We ask that emails regarding swaps not contain any unsolicited advertising. If you have received an email which contains advertising, please let us know at contactus@mumsnet.com.

Dressmaking. HEEEELLLPPPP!

(49 Posts)
SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 29-Apr-13 19:33:17

Right. Ive made costumes and things in the past, from scratch, just improvising and pinning stuff on the kids. Since watching the Sewing Bee, Ive bought a pattern, and am going to run up ha ha a dress for DD14. Got the pattern, got the fabric, this is where it gets confusing! grin
I have measured DD. Her teeny bust is 31 inches. Her waist is 27 inches, her hips are 34 inches. Which, according to the chart on the pattern makes her a size 8 bust, size 14 waist and size 10 hips! confused I measured her bust and hips at the widest bits and her waist at the smallest point.
So. If I make her a size 8 dress, which has a fairly empire line waist and flared skirt, is it going to fit?? And if not, what do I do?
confused
It is this pattern.

DalaHorse Thu 02-May-13 17:24:52

Please don't worry, saggy. Cotton only shrinks by around 5% so discernible difference anyway. Is it actually cotton you've bought? If it's a man-made fabric if any kind it won't shrink :-)

Handwashing and drip drying minimise shrinkage if you have the energy to do it once the dress is made.

DameFanny Thu 02-May-13 16:01:11

Saggy - you need some edumacation my love. If you're not ready to buy actual books (and something like the vogue encyclopaedia would be an excellent start) then at least have a wander around some sewing blogs.

Can't link from here, but zilredloh's a good one, Gertie that I mentioned above, Tilly from the sewing bee is at Tilly and the Buttons, and from any of those you'll find links to others.

They're all good for documenting how they approached a project from start to finish, so though not all of it will make sense at first a lot of it will sink in. So you'll start to do things like pin at right angles to the seam for machine sewing instead of along the seam, and get in the habit of having the iron ready before you plug in the sewing machine.

Plus it's an excellent way of losing an hour or so in awe at what others manage to achieve...

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 02-May-13 13:46:42

I think so! Oh well, if it shrinks it shrinks! I'll just give it to someone smaller! grin

PurpleFrog Thu 02-May-13 13:22:33

It might be fine. Fingers crossed. Just wash it at a low temperature when it needs it and don't tumble dry!

Is it pure cotton?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 02-May-13 13:11:58

I was. But the woman in the haberdashers said to cut the pattern out in thicker fabricy pattern paper and pin it onto her. I did and it looked ok, so I cut the proper fabric! [insert numpty emoticon] sad
Oh we'll! It looks like I have reached the point of no return...

PurpleFrog Thu 02-May-13 12:52:41

Have you cut the proper fabric? I thought you were practising with a duvet cover first. confused

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 02-May-13 12:35:13

Oh bollocks! Why doesnt it say that on the pattern anywhere?! sad

PurpleFrog Thu 02-May-13 12:24:02

You should prewash your fabric before cutting out, especially if it is cotton.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 02-May-13 10:49:00

You have really lost me now! confused pre shrink?

I see you have cut out, but I was going to recommend two things.

1) measure high bust and see if there is much of a difference. The reviews say it is very loose fitting so I would use the smallest size in this case.

2) you can include 1" seam allowances for your mock up so you have plenty of wiggle room for fitting. Don't forget to lengthen your stitch length for your 'muslin' to make it easy to alter.

Oh and don't forget to preshrink your interfacing (as well as your fashion fabric) for the real dress.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 01-May-13 21:01:52

Lol! Im going to try this project before I start buying loads off stuff! It might still go tits up! grin

DameFanny Wed 01-May-13 11:02:38

Get some proper shears - makes all the difference to the straightness of your cutting, which itself makes all the difference to how easily things come together - lesson learnt the hard way grin

Startail Wed 01-May-13 00:26:42

using duvets to make mock ups is a brilliant idea.

I made the top of my graduation ball dress out of cheap black satin and used it with a short skirt for less posh things. I couldn't afford two lots of rough silk.

The silk frayed and went everywhere, I'm certain there were still bits of purple when we moved out

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 01-May-13 00:09:23

It's horrid! I must admit that none of my scissors are very good, but it was horrible. Just wouldn't cut at all! confused

DalaHorse Wed 01-May-13 00:06:15

Saggy - fusible interfacing is not tough stuff usually confused Even medium-heavy weight interfacing is relatively fine, it shouldn't be hard work or ruin your scissors!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 30-Apr-13 23:13:51

Ok. I'm all cut out. I have all the wee marker stitches in place. Tomorrow I am going to set the machine up.
Can I just say, that fusible interface is the most horrible thing I have ever had to cut! I've been through every pair of scissors I own! confused

StackOverflow Tue 30-Apr-13 21:39:31

This book really helped me when I was a beginner:

www.amazon.co.uk/Fit-Real-People-Clothes-Pattern/dp/0935278656

You can use different pattern sizes for different body parts - taper up/down between the size lines on your pattern as required.

Finally: yes, do make up a toile (mock up). Get your DD to try it on and make adjustments with lots of pins and plenty of marker. I like to take mine apart afterwards and use the altered pieces as my pattern instead of the paper - works especially well on those of us who are not entirely symmetrical.

Good luck! Dressmaking is an awesome hobby.

GettingObsessive Tue 30-Apr-13 21:25:54

Glad I'm not the only one that HATES hemming. Many a make has hung unfinished for years weeks because I got bored at the hemming stage.

My DM made her own wedding dress (also empire line smile) and she said she rushed the hem and always regretted it.

MrsHoarder Tue 30-Apr-13 20:41:25

And I've found sewing pattern sizes generally come up small. Most disconcerting to be 2 sizes bigger...

MrsHoarder Tue 30-Apr-13 20:40:22

Do nothing by hand that your machine can do. Hens can look very slightly better if done carefully by hand but only if you have a spare year.

And I always make a duvet dress first: memorably my mock-up wedding dress was covered in rainbows and fairies. Sadly the real one was write.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 30-Apr-13 20:33:58

Oh. Do I have to do that by hand? My machine has a setting for that! sad

DameFanny Tue 30-Apr-13 20:09:53

Don't worry - cutting out is often the longest part - seams come together in a trice and then it's just the slog of hemming...

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 30-Apr-13 16:53:11

Jesus Mary and Joesph! I've got as far as cuttin out the pattern! confused grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 29-Apr-13 22:55:41

Yes! It looks really technical! confused The star Wars duvet will definitely be recycled!
I have a lovely shiny sewing machine to play with too. Mum has leant me hers. It does everything. I've always made everythingup to now on my great grandmothers treadle machine. It only goes forwards!! Mum's even does button holes and overlocking! <<happy>>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now