The pains of preparation

Look at me! Cutting between the lines!
Look at me! Cutting between the lines!

I’ve always winced when hemming pants and having to cut through the seam. It feels wrong to me to cut through a seam someone else has sewn. Something about patterns have felt the same way – they were magical slips of see-though paper that held the key to transforming my flat fabric into a three-dimensional garment. I never, ever messed with the pattern.

Making this dress has been really neat since I’m reusing a pattern I made a long time ago (and totally butchered, I will add) and it’s reminded me how much I have learned in the last years and how much better I’ve gotten.

Look at me, marking my darts!
Look at me, marking my darts!

I’ve learned how to alter much more effectively, and remembered how much difficulty I had fitting it the first time around. The waist was too small, the bust too big (nothing new, really) and armed with my new understanding of ease, I felt confident I could figure out how to cut this pattern in a way that would require minimal alterations. Using the ease, I discovered that I fit a size 6 in the bust and a 10 in the waist (again, nothing new here), so I eased the pattern from a 10 at the waist to a 6 at the bust. I also added two inches to the bottom of the skirt as I wanted a big, wide hem.

I also took pains to trace my darts in thread instead of marking them in chalk. I took more time getting the fabric ready for this dress than I have ever before and, I’m telling you, it totally paid off. I am totally converted.

The darts looked amazing (I couldn’t have planned to place them better on the plaid) and the bodice fit perfectly the first time! More to follow on the rest…

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