When I was about to get in line at the checkout the last time I was fabric shopping, a glittery gold fabric caught my eye. I thought something along the lines of “ooh!” and snatched it up, thinking of the Little Bow Pleat dress pattern that I had saved on my computer and how sweet my niece would look in glittery gold.
You will be shocked to hear that this hastily made decision was, in fact, not a good one. The fabric was very stretchy (which I expect is fine for someone with more sewing experience, but was a complete pain in the arse for me), and it has a weird texture – when my niece spilled water on herself at her party it just pooled on the dress and didn’t sink in at all. This is actually quite a practical feature for a toddler’s dress, but it’s not a particularly enjoyable tactile experience.
Due to the stretchy nature of the fabric, I had to get a lot of help during my sewing lessons, including with really basic things like the hem. I would sew around the hem and despite my best efforts the fabric kept bubbling up (if that is the technical term, which I highly doubt). I ended up having to do a tight stitch around the hem before hemming. I don’t know if that’s the technical or correct term either – what I mean is that I sew along with my fingers pressed up against the back of the needle, so that the fabric gets very slightly gathered as I sew around. Then I just had to slightly stretch the fabric on as I hemmed, which I find a lot easier, and it turned out ok.
Doing the puffed sleeves, the pleat down the front, and the bow was all great fun. Inserting the zip was horrible, but it is my considered and educated opinion that all zips are horrible. This is the nature of zips.
The dress looked very sweet on the day of her birthday party, and I am very pleased with it despite my general dissatisfaction with the fabric. I would like to try making it again with a softer cotton or something like that, to see how that changes the shape of the dress, but I also have so many new things I want to make. This is the problem with my excellent taste in patterns – I love everything I’ve made so far and want to make them all again, but I have to balance that with my rather intense desire to make All The New Things Right Now. (It would possibly be a good idea if I stopped buying patterns for a while, but there are so many lovely patterns out there, it seems unreasonable to stop perusing them and then occasionally buying one. Or two.)