Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My first make

What a feeling! To wear something you made, something you can be proud of having made. Well, today was the day for me! And I must say, I am smitten with sewing!

Today, I wore the lovely Crepe dress from Colette. I vowed before leaving the house that I would not tell everyone I met that I made the dress. Instead, I would wait for the inevitable comments on the stunning fabric, the style, the quality, the total look.

And I mostly managed to keep my vow. I told one woman in my office who knew I had taken up sewing, but otherwise, I waited until people said how they liked my dress, and then, I would break the news! I tried to be modest, but it was all I could do not to sing it from the roof tops!

For those of you who sew regularly, perhaps I seem a bit dramatic. But truly, for the first garment I have ever made, with visions of Red Valentino designs on my sewing machine to lull me to sleep each night, I am so pleased.

I love the style of the Crepe dress, with the wrap dress and ties around the waste. It was fairly simple for a beginner, with no zips or buttons, and it looks great.

I had seen the fabric at Manor, the local department store in Switzerland. I think it is a Duponi silk, but I am not sure. It was too expensive, as is everything in Switzerland, but having thought about it for a week, I couldn't resist returning to buy it, armed with a 10 CHF coupon to soften the blow. And I am glad I did, because it is perfect for the Crepe.

I made a toile first, because I did not want to just cut into such lush fabric and immediately make a mistake. But, I must admit that I was lazy with the toile. I just could not get too excited about the cotton fabric I bought from Ikea. I did not iron anything, and I barely took all the steps. It really defeated the purpose of making a toile, because I cannot say that I really made any adjustments, other than to cut the bodice one size smaller.

You can see that it is a bit large in the top. I will have to learn how to do an SBA. The toile should have revealed this to me, but again ... LAZY ME! To try and solve it, I made the darts a bit larger on the front, then sewed a larger seam allowance. With a sweater, I do not think it is too bad.

I struggled with the arm and neck facings flipping out constantly. No amount of ironing solved it. I finally gave up and went to the trusty Internet to see what I could find. And what else, but Gertie did a sew-along with this dress, complete with videos and everything. I was thrilled to find it but sad that I had not found it earlier. I will follow her excellent instructions this weekend to sew the facings to the seam allowance. Brilliant! And next time, before I begin any pattern, I will search for all sew-alongs in advance. I learned quite a lot from Gertie on the Crepe, but too late for this version. But, I am sure I will be making a few more.

Another little bit: I was so excited to be making pockets that I brazenly stitched them in without paying enough attention, only to discover at the end that they were upside down. Upside down pockets do not work. I tried to fix them without removing the entire side seem, but it was a complete mess, so in the end, I removed them and sewed up the seams for a pocketless Crepe. Okay for me, if this was the worst mistake I made. And, it is kind of funny!

I made this dress all by myself with lots of help from the on-line sewing community. Thanks to so many of you, as I have been lurking and reading so many of your blogs and following so many tutorials, which gave me a wealth of great resources and knowledge from the start. How did we ever live without this thing called the web? How did I ever live without sewing?

Thanks everyone! I would love to hear all about your first project? Were you happy with the result? Did it motivate you more?

My trusty helper, Aurélie

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