Annie made her Easter dress this year. She selected McCall’s 5292 and a lovely purple seersucker-type fabric. She chose to make the top design, without the bow on the strap.
She set out to construct it mainly on her own. We are always challenged by the sizing. We selected the size closest to the bust measurement and then added to the waist measurement. Annie sews in her “loft” studio (I’ll share it someday) so she completed the bodice on her own, with a little instruction on how to understitch.
When she had her first fitting, discouragement set in. Whereas her coat fit perfectly, she was swimming in the bodice. Furthermore, because of the wide-set straps, they were too far apart. She also decided she didn’t care for the large, shaped straps. So what followed?
I understand the feeling all too well. I have been there many times before and am currently struggling with my other daughter’s prom dress. When you sew, or perhaps knit (but that is a much slower craft) you have the excitement of planning the project, then starting. You get the overwhelming desire to complete it. When you hit a road block, you may have the desire to quit.
I encouraged Annie to put it away for the night. Making modifications at 9:00 PM is not a good idea! The next day we ripped out part of the understitching and removed the straps. She adjusted those to a size she likes and then we pinned them in the proper position. We decided we could take in the bodice along the back. So back to the machine she went.
I encouraged her to baste the skirt to make sure she liked how it fit. We took out some excess fabric along the back. I helped her with the zipper. (And I simply s*ck at zippers! There is always a lot of puckering.)
Annie decided on the length and the end result? Pretty adorable. She found a cute pair of wedges (that did NOT have a 3-inch heel) from Old Navy for $10 that complemented the outfit perfectly.
Lessons learned? Fit periodically, especially before understitching! Mistakes don’t equate to failure. And finally, keep on trying….