Sew I almost made a dress


I’ve mentioned before that I took an introductory sewing class at Conestoga College in 2009.  The format of the class was basically teach us as much as we need to know to make a project.  Each student picked a different project, and the instructor was present to assist us with as much or as little help as each of us needed.

I decided to attempt a simple, straight lined dress (a McCall’s pattern) that you can see here.  I decided to go with the version that is shown in blue.  I learned a lot while making this dress… but I ended up mucking it up so badly that it is not actually a dress.

During the sewing course, everything was going smoothly.  I occasionally made an error, but my instructor was incredibly patient.  As hard as I worked, I wasn’t able to quite finish by the end of the course.  My instructor spent some time going over the last couple of steps to make sure I could successfully finish it at home.  I was sure I would be able to handle it.  But, then disaster hit.  I had one step left – to sew the bottom contrast colour piece onto the dress.  Before completing this last step, I decided to try it on and see how it had turned out.  It was huge. HUGE. I had made it waaaaaaaay too big for me.  I looked like I was wearing a paper bag.  “No biggie,” I said to Eric, “I’ll just undue the seam and take it in.”

Now, Eric has heard me say things like this before.  He’s learned that when I pick up scissors and say, “I’m just going to fix my bangs,” that it will inevitably end up in a meltdown of epic proportions that will lead to him forcibly removing the scissors from my hands.  He witnessed the outcome my biggest hair meltdown of 2006.  At 6:30am while getting ready for work, I just picked up some scissors to “fix” my hair.

My good friend Michelle and I in 2006 - several months post-hair cut (and probably 2 inches growth)

Let’s just say I butchered it.  I flipped my head around all day at the office hoping nobody would notice.  After work, I immediately headed to a salon where I begged for an appointment.  They kept telling me they were booked.  I stood there, pointed at my head and said, “you HAVE to have an appointment!”.  They squeezed me in, and while the hair dresser worked hard to try and fix my hair, I promised her I wouldn’t let my “roommate” cut my hair ever again.  She had to cut my hair so short to fix it, people remarked for months that I had the same haircut as my younger brother, Scotty.  Thank goodness hair grows back!

When I told Eric I would just take the seam in, he said, “Um, really? Do you know how to do that?”  What he should have said was, “Are you crazy??!!? Just leave it!  Put the seam ripper down!!!”  He should have said that… even though I wouldn’t have listened to him.  Pulling the seam out was my first mistake.  When I took it in and sewed it back up, the dress was no longer symmetrical (even though I did both sides… my skills were just not there yet).  It wasn’t too bad though, and I figured I’d still wear it.  This also happened in the process.  But, it wasn’t until I went to sew the contrast piece onto the dress that I realized the biggest mistake of all.  I hadn’t taken the contrast piece in… and I didn’t really measure how much I took the dress in… so I couldn’t take the contrast piece in properly to match the size of the dress.  I tried and tried to get it to match up… but, after hours of trying, I gave up and just sewed a hem.

Here’s where you’re expecting me to post a picture of me wearing the dress.  Well, I can’t.  My lady bits practically show in this “almost dress” because it is WAY too short.  Without the contrast piece, it actually looks like a long shirt.  The cut does not work as a shirt, it’s much too big and looks like a bag.  Here’s how it turned out:



Let’s just chalk this one up to a learning experience 😉

What did I learn from making this dress?  A lot. How to take body  measurements. How to read a pattern. How to use my sewing machine. How to sew a pleat. When and why to use an iron when sewing.

Would I attempt this dress if I were to go back in time? Absolutely.  I learned a lot.  However, if you’re a new sewer, I would recommend something more simple unless you have an experienced sewer that can assist you when you need it.


1) Know your skill level. Don’t attempt to take something in if you have no idea how to do it properly. This brings us to lesson number two:

2) Ask for help when you need it.

I’ve just purchased some fabric to start my next clothing item.  Let’s hope Maddy’s outfit turns out better than this one.


7 responses »

  1. I love your stories!! The hair experience brought back some good memories! It’s too bad the dress was too big…it’s really pretty!

  2. I think you should just take the scissors to it again and cut it shorter… Into a shirt instead of a dress. Or wear it to bed. I’m sure someone would apppreciate your lady bits showing.

  3. Pingback: Baby dress with open back « sewrite

  4. Pingback: 11 Questions from Lyndsay « sewrite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s