Tuesday, February 7, 2012
DIY Chevron Dress: My Burdastyle Sewing Project #1
I'll be honest-- even though I love to sew, I haven't sewn anything from a pattern since I was 12. Seriously, 12. Sure I've sewn dresses, flower dresses, fixed up formal dresses-- but patterns aren't really my thing. There's something about perfect organization that really freaks me out, I think it is because I know I am just going to mess everything up immediately after I put it in order. While I love to be tidy, I hate to slow myself down from my next task. My mom on the other hand, she's a serious detail and sewing expert. She used to own her own sewing shop and she even took pattern making in college. The lady pays attention to the little things like matching prints and everything she makes is pretty much perfect.
And this is why I haven't sewn a dress from a pattern since I was 12. See, the last dress I made was for my 4-H sewing project at the Johnson County Fair. As I sat at the sewing machine listening to my mom tell me to rip out the sloppy sleeve seam again, I don't remember disliking her more than in those moments. (I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.) The memory of my mom and I butting heads harder than horned sheep stuck with me for years... and I didn't want to touch a pattern ever again. (By the way, I also showed sheep in the fair. 10 years!) ;)
Here are my two dresses: (Next to my glittered lamp shade.)
The infamous dress is in the front. (It still fits. I was one tall 12 year old.)
But when my favorite sewing community, Burdastyle, sent out an email asking if anyone was interested in reviewing their new sewing handbook, I forgot all my previous sewing-with-mom experiences jumped at the chance. When I asked my mom if she would help me out a bit, she said, "Do you remember the last time we sewed something together?" ;)
While sewing with a pattern is really tricky for me (all that measuring!) and very time consuming, it is a lot more fun than I remember. (It helps to have old Don Draper and some Mad Men reruns going on Netflix while you are pinning a seam together, for sure.) I love the Burdastyle book, it helped me learn a lot and I can't wait to start my next project. (A skirt this time, I think.) The book is fun, colorful, and has pretty good directions. Advice for new seamstresses: Read the directions. Read the directions. Read the directions. There are some tricky parts to the Burda patterns in the book because you need to add seam allowances and other detail-oriented things.
One of the main principles of the book is that you take one of the 5 patterns and tweak and twiddle with them to get your own unique design. Since I wanted to use some crazy black and white chevron fabric from my favorite fabric store Fabric.com, I chose to create a simpler design.
Side note-- my favorite sewing blogger and the most hilarious curly haired bloggess around was IN THE BOOK. IN the Burdastyle BOOK. A lot of blogs I just look at the pictures and skim the words. On Oona's blog, I read ALL the words. The lady has a funny bone. Also, she makes shirts out of scarves.
Close-up of the front. I used a button I found in my mom's button bin.
The back. I chose to do an exposed gold zipper.
Front again with my blue tassel scarf and yellow crinkle scarf-- both from work.
Dress shadow. :)
Overall, I am so excited about my new dress. I am definitely learning that the details pay off in the end because this dress fits like it was made for me or something. It is incredible how much you can *gasp* learn from your mom. I have the best-fitting dress in the world to prove it. :)
Next up in my Burdastyle Handbook challenge-- a skirt! ♥