I made a dress for Annie using this pattern. She chose version C, for which I was eternally grateful because it was the only version without an ... I really can't be bothered with stuff like that. I once made a little bridesmaid dress for Annie. It had a main skirt and a gauzy overskirt. It was a bit of a faff.
Annie and I have diametrically opposed tastes when it comes to patterns and colours. Invariably she chooses something I would not waste a glance on.... For once though I thought her fabric choice was quite sweet, light blue with colourful umbrellas and raindrops. Befitting for a summer dress :-)
I measured Annie top to bottom and all around, luckily she was exactly the measurements for one of the sizes. I took my time copying the pattern carefully with all the markings (I am a bit slapdash sometimes), cutting the fabric accurately (transferring those markings), sewing bits and pieces here and then. I enjoyed the process very much. The dress is a relatively good fit, too. It is maybe a little baggy at the top but Annie is a developing young woman and it won't be long before it is a perfect fit. She is delighted. I am quite pleased although of course there is plenty of room for improvement.
I have learned/remembered a few things along the way:
:: Always keep a little scrap fabric piece to test the sewing machine settings. Cotton is not just cotton and it may be necessary to try out for the best tension, pressure and needle type.
:: It is always worth the time to baste tricky bits. There is no rush, is there? I basted the zip in for example, and some of the curvy seams, too. It is quicker than unpicking machine stitches.
:: An invisible zip is as easy to install as a normal zip, if you have the right sewing machine foot. This is essential (I think). Jo at Three Stories High recently published a zip sewing tutorial if you find zips a bit scary. It is for a normal kind of zip.
:: Patterns are not perfect. Retrospectively, I think the zip should be inserted a bit lower down, leaving space for a small button and looped button hook. Inserting the invisible zip right at the top makes it look a bit clumsy and leaves a small opening. I'll doctor this later when I have a little button to match.
Annie will hopefully be sewing her next dress (with a little help). She is booked into a sewing class starting this Wednesdays. She'll learn to interpret a pattern, take measurements, copy the pattern, cut the fabric and sew a pleated skirt. I learned all that during my last year at school, it is a shame that such a useful skill is no longer part of the curriculum.
My next project is a top for myself. I have printed out the pdf pattern sticky taped the pages together already, and have cut the fabric, too. Sewing time! The dog is walked, the house is in order (considering it is the holiday), the laundry folded, the kids busy and I have no chores waiting.
Have a lovely day! Cx
Edit (a little later): It is so worth it to bother with understitching when you insert lining. This prevents the lining from showing later on.