A dress in a day

A dress in a day

Yes, that’s right. A dress in a day. I was the first one to be surprised by this. This is my very own personal victory, in a day when my national team embarrasses itself in their World Cup debut.

It all started when a few weeks ago I went to a fabric store in Natick and saw the dress in the photograph and I knew I had to make it myself. Someone in the store had made it and all the fabrics were right there. As I put all the five bolts of fabric in my shopping cart I saw a group of people stare at me and follow me with their eyes. Weird, I thought, but then I overheard a man say to one of the shop assistants: “look, she is copying your dress!”.

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I have to say that the pattern itself was extremely easy to follow. It’s a McCalls (#6697) and I also found an online video explaining every step. I love that it’s a ruffle stretchy fabric, because it should be very comfortable to wear and I feel that it adds a little bit of body to someone as skinny as me.

It took an hour to transfer the pattern onto paper (I used the smallest size available and didn’t want to ruin the original pattern in case it was too small). It took an hour and a half to cut all the pieces. This was tricky because of the bulk of the fabric, so I had to use the scissors instead of the rotary cutter. Then came the piecing. The main problem I encountered was that the ruffles could go in either direction, up or down, depending on which end you held the fabric from. I wanted all the ruffles sewn down so I put strips of scotch tape all over to hold them. This took a lot of time but it was definitely worth it.

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Things were going nicely and quickly. I tried the dress on once all the piecing was done and was very pleased with myself. All that was left was hemming the arm holes and the neck. I put the kids to bed and hurried downstairs to finish it all off (in an obsessive way, one might add). Hemming was, without a doubt, the hardest part of all. The ruffles came at me in all directions and were too bulky. I did what I could, but with it being a narrow hem I was kind of bluffing it as I went along. I used starch to make it all a bit stiffer, and pressed hard, but to no avail. I pulled the fabric as I sewed so that it wouldn’t get stuck and once I was done I realized that you don’t stretch neck lines, but by then it was too late. I am not joking when I say that I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I had ruined the dress at the last minute by over-stretching the neck, but this morning I tried it on again and it didn’t seem too bad.

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I haven’t done the bottom hem but I am thinking of leaving it as it is. It’s all wavy and ruffle-y so I don’t think I could get a clean line even if my life depended on it, so might just not do anything at all.

There are a couple of ruffles that went astray, which I will try to fix later on. You can see one of them here.

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The dress has no zipper, no buttons and no hooks. Because it is made with stretchy fabric it just goes in and out like a long T-shirt. I’m so happy with it!