Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dress Mess

I got a little bit ahead of myself today.

I was so excited about successfully making a skirt that I thought, "Now that I can sew, why don't I make a dress?"  I figured a dress would be easy because I already know how to make the skirt part so I would just have to make a skirt, add a bodice and - BAM - beautiful homemade dress.  I pictured myself wearing it to the bridal shower I am throwing for one of my cousins-in-law.  All of the aunts would show up to the bridal shower and say, "What a beautiful dress!  Where did you get it?"  Then I would smile modestly and say, "Actually, I made it myself."  They'd turn to each other and say, "Wow, she cooks, she cleans, and she sews her own clothes? Rex Lee certainly found himself a gem of a wife."  I have this strangely insatiable need to impress my in-laws, but then again who doesn't?

So...the dress was supposed to be easy.  Um, it isn't.  It turned out I was acting like a first grader who just learned how to add saying, "Gee whiz, I can do math!  Bring on the Calculus!"  No no, little first grader.  You're skipping a few steps.

First of all, I thought my skirt had a lot of pieces.  It had nine.  My dress has eighteen.  It's a challenge just to keep track of all of the pieces I cut out and know which ones were which.  I took lots of time to cut out the pieces precisely so that I could line them up right.  I pinned them well and began to stich, and then my sewing machine threw a tantrum.

I've never seen a sewing machine freak out like that.  It was possessed.  It started crinkling my fabric, dropping stitches, and making weird hopping motions.  Seriously - the needle would hop a few inches forward or backward for seemingly no apparent reason.  I said the only logical thing to say in this situation:  "Ummm...Mom?"

My mom came and gave it a try, but the machine wouldn't behave for her either.  We finally discovered it was because I was trying to make my dress out of jersey knit fabric.  I liked how drapey it was, but my life would  have been easier if I just picked cotton.  My mom thought that we might have to buy a new machine for that type of fabric, and obviously we couldn't do that.  I texted my mother-in-law and asked her if she knew of any relatives who are good at sewing and might be able to solve my problem.  She responded with, "All the people I would tell you to call are dead."  Oh, okay.  Not exactly helpful.

I turned to Google for advice, which might have been cheating because they definitely didn't have Google in the fifties.  I was desperate, though, so you're going to have to forgive me.  Google told me that I could buy a special needle that would work on jersey knit, so I ventured out to Hobby Lobby to track down the special needle.

Once I had the special needle, the sewing machine stopped being angry (phew!).  The next problem I'm encountering is the fact that I don't know what half of the parts of the bodice are.  Interfacing?  Stay-stitching?  Edge-tape?  Selvages?  Learning to sew is like learning a new language.

I'm lucky I have my mom to help far I'm pretty frustrated.   Maybe I should stick to skirts, especially the types that don't have pockets.

1 comment:

  1. Did you finish the dress? I hope you have a picture!