Finished: My very first ever sewing project; Butterick 4790 or "The Walkaway Dress"
Finally! My post about my very first dress; Butterick 4790, also known as the Walkaway Dress. Before I started sewing this dress, I had absolutely no sewing experience. My mom gave me her sewing machine because she never used it so I had to get acquainted with my new best friend during this project as well. That actually resulted in a lot of sewing mishaps, like birds nesting, threads breaking, tension problems, etc. My mom had been complaining about the machine doing weird stuff as well, and at some points during the sewing of this dress I really thought the machine simply hated me and started to call it the sewing machine from hell. But at the end of the project I finally managed to tame the damn thing.
|Front (The dress is too small at the waist for my dress form)|
I started up really slow, I was so intimidated by all the lines on the pattern that I cut it out really, really slowly, afraid to cut the wrong line. Then when I wanted to cut out the fabric, I realized that my scissors weren't as suitable for cutting fabric as I thought, so that went very slow as well. (I ended up buying a rotary cutter, and love it!) Sewing up the first bits went super quick, I had the bodice sewn in about an hour. Adding the skirt took a little longer, but wasn't a challenge at all either. Then I decided that I didn't like the shoulders as they where, so I put the dress on my dress form and started to play a bit with the shoulders and the neckline.
|This is what I had wanted to do, but I realized I had no idea how to actually sew it this way, so I had to go with the simpler solution.|
|stretched out gathered shoulders|
From the start, I didn't really like the idea of finishing the edges with bias binding. Initially I tried to solve this 'problem' by using a satin ribbon as bias binding in stead of cotton, hoping that that would make it look a little nicer. But then I pinned it on the dress to see what it would look like and I still didn't like it.
Then I stumbled upon Edelweiss Patterns' Sewalong where she gave instructions to finish the seams with bias binding on the inside, rather than the outside. So that's what I did. When I finished the dress, I still thought it needed something. I especially found the neckline quite boring and unflattering on me, and I remembered seeing a picture of a 1940s dress that had sundial pin tucks. So I practiced on a scrap of fabric and then sewed the pin tucks. Much better! I have to say that I was quite proud of the way it turned out. Even though I ran out of matching thread and had to use black thread instead. You can't really tell. I also played a little with adding decorative buttons on the front, but didn't really like it so I left them out. Oh and the fabric is medium weight cotton. I didn't really keep track but I think the whole process took me about 16 hours. Hemming the giant skirt alone took me over 3 hours!
|Here is my very first sewing mishap; the machine was threaded with white thread when I started sewing and for the darts I figured that that wouldn't matter because it wouldn't show. First lesson learned!|
|Whoops. Bias binding too short, birds nesting and tension problems all in one!|
|Trying a 50's pose|
|And a vague picture of me attempting to twirl|
|Mrs Depews Bathing Beauties 1940's Bathing Suit|