10 January 2014

New Year New Dress


All my Christmas dreams came true this year; I received a Serger! A Brother 1034D to be exact! I couldn't be more thrilled because now I EASILY have finished edges on ALL my items AND be able to tackle knits without hassle.

New Years is always the best excuse to dress up- Pretty Little Dress for me! For Christmas I also received this stunning flower tulle. Look at it! I'm in love. It has all that texture and has that drama factor I love! All in one easy to sew fabric. Luckily this flower tulle had stretch to it which set my mind at ease knowing I wouldn't ruin my fabric sans zipper.

This fabric is almost identical to the one used in the new Burda Magazine (01/2014) to showcase The Rose Dress #107 and the similarities were too much for me NOT to make that dress out of it. It is one of my favourite patterns from that issue.

I busted out my tracing paper and pencil, and traced the size 42. Typically I would size up with Burda patterns, but since the plan was to use Ponte Knit for the bodice, I knew I would need a smaller size to accommodate the stretch it the fabric. Turns out I should have cut an even smaller size, but that is ok - ponte's are oh so forgiving that is why we are in love.

From start to finish; tracing to walking out the door; it took me less than 4 hours to make. Talk about speedy sewing! All thanks to my wonderful serger! Life is so easy now. But if you are looking at those photos you will notice something IS amiss; why am I using white thread in my serger on a black dress?!? Turns out, many a folk stocked up on serger thread because when I went in to buy spools, they only had 2 black spools left! Jokes right? So, I made due, and used black thread in my upper looper and left needle and white in the lower looper and right needle. Maybe I should have used black in both my loopers, but I just got it - forgive my lack of knowledge!

But while holding back tears in the fabric shop, a clerk told me a wonderful secret; when changing threads, instead of re-threading the machine, simply snip the thread at the spool and tie that end to the new thread colour. Thread the machine slowly, and your before your the knot ends reaches your needles, snip them apart and thread the needle with the new colour. Both upper and lower loopers will be threaded without having to follow the arrows! Easy! Sure this doesn't improve my knowledge of the inner workings of my serger, but easier is always better (until its not). So I'm sticking with that! Thanks Fabricland clerk!

Back to my dress! I didn't bother reading the instructions. Sorry, not sorry. Burda's instructions are more confusing than helpful, so I go without. Not sure where the confidence comes from as I am a new seamstress, but more or less all dresses are made the same, and unless they have a specific detail that is different, I don't bother reading instructions (unless they are independent company patterns because those instructions are phenomenal).

I stitched my pleats in the bodice front, folded over my facing (which I cut as one piece with the bodice so that if I ever needed MORE coverage I could let the facing fold roll out without a seamline indicating this wasn't how the dress was supposed to be worn), and sewed the shoulder seams. Voila, bodice complete. When I tried it on, the back bodice had too much stretch and it felt too loose, especially around the neck, so I added two 1 inch darts to the back neckline reducing the neckline by 2 inches total. It helped. Yay for improper but effective fixes. (I know I have narrow shoulders and back, so I SHOULD have adjusted this prior to cutting my fabric, but sometimes I'm just really really lazy)

I serged every seam except my hem, which I used my twin needle on. I tried to do a blind hem with my serger but could not figure it out with such a short deadline, so I opted for my twin needle. No worries here. The waist seam was a monster of a seam for my serger to conquer. But conquer it did. Across the front of the dress there are two layers of pleated bodice (the faux wrap in front), the bulk of the flowered tulle skirt, and another ponte layer for the under skirt. So glad I didn't blow up my serger after only a week in my possession.

I walked into the party, took off my coat (begrudgingly seeing as it was -51 C with Windchill here in Canada that night - BRUTAL RIGHT?) and immediately lapped in the compliments given to my dress, and oh so proudly blurted out I made it myself that day. There is nothing as wonderful as feeling pride in my accomplishments to both end 2013 and commence 2014.

Pattern: #107 Rose Dress - Burda Style 01/2014
Size: 42
Fabric: Ponte di Roma & Flowered Tulle
Cost: FREE (Christmas Presents)

  • Added 2 darts to the bodice back neckline to reduce gaping
  • Used a half circle skirt for the top Tulle and a tight mini for the Ponte lining
  • Cut the Bodice front facing as one with the Bodice Front to eliminate a seam line and to add extra coverage if needed.

Happy New Years to each and every single person who has read to the end of this post!

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