Made by Me!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

My Myrtle...well almost...

So its well over a week past the deadline for the sew-a-long but here she is.... my stripey nautical Myrtle. Before I go off into the experience of taking part in my first sew-a-long and through the lessons learnt from my first proper foray into the world of jersey I have to ask....can you see my blatant error ladies and gentleman?!!

Oh my gosh my heart sank when I pulled the dress on to realise my mistake...the skirt is so blatantly back to blooming front!! Now I could have unpicked the lot but I had already serged the seams and inserted the elastic and frankly I couldn't be bothered! Now I have to say I am a firm believer in embracing your mistakes otherwise it will get you down. And I was ill when I made it so I didn't have the energy to weep - however I really should learn just to down tools when I am ill because it makes me knackered and unfocused. However, I tried it on and asked my boyfriend what he thought of it and his response was 'ooh I really like that on you'. The moral of the story being I guess it looks wonderful anyway (he is a boy though so not sure if it counts - he probably wouldn't notice if it was inside out!!). And anyway unless you sew how you gonna know it wasn't a design idea!! Haha!


So on to the actual pattern. If you can forget the huge mistake that is the skirt, this was such a learning curve for me as I am really not used to using jersey at all. It was a relatively quick dress to make and now I feel more confident with jersey I could probably make it up in a day but I think it was the cutting out that took the longest. I think I had a good plan for this part of the process, cutting out the pieces and trying to align the stripes with careful pattern placement, it paid off for the majority and I am happy that most of my stripes match. Alas it wasn't the case all the way through the garment making process. Let me introduce my 'yay' and 'boo' side!

One is perfect and the other falls so short! Actually the 'boo' side was the first side I sewed up and I did try to match the stripes but the fabric was a slippery devil. Its at this point I realised its easier to sew the fabric in place just inside the seam allowance all pinned together then you can serge it easily afterwards. On that first side I got kind of jittery with the serger and lost my nerve I think. The solution seems obvious I know but it made all the difference to the rest of the garment which I think looks pretty good.

I liked using the twin needle, it looks great on hems and I think the inside of the garment with serged edges and twin hemmed facings makes it look really professional. I also love the way the armholes on this dress look when you sew the bodice and turn it out. The only thing I would change about this pattern is the back width. I assumed wrongly that the loops would pull it in slightly when done up but it's not the case. It doesn't gape badly but it could have been better.

I would probably make the longer version next time and I will have a go at it again next summer. It is really the wrong time to have made this dress here as its not so sunny anymore. Well it rained for two weeks and now I am in autumn mode and I find it hard to switch back once I have started wearing more wintry clothes!

The sew-a-long experience was an interesting way of doing it. It was nice to see how the project was put together. The bodice was a little tricksy to understand and the pictures helped enormously. I am much better at understanding things when I can see them rather than trying to figure it out through words and sometimes patterns make little sense! There was some confusing multi-layered fabric shenanigans in the bodice area which with my ill brain was all a little too much...Got there in the end though and it really want too difficult. The only thing the instructor did which I thought was harder than it needed to be was the insertion of the elastic. She sewed the elastic together and then sewed the flap down to contain it. But that was a fiddle and didn't compute in my mind so I sewed the elastic casing and then inserted the elastic. It seems other people found this to be the easier option too. Why make things harder for yourself than necessary!

I liked the ability to ask questions and to see feedback from the instructor. It was also a great way to pace yourself instead of feeling you had to do it that night, staying up bleary eyed to get it done...how many times have we all done that? It was lovely seeing everyone's finished Myrtles all in one go as well and although I didn't finish in time and I doubt I will add my version to the Myrtle gallery (it's a version now not a mistake!) I am very happy I made it.

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