Thursday, February 23, 2012

Little Stitches Week 13 - Pattern E - Comfy Jumper Dress

Finally, this week I can share a finish I've been promising to show you for way too long. This is another one for Arden. Her mom, Caroline, and her sister, Mayah, helped me pick out these cheery fabrics before Arden was born, which was in July, so it makes this finish embarrassing. Even more disconcerting is the fact that I made this in the 6 month size, so who knows if it will even fit her now. Ugh.

Pattern E - Comfy Jumper Dress - Difficulty Level: 3

Seriously, I couldn't find my sewing mojo on this one, right from the start. And it's not like it's a super complex pattern. I started this one early in my "Little Stitches" journey and didn't finish it up until today. Like, right now. Seriously five minutes ago.

My first mistake I didn't even notice until a couple days ago and seriously, reading back over the pattern, I don't know how in the world I even made a mistake like this. See the "V" slit I made in the back? Yeah, that's not called for in this pattern. And I just figured out how I screwed that up. I was making this at the same time I was making the Easy Empire-Waist Top and I swear I had to have accidentally turned to those directions when I was making the bodice. That's the only thing that make any sense to me. I am literally shouting "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" In my head. I didn't realize I had made the mistake until I started attaching the top to the skirt and realized it was the back and thought it was an odd design. Yep. No. Just me being an idiot. Thankfully it doesn't ruin the whole thing.

Before I realized that colossal mistake, my struggles started with the pleats. The instructions for the pleats made me scream out loud, several times. They are also the main reason I walked away from this dress on numerous occasions at the beginning and probably what turned me off from finishing it even after I figured them out.

I've been sewing for years and I know how to make a frickin' pleat. But the way the instructions for these pleats are written they might has well been in Chinese! Seriously, I started to second guess my years of sewing. Finally, after stepping away and coming back to the dress, I resigned to throw away the instructions and just rely on the basic sewing knowledge I possess and make my own damn pleats. They ended up just as they were supposed to, I just don't know why the instructions were so complicated.

Finally, I returned to the project and the other day I started to attempt to attach the bodice to the skirt. Much to my frustration, the bodice seemed to be too big for the skirt. I swear this was a doomed project. But I was determined to finish it, even if it wasn't exactly like Amy's and I resolved to gather the bodice if I had to in order to make it work.

But when I came back to it today I realized that I was trying to pin the back side of the bodice to the front side of the skirt. After a 90 degree turn of the bodice everything fit into place without gathering. I think I just let this one get the best of me and once the mental block was up, it was difficult to get around it.

All said an done, my only real complaint (other than the confusing pleat instructions) with this project is the raw edges. It's one thing to have raw edges exposed on the inside of the garment if it's not lined but if I'm going to go to the trouble of lining something, I expect the raw edges to be hidden in the lining.

That said, I would make... sorry... WILL make this dress again. After I've had some time to do a post-mortem and process my mistakes and come to terms with my faults. But next time I will make a small modification when attaching the skirt to the bodice to hide the raw edges. My plan is to fold the top of the skirt and the lining down 1/2" and sandwich the bodice in between the two and then top stitch the bodice to the top. That should solve it.

Sorry it wasn't all roses around here today. Should have been. I just spent the most lovely morning with my friends Liberty and Ramona, hand stitching in the park. It was glorious, but even writing about this dress stressed me out. Ugh. Hope your finishes are more fortunate than mine.

So, what are you working on? Link up your latest projects here and show everyone what you're making. You can share your projects in any state from start to finish. I'll keep the linky party open all week. Remember, you can also share your "Little Stitches" projects anytime in the Undercover Crafter Sew-Along Group on Flickr. See you next week - if the next project doesn't kill me. Just kidding!


  1. Well, the dress is super cute despite all the sewing issues you had! What is is about pleat directions--I have the same problem. I always read them and think, "I have never made a pleat correctly all these years!" and then I try to follow the directions, but they don't work, so I go back to my own way of doing them and they turn out just fine.

  2. Oh dear, sorry it caused so much trauma! Love the fabrics though, and it looks cute

  3. Well at least you are done with it now... and it looks very cute!! :)