Long hiatus from the blog....and returning with a project that my mom mostly made with/for me.
Review of the website: http://steppenpuppy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/sewing-with-lekala.html
Lekala makes customized patterns based on measurements that you provide to them in a form. The patterns run about $3 each though there are some free patterns (can we say sleeve options??) which this dress was one of.
My mom (mostly) and I (machine technical work) made this dress over a weekend visit.
Approximate 3.5yard in 60 inch; 5 yrs in 45 inches. We used a black pique (stash - forgot to measure how much we started with but I would guess we had about 5 yards and we definitely have some left over). We didn't prewash (I am lazy).
Interfacing (1/2 yrd) - neck and arms
Zipper (invisible is recommended but we used a regular one more legnth)
Printed tabloid size (11x17) at Fedex/Kinkos Print Store for less than $6.00
Our Cutting Directions
Folded top front bodice and skirt pieces in 1/2 and placed on fold.
Even though we ordered the pattern with seam allowance (1 cm or .4 inches), I would leave yourself additional allowances for adjustments and comfort. I read another review that suggested to increase the size by an inch...
My mom thought that I had a high waist, so when she realized the line was supposed to be at the waist, we had to add about an inch to the bodice pieces. I have since updated my profile on Lekala.
We also suggest perhaps angling the skirt to make more of an A-line rather than straight skirt
We ironed each piece prior to sewing to make sure all the kinks/wrinkles were removed
The top front has 4 darts for shaping. Two are very slight darts (match the darts in the back bodice) and the other two are designed for sizing adjustment.
1. Sew the darts and then pressed them towards the center.
2. Sew back bodices to back skirts (2 pieces) using a serged seam. We used an hem stitch followed by a straight stitch as I don't have a Serger
3. Press the seam towards the skirt.
**realize that you sewed the the back to the top incorrectly and rip out the seam which is difficult because you realized it AFTER you pressed and seam ripping pique is TERRIBLE.
4. Sew front bodice to front skirt and press. Make sure you have it done correctly do you don't have to rip and redo.
5. Sew back skirts together in preparation for zipper. We went with a visible zipper rather than invisible because we wanted a longer one. You can also get some super fancy zippers if you want to bling this up a little.
6. Place zipper according to zipper instructions. We ran into a problem at this step because I couldn't remember how to attach my traditional, slanted zipper foot, and when I used my other zipper foot, it caused my need to strike incorrectly, bending 3 of them....I need to buy the correct zipper foot. This step took us as long as the rest of the steps thus far.
7. Sew side, shoulder seams and iron.
8. Try on. Amaze your mother with the fact that the side seams weren't too small and it fits fine with a pair of Spanx. My mom really loved how the back fit but thought the front seam was a bit dowdy and too low. The
9. Move onto the neck and arm facings - these required a very narrow seam allowance because they didn't fit very well into the pattern (possible user cutting error). Because they are angled, they aren't going in very well
Waste a bunch of times with bobbin/needle issues. I take apart my machine to try to recenter the needle since it keeps hitting off. briefly loose a small screw that hoodles the needle clamp screw in place. Find it with help of a flashlight.
Next up - tension issues.
Overall - SIX needles to make this dress.