Dress is finished

Tonight I finally finished the dress I’ve been making for my daughter. It’s faded blue with darker blue paisley. Since we’re now heading into fall (the forecast for this upcoming week is lows in the low 40’s and highs in the upper 50’s), I decided to make it long sleeve instead of short with a slightly longer skirt than originally planned. Karen wants to wear it tomorrow to church.

It needed the bottom and sleeve hems sewn. I was saving these for last because I wasn’t sure how to do them. This is the first dress I’ve ever made. When I went to Kodiak, I stayed the night with friends. She makes all the dresses for herself and her daughters so I brought this dress to show her my idea for the hems. She said it was right and gave me some tips on how to improve the neckline next time I make a dress.

Why do I get most of my sewing done when my husband is away? I figure it took me about 6 hours to make this dress. I probably won’t take that long with the next one because I spent quite a bit of time fitting pieces and figuring out how to do things like the zipper and hems. Did I mention this pattern has no directions at all other than seam allowances? It’s a homemade pattern for a plain dress I bought last summer at an Amish Mennonite store.

I already have the fabric and zipper for her next dress. It’s a white flannel with different shades of pink polka dots. It may end up as a nightgown. The zipper will be pink. I’m going to use white thread. I only have 4 bobbins so I don’t want to get odd color thread I’ll only use once. Perhaps if I make more dresses I’ll get more bobbins, but for now I’ll stick to basic colors.

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10 Responses

  1. Congratulations 🙂 Once the first dress is sucessfully completed the following ones go together easier. And, you always learn as you go. I struggle with patterns for my 16 year old, it is very difficult to size her, however my Mom, and expert seamstress, showed me how to measure the pattern pieces and customize them to Emily’s shape. Emily is very tall, and slim, her bust agrees with one size on the pattern, her waist another, and her hips another, making a dress for her is a challenge – but once it is complete we are always pleased with the results.

    I am glad that you completed the dress for your daughter, may you put many, many miles on your sewing machine 🙂

  2. Martine,
    Thanks. That does sound like a challenge. Hopefully by the time Karen is at the altering pattern stage, I’ll have many dresses made so I know what I’m doing a little better. I do have 2 dressmaking booklets from Christian light which help. One has details of how to alter a pattern and suggests what went wrong if it hangs funny when finished.

  3. Neat, can you provide the names of the books, I would be interested in checking them out.

  4. They’re part of Christian Light Education’s Home Ec. program Lightunits 6 and 7. They’re specific for making cape dresses but can be used for any dressmaking by ignoring the cape parts. It takes you from choosing a pattern, fitting, piecing, sewing what they call a slopper which is basically a practice bodice to customize the pattern to you, then sewing the actual dress and troubleshooting problems. They don’t include the actual pattern.

  5. Thank you for the info.

  6. I found your site by doing a search on getting ready for a new homeschool year. We are a homeschool family, and we began our new school year today. We are gearing up for 2nd grade with my oldest daughter. My second daughter (who is four) is technically not enrolled this year, but because she sits in on instruction time and has for the past two years, she will be using quite a bit of the Kindergarten curriculum that I used with my eldest. Having her involved in a structured activity helps keep things on track during learning time. We also have a 10 month old daughter.

    We are not Anabaptist, but we use Rod and Staff curriculum and I like it very much. We have friends in our area who are from a Mennonite background, and there are several thriving communities in our area. I admire so much of this lifestyle.

    I sew quite a bit for my girls, because it is very difficult for me to find modest apparel in the stores. Either the hemlines are too short, or the sleeves do not exist, or there are inappropriate logos, etc. that I would not select to purchase.

    I have just subscribed to your feed, and look forward to reading your new posts.

    I wish you well in your new school year.

  7. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your kind words. We’re anabaptist, but not strictly Mennonite, however, I do agree with a lot of their teachings. I understand about lack of availability of appropriate clothing. This is one of the main reasons I decided to begin making her dresses.

  8. Well, yesterday I called Christian Light and ordered the Home Economics II book, I am looking forward to it arriving soon. Thanks again for suggesting it.

  9. Hey Akhomeschoofun,

    My Christian Light Home Economics II arrived, and it is an excellent primer on fitting patterns, I am impressed, and I still cannot believe that the cost was $3.10 plus shipping, WOW!! Thank you again for the suggestion. And, just icing on the cake, they sent me a catalog of all of their books, there are several that I would like to order, so thank you again! 🙂

  10. Martine,
    Hey that’s great. I recently bought a dress pattern for myself and hope to try it after I get the one I’m working on finished for my daughter.

    I’ve ordered several books from them as well as homeschool curriculum several times. Currently I’m reading A Virtuous Woman by Ruth Mast.

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