interfacing, the hems on sleeves and skirt, etc.,'s amazing to me how much time it all takes me).

The big challenge for me on this dress was setting and sewing the sleeves. I still don't completely understand how the easing is supposed to work with one edge so much longer than the other. The pattern explained how to gather the top half of the sleeves and then ease the edge of the sleeve in with the armhole. How you can have gathers, but are expected to not have folds in the final seam. Surprisingly, it didn't turned out too bad.

Grey Dress Front

Grey Dress Back

I had to open the seam up in two places and redo those sections. It was a bit rough, but once I pressed it thoroughly over my sloppy, make-shift tailor's ham (see figure 1 of a real ham...oh I've been working too much)...
Tailor's Ham
Figure 1, image courtesy of

...most of the folds and buckled fabric smoothed out like crazy freekin' magic! How, whaaa? I just found a great tutorial on how to make a tailor's ham on next project!

I just love the dress fabric. It is broadcloth barkcloth, but is only ever so slightly stiff and it is soft and comfy against the skin. It's vintage and I bought it from Urban Burp in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The owner Electra is really helpful and knowledgable -- great article on SFGate.

Grey Dress Detail

When I use this pattern the next time, I'll make the dart a little different, so the fit between the bust and waist is just a smidge tighter, but otherwise I am really happy with the fit, go pattern maker! Good old Simplicity 4298!

I did end up farming out the zipper work. I didn't want to get all cranky and sad, so I took it to the lovely lady down the street at Sherry Cleaners...she did an amazing job!! Despite her help, I have signed up for a zipper class at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. Their calendar of classes look great! The co-owner, Suzan, who called to confirm my registration was super nice (I answered the phone all mean and stern as I picked up the phone on a crowded bus and then thought it was a spam call...she was so understanding when I gushed my apology).

Hip hip hooray...completion!


  1. Looks great! A lot of people don't understand ease, even really advanced seamstresses, so don't feel bad about that at all. I bet that zipper class'll be very interesting!

  2. Aimee, that is one seriously good-lookin' dress! Excellent job!

  3. Great fabric choice. The dress looks fantastic.

  4. Fantastic dress! The zipper class sounds like a great idea and will build your confidence for the next dress project!

  5. Fabulous!
    But surely you mean barkcloth, from the picture, not broadcloth which is terribly smooth and boring, not to mention crisper..

  6. Ah yes, barkcloth! Marie-Christine thanks for the correction!! I am learning this fabric thing slowly. I really need to beg my friend Lisa to walk me around a fabric store. Making the correction now.