A friend of ours had finally had enough of reading along with my horrible failures. She came over with a different sewing machine and gave me some lessons. And thanks to her (Thanks Joan!!), I did it!
First off, let me start by saying that most of my failure can be attributed to the sewing machine I was using. I have a feeling that no matter how skilled you are, you might have encountered some difficulty. I have absolutely no skill, so it was a train wreck. With the new sewing machine, I actually was able to produce a half-decent product.
And now for the results:
First, here was my practice project. This was started because I found out that I can't actually sew in a straight line, and needed the practice. I thought jumping right in to dressmaking was a little over my head, so I decided to make a baby blanket.
After I came off the high of actually completing something, and rather successfully, I tried to tackle that beauty of a dress. Remember the one? Here's what it's supposed to look like:
I went with the red and white version. The material was from 1980, and has been laying all folded up in a bag with the half cut-out pattern for 30 years. I've laundered it twice, and it is still holding on strong to the creases. My mom didn't get too far with the whole project. After Joan gave me a quick tutorial on how to gather the fabric, I started off on my own.
It was pretty difficult, I'm not going to lie. Mostly because I have no idea what most of the instructions mean. Sure, it sounds easy, and they have little pictures, but I really don't know what the heck they are talking about. I had to apply a healthy dose of logical reasoning to figure out what they MUST mean, and tried it from there.
I had one fatal error, which was buying a zipper which was 2 inches too long. I just looked for a red zipper. It didn't occur to me that they come in different sizes!! Also, I really didn't do a very good job of sewing that puppy on. The hard won straight-sewing skills all went to hell after I put on the zipper foot thingy. In any case, some unsightly improvised adjustments and it became functional.
I put it on to show Hubby, and he was all proud and gushy about me finishing it. Although any compliments on how it actually looked were noticeably absent. And I do have to admit, it looks rather like a floral potato sack. Any thoughts of me having this amazingly retro dress to stroll around in, amidst the oohs and aahs of envious preggos were put to rest that day. In order to make it slightly less sacky, I added a ribbon between the ever decreasing area between the bust and the belly. But I just tied it on. That part wasn't in the instructions.
So, without further ado, here she is! The most hard-won, unattractive maternity outfit EVER!!
I wore it over to my Mom and Dad's place for mother's day, and it was a cute little surprise for my mommy.