Monday, March 26, 2012

It's my brother's fault

Thanks to my little brother,
I am now thoroughly confuddled.

Let me start from the beginning. In my sewing desk I had some pretty yellow and gray fabric as well as a Simplicity dress pattern.  When I got a bee in my bonnet to sew up some Easter dresses, I already had exactly what I needed and could start right away.

So I pulled out my trusty little brother, the pretty fabric, and the Simplicity dress pattern instructions. I put my scissors to work and had the perfect amount of fabric for one size 6 dress! Sweetness! (Well it would have been even sweeter to make the girls matching dresses, but I decided it might be wise to take it one garment at a time).

After following the first eight steps, I had this.
Success! Since nobody else was around, I held it up, grinned at it, and giddily said "I made this!" 
I couldn't help but count my chickens before they hatched.  You know, tell myself that nobody would guess that I made the dress and that it would be so cute and professional looking.  Once I was done dancing around and I looked at all the remaining dress pieces, I came back to earth a little.
I should have known better than to get excited about how well a project is going when I am only at the beginning of the project.  You'd never know it though by looking at the sewing directions.  I had just completed step 8 of 19. I thought I was done with the hard part and the rest was going to be a breeze. But, you know what was coming next?  Pinning the round armhole bands to the curves in the garment.
Yeah, I felt like an Apollo 13 crew member trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Once I wrestled that piece into place, I sewed it on using the 5/8 inch seam allowance that the instructions called for.

Yikes! I was left with these little tucks all around the arm band. 
Yeah, real professional looking. At this point, I was thoroughly brought back to earth.  My dress was not coming along so perfectly anymore. Please tell me this (the tucks appearing) is normal?  Or better yet, can someone tell me how to attach a piece to a curve without getting the little tucks?

I got over it. I accepted the fact that the dress would have little tucks and gathers, though it probably shouldn't, and I got ready to trim my seam and understitch it. But wait! What the heck am I supposed to do with the raw edges on the top of the arm band?
My instructions said nothing about the short length of exposed raw edges on the arm bands. I guess they were reaching their quota already for how many steps the dress was allowed to have. 
I can't iron and fold the edges in on the front and facing piece of the arm bands because they are sewed together to the front and back dress pieces.
I must have done something wrong.  Should I not have attached the facing piece?  Should I take off the facing piece (the one on the inside) and iron a 5/8 inch seam along the whole inside curve and sew it on so the seam will not be exposed and so that I can iron in the exposed seam on the top of the arm bands?

I just answered my own questions. Darn.  
I guess I need to go find my seam ripper. That exposed seam doesn't look very pretty. 
Because you know, everyone is going to ask to see the inside of Aubrey's dress. :)
Actually, I know from experience that it's itchy. On the last dress, Aubrey had to wear a tank top underneath because the raw seams irritated her skin.

Had I posted this at step ten, right about the time I was kissing my little brother and the dress, you would be hearing about how I am in love once again.
At this moment though, I am trying to decide if the blame belongs with my brother, the Simplicity pattern, or *gasp* the dress maker. 

Dear Simplicity,
Novices like myself would greatly appreciate clear instructions. Or you could simply change your name.
More Shortly,
Keilah and her little brother

Dear Readers,
Any advice from you seamstresses out there would be greatly appreciated.
Humbly Yours,
Keilah and her little brother


  1. Kind of hard to tell not being able to see the dress... but could you cut another piece of the arm band part. Then sew it to the outer raw edge, turning it inward then with your seam allowance iron that edge under and top stitch closing all raw edges in? Did that make any sense?

  2. Darn didn't read all the markings on our picture. If your still adding a sleeve I guess I'm sort of stumped.

  3. Actually, your first comment did make sense. I decided to take off the two arm band pieces so I can do just that. I have little motivation now though, since it involves the seam ripper, and because Aubrey tried it on and its too big. Darn!

  4. Hello, just saw this post and I'm sure your all done with this dress, but what I am seeing is that you have the wrong side of the curve attatched. Try take it apart, use the other side of the curve, attatch right sides together to the dress, flip to the inside and top stitch. The raw edge could be serged or zig zagged. Riitta

  5. Actually, the dress is not done yet. Thanks for the help. I guess I'm not surprised that I have the wrong curve attached, but I'm not sure what you mean by the other side of the curve. It doesn't seem to match up any other way. Do you mean the side that I have marked 'the sleeve will go here'?