May 15th, 2008

Simplicity 3835, almost done.  This is my first dress and it went surprisingly well. I don’t know what I was afraid of really.  Everything I had trouble with was only due to me not paying attention (or not reading the directions).  But it’s too big.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be too small and I guess I did that, but dammit now I have to fix it.  I read somewhere that the arms were cut on the small side in this pattern and with my baby hefting biceps, this bigger size fits my arms just fine.  So do I have to take the arms completely off to take the dress in?  I’m guessing the answer is yes.  Oh well.

A few other garment making questions:

when do you finish the raw edges?  As you go or should you wait on certain ones until your sure it fits (yup, I zigzagged those damn armholes)?  My kenmore sewing machine has an “overlock” stitch–not the real thing I’m sure, but should I use that or a zigzag to finish the edges?

I fell in love with the print at the store ($3 a yard = $10 dress) but it’s a lot of print in one place and I’m not too sure if I can pull it off. Maybe it’ll look better when it actually fits.  I’m on the garment making bandwagon for sure now.  No one told me how easy this is.  So I’m telling you.  The pattern is by built by wendy and the directions are clear as a bell (the zipper was almost too easy).  So stop being intimidated by some tissue paper and sew yourself an outfit.  I already have a long list of things to add to my wardrobe.

Posted in sewing clothes.

24 Responses to dress

  1. Nichol says:

    Really? It’s easy? I’m sorry, I’m going to remain a chicken for a little while longer. The dress looks great with those boots, you can totally pull it off. Congrats!

  2. Fiona says:

    It looks fabulous! I’m way impressed. I’m still intimidated by garment sewing, though – all that adjusting to fit stuff freaks me out. But the fact that you paid only $10 for this fantastic dress? That could definitley sway me!

  3. lindsey says:

    Very cute!!
    If you like the way the arms fit you can get away with leaving them attached when altering, unless the chest is way too big. If you’re just looking to take it in a bit in general, you could either do it at the side seams, or the back zipper, with the sleeves attached. I made this dress and had the same problem. I actually took the zipper out entirely and just made it a slip on dress! If you want to take it in at the side seams, I would put in on, pinch it around your waist, put a few pins in, and get a general idea of the curve you need to make to get the shape you want. You can always sew it first with a basting stitch if you’re not sure, and sew it at 2.5 once you’ve got it just right.
    If you’re serging your seams (or fake overlocking them!) you should do them after each seam you sew. That way the edges get tucked into the other parts of the dress as you go. You can also just pink the edges though, especially if you don’t plan on washing the garment that often. The only problem with pinking is that if you have to let it out in areas it’s a little bit harder, because your edges won’t exactly match anymore.
    I love making clothes, although I don’t do it enough. I have a BA in fashion design, which has served me well!

  4. bitterbetty says:

    okay … you may not need to take off the arms.
    Turn it inside out and pin until it fits a little better. pinning down the side seams a bit and and/or maybe a little dart or two in the back..Then baste it.
    Re-try it on. If it’s better (may not hang just right due to double seams/extra fabric/etc) cut it to the seam allowance and press it to check it once more. If it is good stitch over the basting stitches and you are done.

    email me if you want to!

  5. I made the top to this dress yesterday – but I don’t think I had such an easy time as you!

    I think if you need to just take it in a little, I would make the darts at the back a bit bigger – and if that’s still not enough, see if you can just run it in at the side seams without taking the arms out. If it is too big around the bust area though, you might need to take it apart. I’d just make a new one in a smaller size! (I hate taking things apart!)

    As for overlocking, I serge the seams after every seam I sew, or at the moment I just pinking shear everything and leave it at that. If you want to press the seams open like you’re supposed to, then you need to serge the sides before you sew the seam. (boring)

    anyways – enough rambling….

    Leah xxx

  6. ruth says:

    I made a couple last year and they are great to wear. I think you should be able to alter the fit without taking out the arms. Look where you want to take the fabric in and some could go in at the side seams, also some shaping can be done by darting too. Hope that helps.

  7. Ellie says:

    I think you can definitely pull off this print, which is subtle, and the dress looks great. I love this pattern. I can’t comment on taking it in, b/c I am always the idiot that makes things for myself too small the first time. And I’m not sure.. but. . I think you might be wearing my boots :)

  8. kirsten says:

    i think it’s way cute – and you can totally ‘pull it off’!

  9. Katie says:

    It is really cute! I have that pattern but have yet to make it yet. I really like the boots too :)

  10. What excellent taste you have ;) I made the shirt from this pattern in the exact same fabric. Very nice job.

  11. I am totally finishing the shirt version of this pattern tonight! I made a WORLD of difference in fit (mine was too big, too) simply by taking in the center back seam. I put it on inside out and had my husband pin it how I wanted it and then drew new seam lines and went from there. I did have to undo the neck right near that seam but didn’t have to undo it completely. Perhaps this would work for you, too (using the center back seam)?

  12. Katy says:

    I don’t believe you – it looks too good to be easy!!!

    Oh, and thank you so much for the tutorial…my daughter and me are going to make some pots for her stuff (that lies all over the house) when we get the half term break in a couple of weeks. ‘ll send you pics of how we do!!!

  13. Cristina says:

    This is just what I needed to hear, though I’m working with some $1,000,000 per yard Liberty lawn from which a friend is trusting me to make something wearable. I’ve got bags down, but you can’t wear a bag.

  14. monica says:

    I’ve no idea how to make it smaller I just want to say it’s fab and looks great. It’s not too much print and you could always tone it down (if you think it needs it, which I don’t) with a one-colour scarf or cardigan…


  15. Joanna says:

    I just made the shirt from this pattern. I used french seams for the sides. I cut the back as one piece so I didn’t need anything there, and as I haven’t made any of these with the zipper, I’m not sure if a french seam would be possible there. As for the armholes, since I made the short version, I just pinked the seam, cutting it down to 1/4 inch and pressing pen, but someone had suggested using a flat felled seam. Not sure about this, though!
    I love your dress!

  16. kirsten says:

    congratulations on your first dress-making effort.
    i agree pretty much with the other comments and i always, always make my clothes too big!
    [i recently made some pants that i must have made smaller 6 times! aarrrgggghhh. brought the darts in 3 or 4 times, side seams about 5 times, left the hidden zip alone as didn’t want to re-insert.]

  17. Terra says:

    this is so stylin’ no worries about the print! you look fabulous!

  18. rachel hayes says:

    hi…i saw your dress on the SMS flicker page. i had to contact you because i’ve been sewing that pattern and have had an awful time with the yoke collar. any tips in sewing it evenly??? great job by the way!

  19. Jessie B. says:

    I’m almost done with the top version of this pattern, which I decided to do as a warmup for the dress. Yours looks great! The fabric is fantastic, and I wouldn’t worry at all about its being too much. The colors are very subtle and pretty.

  20. futuregirl says:

    I love this dress! What a great print.

  21. Kim says:

    So cute, love that fabric. That Built by Wendy Pattern is my FAVORITE!!

  22. collins says:

    Your dress is so cute. I just made this dress too, and I really love it. I made mine just a little to big also, but I’m leaving it alone, to lazy I guess! I just found your blog and i love it. I can’t wait to try the cover for my kitchen canister.

  23. Nanette says:

    Love it. And the rockin’ boots.

  24. amy says:

    i love it! the print looks great, the dress is darling, and it totally rocks with those boots! i must go off to find this pattern now.