Saturday, January 01, 2011

Making My First Dress!

For those whom I chat with on a regular basis, this phrase would ring a familiar note - "I want to start sewing something!". Ever since I discovered, I've been craving to try sewing similar stuffs found on the site. Initially it started with bags - the printed canvas bags seemed to look pretty straight forward to make (I can't say for the actual process though...). The bags which I wanted to make had clean lines with neat pleats - which I thought was 'do-able'!

However I did not sew a bag as my first project. I sew a dress instead! And this all started when I wanted to buy a polka dot dress online but the online boutique seller had run out of stock. It wasn't a 'dress to die for', but it was something that had a feature I was looking for - a collar-like lapel at the neckline. I had no intention of sewing the dress myself until I saw bales of polka dot fabric in Kamdar, SS2 (we were looking for red fabric to decorate Ah Yee's dining chairs for CL's wedding, at that time). I talked about the fabric with mom for almost a month before impulsively asking her to buy a length while she was in Midvalley Megamall - and thankfully, the Kamdar outlet over there had it, and at a discounted price!

I really am thankful for my Ekonomi Rumahtangga subject (literally translated as House-stair Economics, but a more appropriate translation would be Home Economics or Household Economics) in high school. The little that I learned from the text book and teachers, I managed to use the knowledge in this recent project of mine! Call me obsessive or whatever, but I finished the dress in 2 days (over the 2011 new year)! It was 2 days because I didn't have the sewing machine zipper foot (let alone the zip itself) and had to SOS my mum's friend to put in the zip for me. Mom managed to weasel some lining cloth, measuring tape, thread snipper and pins from her too (well, actually she offered to give them to me... hehe).

As I was typing this post, I just realised that whenever I really want to do something but lack the equipments or something, God will always provide. Praise the Lord! :)

Anyway, lets take a look at a series of photos and commentaries.

The printed pdf design that took me so long to figure out the right printer settings to use and when I managed to print it out correctly, I had to stick about 16 pieces of A4 papers together!
I lost my fabric old scissors when someone left it in church after the December wedding. So I had to use whatever scissors I could find in my home - paper and hair scissors! (another kiddy paper scissors missing from the photo) What a tough time I had cutting the cloth pieces out...
All our pins had mysteriously gone missing, so the next best option I had was to use safety pins to pin the paper template to the cloth and cut the shapes out.
Safety pins weren't enough, so I used paper clips to keep the cloth and paper template straight
The old machine's leather strap snapped, so I had to sew using no foot paddle, only my hand (gloved, to minimise friction lacerations) manually turning the wheel!
Finish product. For the lapel, I had to recycle a discarded lace scrap from one of mom's altered sleeves, many years ago...
People have said that the dress looks nice, but I'm not too sure they're just being diplomatic and encouraging or it is the truth! Anyway whatever motive is behind their comments, I think it's not such a bad first sewing project! My mom's friend (who helped me sew in the zipper, and so happens is our tailor) said it's not bad, neat... :)

Moral of the story is... if you can't buy a dress that you want, take a photo of it and try sewing it yourself! I have many photos... but not enough time.

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