May has been a quiet month for the blog, as I haven’t had much personal work to share. FOs have been thin on the ground lately, too, as I have about seven or more knitting projects going on at once (I really should finish something) and most everything else I’m working on is behind-the-scenes stuff, like pattern writing, illustrating (more on that later), and Nordic Knitting Conference prep. I’m also getting ready to head to Norway in a few weeks to take part in the International Summer School at the University of Oslo! While all of that is incredibly exciting, it doesn’t make for the greatest blogging.
However! I finally have an FO to share today. The last time I posted was the beginning of Me Made May, and I wrote about my plans to sew the Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway. I’m very pleased to say I got a chance to pull out the sewing machine over the holiday weekend, and now I have a new dress!
This was my first time using a PDF print-at-home sewing pattern, and while it did take some extra prep work up front (aligning all of the pages that made up the pattern pieces), it was relatively easy to do. My finished dress isn’t a perfect garment, but I think it is the neatest garment I’ve ever sewn, because I paid extra attention to the tiny details throughout.
I have a few notes on the process:
– I decided not to try and make any modifications to the pattern for this particular project (in length, for example) because it had been so long since I’d sewn a garment. I figured I could cut and sew exactly as written, and then based on the finished garment, I could decide whether or not to make modifications in the future. It was a little bit of a trial run.
– I did end up making one small modification, because when it was time to cut out the pieces, my fabric (which I thought was 45″ wide) turned out to be about 42″ wide. This means my skirt came out a little bit narrower than it would have otherwise, but it ended up lining up and fitting well anyway. I fell between a size small and size medium, based on the size chart, so I had opted to sew the medium to have some wiggle room (literal and figurative).
– On that note, while the top is designed to have a lot of positive ease, I think I’d be just fine working the size small next time (and perhaps shortening the bodice if I’m using a cotton fabric like this again. The waist of this dress wants to sit lower than my natural waist, which is quite high).
– I’m quite happy with my understitching on the facings and my work on folding up and topstitching the hem! The geometric print definitely aided me in topstitching in a straight line, and consequently this is the best looking hem I’ve ever sewn. I’m not as happy with my seam “neatening” and I’ll be working on improving that in the future. Has anyone tried this method? It looks pretty sharp, I might try it!
– The fabric I ended up choosing was this midweight cotton from the Bee My Honey collection by Mary Jane Butters. The geometric effect from a distance is what initially drew me to it, but when you take a closer look, you realize the hexagon/honeycomb pattern is actually made up of honey dippers! It’s kind of ridiculous, but hey, I’ll celebrate bees. I love that it’s more of a graphic print than a cutesy one.
– Next time, I will definitely add pockets. Seems like it would be pretty straightforward with this pattern, and if I’m sewing my own everyday dress why wouldn’t I add pockets?
All in all, it was a totally positive experience (except for the part where I broke a needle, but that was easily replaced), and I think I ended up with a very wearable garment. I’ll probably do the PDF print-at-home thing again, but I would spend more on a physical pattern where the option’s available, I think. If you all have patterns you love, I’d love to hear about them!