An army of one

I have begun my army of dresses with McCall’s M4769. After playing fantasy seamstress and as the patterns begun to arrive in my mail box, I took them with me to my regularly scheduled crafterday at Effiloché and continued to play the game.

Turns out adding fabric makes the game more fun, but hard to stay reasonable. I was going to start with getting fabric for one dress and it quickly became fabric for 5 dresses. In the end I kept things reasonable and only bought fabric for 2 dresses. Very restrained I think.

Daniel helped me fit the pattern in the style of Fit for Real People. There’s a bit of a learning curve with these techniques but I think it’s worth the pay off to get a dress that actually fits properly.

The last time I sewed garments was back in the summer between grades 6 and 7 when my mom decided my brother and I would learn to sew. Our aunt, a self-taught seamstress and my mom showed us how the basics of making clothes. I ended up with a closet full of dresses and my brother got a complete wardrobe of colourful vests (it was the 90’s after all). That year my mom bought a serger for us to use so I’m learning about “properly” finishing the inside of a garment. French seams, bias tape and all that jazz.

It’s coming along quite nicely. Well at least between fights with my vintage free-to-me sewing machine. I try to show reverence and respect. I even recently moved it to a more permanent part of the kitchen so it may feel more cooperative. I’ve been giving it some personal space for a while, but I’ll try it tonight and see how hospitable it feels. Fingers crossed that it goes well.

I have had some difficulty fitting the sleeve cap into the armhole. Our adjustments to the sleeve seem to have added an awful lot of fabric to the top. I hand basted it into the dress. The effect of a 19th century sleeve in a 20th century dress design really doesn’t jive.

So I rebasted the sleeve into position, taking the excess fabric into two pleats near the top. It’s still not quite right. I think I might have to adjust the pleats a bit to get them to sit nicely. There’s a lot of fabric in each pleat so I might try splitting 2 pleats into 4: two smaller ones on the front part and 2 on the back part of the sleeve.

I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and don’t these shoes look cute with the dress?