Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strawberry sundress - New Look 6796

I've been on a complete sewing spree this summer. I feel like I've made several evolutionary leaps forwards. I've tackled zips, bias binding tape, gathers. I've even drafted my own patterns. A year ago I could barely sew in a straight line let alone breath at the same time. I still struggle big time with understanding patterns and I am a little intimidated by my sewing machine - okay quite a lot. But I am getting more and more ambitious about what I tackle.
This super cute sundress is a New Look pattern. I went for view A but without the ruffle along the bottom - too fussy. The fabric was from my perennial favourite, fabricland. I love that nothing costs much more than £3 a metre. I'm too scared to cut into anything more pricey! I opted for age 2 width and age 3 length and like the other New Look pattern I tried a few months back, the fit was just right.

I was so happy with the finished garment but this dress threw quite a few curve balls at me. For starters my sewing machine was playing up and some of my stitches were loopy and loose especially down the side seams. I kept rethreading and checking in a very OCD way that my needle was up and the presser foot raised. I tried adjusting various dials but couldn't get a neat stitch. I think either the cotton thread was at fault. It was Coats but seemed slightly 'hairy'. Maybe it was a dud reel. Or possibly I threw everything out of kilter when I forced a zip under the wrong presser foot.
Also I was not anticipating having to make my own bias binding tape - eek! Or add gathers. This pattern was supposed to be easy! I read a couple of Dana tutorials here and here and did a pretty decent job of both. In fact I can see there is something quite addictive about making bias tape. I was slightly thrown by the different shape and size of the 'bib' in the illustrations compared to the pattern pieces. They seemed completely different and I wasn't quite sure what I was aiming for. I'd love to see other people's take on this dress.
I would make this dress again. I'm quite keen to have a go at view B which uses bias binding for the straps as well as neatening off the armholes. But before I do, I really need to make something for my ocean-mad little boy. That's a toy shark he's clutching. He has already picked out some fabulously jazzy underwater sealife fabric with strict instructions that I am to make a pair of shorts for him.

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