Feels like the first time…

Because it is! The first time I’ve sewed a dress, that is. And here she is in all her glory:

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Some of you will likely recognize this as the Staple Dress. My obsessive/thorough reading of the sewing blogs this summer turned me on to this dress, a beautiful and relatively simple pattern by April Rhodes that seemed to be sweeping the internets. I, too, was swept away, and decided to make it one of my first projects ever. I made it up in a fun cotton voile by Anna Maria Horner I got on sale (hurray for savings!).

I actually LOVE the way it looks on the hanger, and I learned lots from making it: pockets, shirring, and adding this kind of narrow facing at the neckline and sleeves. I could feel myself improving with each step of the pattern construction, which was pretty exciting. Plus, who doesn’t love a high-low hem! Actually on my body, though, I have to admit I don’t love it quite as much.

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Issue 1 is a pretty big one, which is I don’t think this style and fit are totally flattering on me. The bust has no shaping, and while bust adjustments (which I assume are in my future as I start to make more fitted garments) intimidate me, it definitely creates some fitting issues. Exhibit A for the prosecution:

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I’m most irritated by that little bit of pulling across the middle of the bust and the extra fabric at the armpits. I think I also could have used a little more width at the hips. I knew this at the outset but decided to go for it anyway without any pattern adjustments because I thought going a size up would have resulted in more of a shirred-waist mumu, and I was too lazy to make an adjustment of my own.

Issue 2 is the positioning of the stripes. I will say that I think I did a good job of centering the stripes, and I like the chevron effect at the hip and the stripe placement on the arms. But in retrospect, I think that centering the more dense purple stripes would have been a better choice, and I wouldn’t have these bright pink stripes running down my behind. Exhibit B:

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(Excuse my facial expression, which is saying “camera timer, you still workin’ over there?”) The stripe down the butt really is straight IRL, but I think the twist here shows the unfortunate ways it can distort while being worn. Oh well, live and learn. And I certainly learned that getting a printed fabric straight and aligned well is just as important as thinking about where the elements of the print will fall on the body!

Issue 3 is that the insides are not so pretty, but that I can live with (it’s my secret, shh), and assume it will get better with time and practice.

All in all, though, I think things are off to a pretty good start for my first wearable finished garment ever, and so I’ll leave you with a final photo that highlights my favorite features of the dress: the hem, the pockets, and the neat chevron at the side seams. Looking forward to sharing more makes with you!

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I made a bag!

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First things first for this first real post: apparently I need to claim my blog on Bloglovin’ so you, my (currently imaginary) readers can follow me. So click and follow away!

Now let’s get down to business. Back in June, I ordered this kit┬áto make the Everyday Tote from Purl Bee. The kit comes with some duck canvas, chambray for contrast, webbing, and, most importantly, neon bias binding. Friends, I am really and truly obsessed with Purl Bee, and this is a beautiful kit.

As it happened, this practical tote became my first “up until the wee hours sewing, sleep is for the weak, must finish this project” project. And here’s the finished product (photographed just this weekend after two months of toting and beach trips):

My everyday tote, well loved

My everyday tote, well loved

I think this photo is teaching me that this blog will document lots of learning about sewing, but some learning about photography, too. Bear with my mediocre photos!

Here are the beautiful neon pink insides, my first adventure into bias binding:

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And finally, here’s a side view, because I ended up pretty proud of how everything lined up (pats self on back):

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I must admit, like all the beautiful things at Purl, this kit was not cheap, but it was a fun and easy project, and the result is something I really love using, in contrast to my other early projects (pajama pants and an elastic waist skirt in a novelty fabric that will forever remain unblogged, *shudder*).

Anyhoodle, that’s it for post number 2. Watch this space for a full report on my first real foray into apparel sewing!