6 years of uni. 7 days until graduation. 1 dress. 0 experience.

Could it be done?

Day 1

I decided to use another print at home pattern from the brilliant people at Burdastyle (this time following the pattern to the T). Guess how many pages it required? 71. 71 pages!! Perhaps somewhat ironically, I decided to print it on the back of old lecture notes to save some trees. As I was sticking reams of paper together I realised that the pattern was made for ‘tall’ people. Being a ‘petite’ meant I had to cut out a (sizeable) chunk of the length from the middle of the dress (just taking it off the bottom would ruin the ‘cocoon’ shape) and hope for the best!photo

This time I chose to cut out pieces as I needed them- that way I’d avoid over handling the material and wiping away the tailors chalk. And after some Googling I found a great tip to make cutting a seam allowance super easy- attach magnets (of around 1.5cm width) to your scissors and keep the magnets lined up with your pattern as you cut. Voila! An even seam allowance all the way around the pattern!

Magnets to help cut the seam allowance


Now this is a weird looking pattern when you cut it out. The back and front are made of two panels each. The front incorporates an inverted pleat and two “integrated ties” which look like elephant trunks, distorting the shape of what you’d expect the front pattern to look like. Completely baffled, I put all my faith into the pattern and figured it will work it’s way out and make sense at some point…

Elephant trunks
Elephant trunks

And it did! Kind of… By the end of the day I had the front put together and it kind of looked like the picture of the dress!DSC_0477

Wrap detail
Wrap detail

Day 2

Encouraged by my efforts from day 1, I moved on to the next step: putting the back together… which included an invisible zip. DUM DUM DUUUUUM. The most elegant looking of zips, if inserted properly means you barely see it at all- and considering the length of the zip required (a whopping 60cm!), I needed this to go well!

As before, I hand basting stitched the zip in place before taking it across to my machine.

invisible zipper hand basting


As mentioned before- I don’t have a zipper foot for my mini machine and it worked out fine last time. But I was still a bit nervous about doing an invisible zipper without one.

Non-zipper foot
Uh-oh, no zipper foot

I had to be really careful making sure the needle stitched to the side of the zipper teeth and not onto it, but it turned out perfect! I’m starting to think this whole ‘need a zipper foot’ thing is a myth…

invisible zip without zipper foot

Day 3

Life got in the way and I had to leave my sewing machine alone for the day. Sigh. Now only 4 days of sewing left!

….to be continued

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