Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Amateur Dressmaking

So last week I found an online tutorial for sewing a tank top dress. I really like these style dresses because they sit at the waist and can hide an unflattering mid-section. After getting a new sewing machine a few weeks back, I decided that it was time to break it in.

Originally, I found this tutorial from Cut Out and Keep. What really caught my eye was the shape, and style of the tank top portion. I had a tank that had the applique on the back portion, just like the photo shown here. It was in a beautiful emerald hue and I felt it would be perfect for this project. Although, I love this style, the tutorial itself is somewhat lacking. It also suggested using a t-shirt, and extra scraps for the skirt part. I was really uninterested in using leftover materials to make a dress, especially with the beautiful color of the tank top. So I went on the hunt for additional help and pointers in sewing something like this.

In my searching and reaching out for help, I found a much better idea from Talk2TheTrees. Using the same tank top as before, I embarked on finding the perfect fabric to make a complementing skirt to the color of the tank top. I settled on a quilters cotton that I got on sale at Jo-Ann's last week. I followed the second tutorial and in roughly 2 hours total I had a finished dress.

I saved it for wearing at the Sedona Bridal Fair (which I will post about for Wedding Wednesday) and it was great! The second layer made a thicker skirt so I didn't have to worry about the color of my panties showing through. The ruffles and bubble skirt style gave volume that covered my problem areas. The instructions were so easy to follow. I had never sewn anything without a pattern before this so I was concerned about being able to pull it off, but I did! I plan on sending my grandma some photos of it so that she can see how great of a teacher she has been.

Now that I talked about my loves with the dress, let's talk about my issues. The tank top I used was too thin and structureless to hold the weight of the skirt. The top pulled down a little, but it just made my already large bust look HUGE. Also, given the size of my bust, I should have looked into a piece of elastic so that I could stretch the skirt over my bust. When I put it on, the stitches broke a little bit. For the first sewing machine project I have done in at least 8 years, I am happy with the result especially since I did not measure, or use a pattern.

Next time, I tackle something like this, I will look for a heavier tank top and a tutorial with pockets in the skirt!

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