Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sewing up Christmas: The Sally Dress

So, finally here it is!  The Sally Dress Christmas style.  It was a rocky road getting to this post, which I intended to post much closer to Christmas, but once I got through the big day our computer crashed and I have had to spend a few more days coming up with a solution.  Sorry :)

The Sally Dress is a fun and easy pattern from Very Shannon.  You may have seen that I made a practice version of this dress a while back, which is why I left it for last.  The practice version was very easy to sew up and even taught me some great new techniques - particularly a much easier and less frustrating was to sew a lined bodice and a skirt together. 

But, not one to leave well enough alone, I decided to modify the dress a little for this version.  First of all, I made it out of velveteen. 

While I love the look of this gorgeous aqua velveteen (from the Doodles collection at JoAnn's), I'm not sure if I would use it again.  I didn't really think too much about how different materials affected construction prior to using this fabric.  I mean sure, knit vs. woven, but this was thicker than I have used before and had a strange way of shifting when the little velvet nap was squished down by the machine stitching it together.

It liked to work it's way out of alignment (as you can see below), so I had to be careful.  And I ended up sewing some parts together more than once...

Secondly, I decided to add an invisible zipper!  This was interesting to say the least. 

Actually, the invisible zipper was fairly easy and turned out fine.  If it wasn't for the above mentioned thick fabric, it would have been a snap, but I ran into a few problems where the fabric was folded over a couple times.  I think I will use more of these in the future.

To add the zipper I took the regular bodice pattern piece (which is the same for the front and back) cut a regular front bodice and lining piece on the fold, then added a 1/2 inch seam allowance and an additional 3/8 inch allowance to attach the zipper and cut two back bodice and lining pieces not on the fold. 

Everything fit together quite nicely (I am very proud of my math) and the zipper definitely made it easier to get the dress on and off my little peach.

As for the sewing, the seams, pockets and hems were quite difficult to sew owing to the overall thickness of the material layers in these folded over places.  I ended up actually putting in a leather needle to make it through all the layers.  The leather needle was awesome and made it so much easier! 

All in all, the dress has been a big hit!  I added faux covered buttons on the front per a request from the little lady and found some amazing shoes that matched exactly at a consignment store - what are the chances of that?! 

Once I found the shoes, I had to whip up a little headband too!  I do just love the velveteen despite what a bear it was to sew with.  You may see something else with it soon now that I have my leather needle trick :)

Happy New Year!!

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