I proved myself right thinking black was a good colour choice for my first dressmaking venture. (It actually looks navy blue in the photos, but it is black!) Even more right choosing a busy patterned fabric. You can barely see the dress let alone any mistakes on it! So sorry if you can’t really make the photos out. It’s quite annoying actually because I think I did pretty well with the dress, and I can’t even show it off! In case you’re wondering why I don’t just post a picture of me wearing it… read on!
It’s called the Brigitte Dress by Sew Simple. It was free with issue one of Love Sewing Magazine, so I didn’t really have an excuse not to make it; especially after I came across this fab sewalong on Thread Carefully’s blog, which helped me A LOT. The pattern’s instructions left quite a bit to the imagination and as I am a complete novice when it comes to dressmaking I would have struggled. And probably thrown a tantrum and given up. So I’m extremely grateful for this sewalong.
I learnt a lot sewing this dress; there were a lot of firsts for me. I’d never put in sleeves and they were actually pretty easy; I just made a few tucks where I stitched over fabric caught up underneath, which meant I needed to unpick and re-stitch a few times – but at least the piece fitted the armhole!
I also had never made a facing before (believe it or not) so that was a new experience, and quite straightforward.
My proudest part, though, is the concealed zip. It was so much easier than I thought it was going to be. And I didn’t even have to use a special foot, thanks to Thread Carefully’s tutorial, I learned how to do it with my regular zipper foot. Maybe it was a bit risky going straight ahead and sewing it onto my dress with no practice run, but thankfully it turned out just as it should; it is actually concealed!
Also I like my darts (particularly the back ones). Again this is something I hadn’t done before so I’m really pleased with how they turned out.
Unfortunately I had some problems with the fit (hence you see no photo of me wearing it). It’s too big at the front for me. I don’t know if that’s my sewing or my figure but I am working on getting it to fit right. Now that I’ve put the effort in I would quite like to wear it!
All in all, I learned a lot by making this dress. I made a fair amount of mistakes, but I like to call them lessons.
One more thing. A couple of days ago, my five-year-old asked me (quite out of the blue), “are you proud to sew?” Well, after this project – yes, I think I can say I am proud to sew! I’m only at the beginning of my dressmaking journey but I plan to continue and learn as I go – it’s going to be fun.