Saturday, March 31, 2012

Finished: Mad Men Challenge

As I was brainstorming for the Mad Men challenge, I remembered that I owed something that would be perfect for this. I purchased a Taylor dress at Nordstrom Rack almost a year ago because it was on sale, it was the last one, and the fabric was GORGEOUS. The only problem? It was many sizes too big. I purchased it anyway, thinking I could take it to a tailor and wear it shortly.

So of course it remained hidden in the shopping bag all that time. Not to say that I forgot about it because I definitely didn't. I researched many tailors near my office, and I even brought it to my office... where it remained for several more months. I brought it home again when I left that job, and it remained in a storage container. Until now!

Now that I'm teaching myself to sew, this seemed like the perfect project to get started on, especially since I didn't have a lot of money to spend on fabric.

So first, I had to rip out all the seams. You'd think it would be fairly simple, but somehow the seams were hidden so carefully that it took me several minutes to find, them several more to make sure I wasn't ripping out the wrong seam.

I wanted to keep the lining intact to make my life easier, but that didn't happen. The lining fell out of the seams, which I'm sure is for the best in the end.

Because I really liked the neckline, I didn't want to modify it too much. I ripped out the shoulder seams, the side seams, and part of the front so I could move the seam down under my bust. I also moved the waistline up, so it would be an empire waistline.

And then I should have been done. Right?

But no. I decided it was terrible. Mostly because I ignored the lining in place, and sewed over it, so the stitches, which not only showed, looked like crap because I just folded over the fabric. Not only that, but I didn't even measure it, I just went with what looked right so it didn't even match on either side. Technically it looked okay, but I'm too much of a perfectionist to tell people I made something and not be proud of it. I left it alone for a couple of weeks before I suddenly realized how to fix it.

I took everything apart and started again.

This time I worked with the lining, rather than against it, I put in French seams to hide the nasty edges (since I don't have a serger), I made the armholes match and meet up properly, and I evened out the hem lines because somehow one side ended up being half an inch longer than the rest of it.

I also ended up spending several hours on the zipper because my Brother sewing machine is terrible. The concealed zipper foot looks nice, but sometimes, somehow, the needle punctures the zipper instead of just next to it, ruining the zipper. I was forced to take it out and start again many times. Very frustrating.

But it's done! Finally! I can't say I'm 100% happy with it. I'd love to redo it when I have lots of skills because right now I think this is the best I can do. And honestly, I don't think you can really tell.

What do you think?

Me expressing how I upset I was with the whole process, ha!

Dusting off my steamer!