I have wanted to make this dress for a while but i have never made clothes for myself from a pattern. My experience extends to harem pants and a circle skirt both of which were just one seam and some elastic. The second thing that stopped me is that even though the dress goes up to size xxl my measurements were a few inches out in each area. I emailed Rae who made the pattern and her assistant got back to me and said there were some tutorials online that would show me how to increase the size of the pattern. I decided to take a chance and bought the pattern. Turns out it was pritty easy to make it bigger as i just increased it by the same increments as the other sizes, eg so an extra 1.5cm for most areas. Then i made a muslin which is basically a very rough version of the dress. It fit perfectly, which was actually a bad thing because the back has shirring so it should have been too big without it. So i adjusted the back again and took the risk of not making another muslin and just jumping in.
It was actually pritty straight forward. Once i stuck the pattern together i traced my size onto some brown paper ( came in a roll from the newsagent for $5, i think it was meant to be trendy wrapping paper). Then i cut my pieces and started sewing. My first hurdle came with the shirring. I knew the theory, i wound my elastic onto the bobbin and used some scrap fabric to test. It didnt bunch up. I went to youtube and found that i had to tighten the bobbin tension. On a top loading machine you do this by taking the top plate off.
Mine had a small screw i had to undo first but then it just slides off. Then you need to remove the bobbin case. On the front you will see two screws. One will usually be marked green. Give this screw a half turn to the right to tighten. You can wind it further for tighter, or more bunched shirring.
I put it all back together and it still wasn’t right. So i watched another video and found that she put her bobbin in before replacing the bobbin case. There is a little notch right where my finger is in the last image. If you put the elastic through that before replacing the case and top plate then thread the elastic through as you would a normal thread. Now it worked. I found i could do about four rows before i had to wind the bobbin again, the pattern called for 6 rows. Once i finally finished the dress i tried it on and was dismayed to find that the shirring was waaay to high! It should have been down below my bust but i had done it between my shoulder blades. I couldn’t live with it, it made me look like i had no torso. So i spent the evening unpicking it. To do this i also had to unpick the side seams down to the pockets.
I was undecided about the sleeves at first but decided that in summer i tend to get very sunburnt so a little shoulder cover would be good. Im glad i did they are really cute.
Quick change pants
Cloth Photo book