As I mentioned in my introduction, I consider myself a newbie sewer. I’ve been sewing on my current streak for about 7 months. Prior to that I had made my first project, a skirt for myself, in 2007 when my mother in law took pity on me and agreed to teach me to sew using her sewing machine. After that first project, there were many items that went unfinished and a few baby items I made as gifts, but my machine mostly sat lonely in the bottom shelf of my bookcase.
NO MORE! My sewing machine and now serger both have permanent homes right on my desk. They have little cubby homes in the attached bookshelf but they rarely see them now. In any case, I tell you all this as I attempt something even newer to me, blogging and pattern reviewing! So here we go!
Deer and Doe’s Bleuet is the first for me project I’ve done in 6 years and rather than ease myself into something nice and simple I went for an “advanced” pattern. Remember that “newbie sewer” status I gave myself? Well you might be telling me to hang up that title after this post, as my fellow SHEs have tried to do, but I’m holding onto it dearly and will be showing/telling you about all the rookie mistakes I made during this project. Honestly, this pattern probably has an advanced marking because of the 15 buttonholes and for the princess seams. Neither scared me and they shouldn’t scare you either! In today’s great technology age, we have so many resources to tap so put on a brave face and stretch your skills… with a computer and a trusty internet connection close at hand. With most adult patterns, I’ve been told to make a muslin as we all curve and are shaped a little differently. Well I pulled a “no no” and I did not make a muslin of this dress prior to cutting into my material (a beautiful red stretch poplin) as my measurements were pretty much dead on for the chart. What can I say, I like to live dangerously every once in awhile.
Night one, I had my pieces cut out and started sewing the panels together. I thought I was doing fabulously. That bow made me so happy. Then I stopped and really looked at the dress. Something was off. Can you figure it out?
If you guess that 1) I had no clue how to do princess seams and 2) I sewed the back side panels on backwards. Then you would be VERY right. First, I googled and youtubed princess seams to see what exactly I was supposed to do with them. Then, I came to the conclusion that I had mistakenly sewed my pieces together incorrectly (using my traced pieces and my new knowledge about princess seams). All that research occurred during a RARE two hour nap from my children, as in they were both asleep for the duration of 2 hours some sort of miracle there! So night 2 was spent ripping out 90% of the work from night one and then correctly sewing all the panels together.
The next few days went without a hitch sewing the sleeves up, adding the collar, and making the button placket. I had a bit of a hitch with the collar as the directions weren’t the most clear and because I have never sewn a collar before. If you are used to PDF patterns, you’ll probably feel like the directions are lacking for this paper pattern. But if you are used to paper patterns or have worked with any of the big box patterns, you’ll be right at home. I took the dress to show my mother in law after I finished it and told her that I had issues with the collar. She looked at it said it looked great and then told me in more detail what the paper directions failed to convey. Next time maybe I’ll get it right… or maybe I’ll just wing it my way since it looks fine anyway!
After this last victory self shot, the dress sat…. for a week. I was avoiding it and working on the house work that I had neglected during my sewing binge (see one of the above shots for proof of very cluttered living room). During nap time one day, I finally sat down to conquer the buttons and buttonholes. I got 7 done during that nap time and finished the other 8 after the kids went to bed that night. Dress COMPLETE!
And a nap time photo shoot on my back patio with the handy dandy clicker in hand.
As you can see, the dress fits me very well. I am SO pleased with my results. I will be making more of these for myself even though I’m not usually a dress gal or a collar gal. Typically, I like to roll in my yoga pants and a tee shirt, but I feel like this dress is just enough dressy for those days when you need a little outfit pick me up but not so dressy that you put it on and wonder what you were thinking since the only people you’ll see are the kids and maybe a neighbor or two.
Well that’s my review. Let me know what you think. What details you would have liked hearing about that I didn’t mention?
Happy “selfish” sewing!