I made the plunge to modern sewing

My entire sewing career has been focused on 18th century clothing construction and hand sewing. I was never a fan of a sewing machine and never felt confident enough to try and make my own clothing from patterns etc. Things like zippers and pattern instructions...and...well..patterns..they scare me. They scared me a lot.

I have over come these fears. In light of my love for sewing, but the lack of return due to the only making 18th century clothing was a bit frustrating. I love wearing dresses and skirts (almost exclusively) I know how easy they are to making instead of say, oh, a 3 piece suit. So I went to Joann's, and it was like going to a designer shoe sale. (speaking of..I should eventually go to Zappos outlet *sigh*).

They had the cutest dress on display in my store with a pretty hawaiian-ish large floral print, and I gobbled it up immediately. Then I had to find fabric, initially I went for a large floral since I loved the large floral the sample dress was made from, but I didn't find any that I loved (other than the one on display, but I don't think I was the first person that went 'pretty dress I want I want!'.  Anyways, I found this great 18th century wanna be fabric, a 'Linen-like' pink toile. Then I decided I was going to make a cute dress that kinda screamed 1962 with the kitschy fabric.

Luckily, the pattern was easy to follow, and the instructions were relatively clear (minus the zipper insertion). I got the dress pieced cut out and sewn together with ease. Though my sewing needles (Singer, came with the machine) were really weak and I broke 3. I had some needles in my stash from I guess my old British machine (I miss you Gunther), and they must be of better metal because that needle is working hard and doing a good job.

I've never sewn in a zipper before, but I have never heard "Oh! Sewing in a zipper is so easy!" I've always heard "Zippers are the worst".  Needless to say, I was nervous. I finally get the dress together after making a couple of stupid late night mistakes (I left the right side of the skirt open for the zipper but then thought I did the wrong side, 'fixed' that mistake only to realize that I was actually correct the first time....oops).  I read and re-read  the instructions for sewing in a zipper. I read about it in my sewing book. No, I don't get it. I still don't really get it, but I did it...some how...? I got the zipper sewn in and it is covered as well...and it zips. So I'm satisfied. I don't even know if I used a zipper foot. I used some weird white thing that came with my Singer (again, Gunther had a zipper foot. I miss you Gunther). I just basted everything and then sewed it down. It was a lot quicker and a lot less annoying than my hem.

My hem just would not want to be even...like..at all. So once I finally got it even and the right length (the skirt was just too long for my liking). I had about 3 inches up in the hem, and when I looked at the basting and tried it on, it was perfect, so I now have 2 rows of stitching at the hem...I just call it a little extra detail. har. All in all I'm satisfied. I have enough fabric for 2 more dresses (different patterns) and enough of this fabric for a super cute skirt.

I have also finished my corset but I haven't even tried it on yet! Life has just been too busy...soon though...soon. I promise. :)

<3 <3


  1. That dress is so cute! I love it!!

    Like you, I also sew mainly historical clothing. I tried to sew something modern once - a jumper or something - and it didn't turn out. Since then I've been very wary of making modern stuff. Funny, because historical outfits are so much more complicated!

  2. Thank you! :)

    I am the same way about historical clothing...it should be more difficult and complicated, but I guess since there are no such things as zippers, and sewing machines, and finished insides, then there's less stress, you know? One can wing a historical piece in a sense...and not a modern dress.

    I do recommend this simplicity pattern, the directions were sooo clear! I'm a officially a fan! :)

  3. That is so cute. I love the print and the cut is perfect.

    I have never sewed a modern piece. I have never had a desire to sew anything "practical". I guess I just can't get out of my 18th century sewing phase :-D

  4. Oh - that is such a pretty dress and it suits you very well! Lovely :)

    What pattern was it? My biggest trouble with choosing modern patterns is that I always find the diagrams/illustrations quite uninspiring; they never make it seem that the finished product will look that great (to me, anyway).

    Great job! And I envy you your zipping!


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