My first wearable project: a sneak peek!

A hearty update is in order! I finished my sewing class at JoAnn’s and completed a pretty awesome dress as a result. Here’s a sneak preview until I get a chance to write in more detail and take some photos actually wearing it!

JoAnn Sewing Class Dress Simplicity 2443

Simplicity 2443 in all of its stretch knit glory!

I will also say this:

  1. I am fairly confident I never would have been able to figure out the pattern for this dress on my own.
  2. I am no longer scared of stretch knit, and in fact, I am a little excited to try working with it again!

Stay tuned for more photos and the full story. 🙂

Scary Stretch Knits & “Something Wearable” Suspense!

Yesterday I bought most of the supplies that I’ll need for my upcoming sewing class at JoAnn’s – Sewing 301: Misses Dress. It was hard to decide on a color, but I finally decided on a fuchsia stretch knit. I’ve only had one experience with stretch knit in the past, and it was INCREDIBLY disastrous – so it will be interesting to see how this turns out with the help of a professional. Right now, I avoid stretch knits like the plague, so I’m a little scared, but I know I’ll be incredibly excited and proud if the end result is even a partial success. Crossing my fingers!

JoAnn Sewing 301 Supplies

Fabric, interfacing, invisible zipper and supply list! Still need to pick up thread and the actual pattern for class.

On a side note, I noticed that the classes in July and August will be making a different dress than the one I’ll be making in my June class. The dress that is being offered in July and August is not my style at all. I’m so grateful I took the plunge and signed up a few weeks back!

JoAnn Sewing 301 Dress

July/August dress

What’s next? Pre-wash my fabric, purchase the rest of my supplies and then just wait. The “Countdown to Something Wearable” continues!

I hope everyone is having a magical weekend. I know I am!

Don’t judge a prom dress by its seamstress…

Sewing is for old people. Or at least, that’s what I’m often told. It’s the battle I prepare myself for every time I tell someone that I’m learning to sew and excited about it. I still remember the looks on my friends’ faces last year when I told them I was thinking about buying a sewing machine… yikes!

The “blogosphere” and internet world is running rampant with young sewers to whom I owe much credit for inspiring me to sew in the first place. And reality shows like Project Runway have definitely lent a helping hand in putting sewing in the spotlight. But I still get excited when I stumble across supporting evidence that young people enjoy sewing too.

So… I can’t help but love the JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores’ Own Your Look Prom Contest, which encourages teenagers to make their own prom garment and accessory for a chance to win up to $50,000. Some of the garments that these teens come up with are truly phenomenal. The contest rules state that “the student entrant must make the garment and accessory with little or no assistance from others,” but sometimes I have to wonder how exactly that is regulated. Regardless, I put good faith in these teenagers because it’s more fun than worrying about the rules! 🙂

I love looking at the previous years’ winners as well as the 2011 entries. Check out some of these stunning prom dresses, which are only a small sampling of the entries available for viewing on the web site. I’m looking forward to finding out who wins this year!

I love the criss-cross straps on this one!

The texture of the skirt is so intriguing... I want to touch it!

Reminds me of a pink version of Giselle's blue curtain dress in "Enchanted!"

I really enjoy the way the swirl was incorporated into the skirt.

Teenagers these days are classier than I ever was!

I want to see this shimmery fabric up close!

Simply stunning... maybe a little TOO stunning? What do you think?

The countdown begins: One month to “something wearable!”

Today I pulled up my handy-dandy Joann Fabric & Craft Stores iPhone app and realized I had a coupon for “50% off select classes” expiring tomorrow. There’s a class I’ve been eyeing for awhile, so I took advantage of the opportunity and signed up! Normally $75 for the two 3-hour sessions, I paid $37.50 for the Sewing 301: Misses’ Dress class. Woohoo! The class isn’t for a whole month though. Sad woohoo. But I’m really hoping to knock my “something wearable” goal off of my 2011 check list. Happy woohoo!

Joann Fabric Sewing 301 Misses Dress Classs

This is THE dress I will learn how to make!

Three thoughts:

1) Has anyone else ever taken a class at JoAnn’s? Was it helpful?

2) The price does not include supplies! Yikes! And here I’d always thought the class prices were a little high because of the supply costs. Apparently not!

3) Anyone else in Central Florida want to take the class with me? Leave me a note and I will let you know which class and location I plan to attend! Take advantage of the 50% off class coupon while you can. 🙂

Your child is wearing a pillowcase.

Pillowcase dresses for little girls are all the rage in the sewing world:

Pillowcase Dress

Simplicity 2391

Now, there’s no denying that the child in the photo is adorable. There’s no denying that the fabric is darling. But… there’s also no denying that this little girl is wearing a pillowcase.

I’m completely on the fence about pillowcase dresses. I love the idea of taking one thing and turning it into something completely unexpected. I also love the idea of a sewing trend that is simple enough for a beginner. These dresses have such a loyal following in the sewing world that I have to wonder if there’s something wrong with me.

Would I feel differently if I saw one of these in person? Or if I actually tried to make one myself? I want to love these dresses, but there’s a huge barrier in my brain that can’t get past the fact that these children look like they are wearing bed linens. Sure, the Von Trapp children were wearing curtains, but it certainly didn’t LOOK like they wear wearing curtains.

Von Trapp Children Curtain Clothes

I know they weren't REALLY wearing curtains, but still.

Here’s another pattern included in “Pillowcase Fashions” – a little pants and tank top combo. I think I’d be much more likely to go this route if I ever decided to whip up pillowcase apparel.

Pillowcase Fashions

A little less pillowcase-ish

Has anybody out there ever made a pillowcase dress? Is there something that I need to know that will sway me to the pro-pillowcase-dress side of the fence? Please share!

Making the cut!

Living in a warm climate, I planned to wear a dress for my special birthday dinner outing last week. But the evening of my birthday was cold and rainy – boo! I decided to wear a dress I bought a few years ago in St. Augustine – a convertible dress by Elan-USA that can be twisted and tied in lots of different ways. The plan was to fashion a dress with sleeves to keep warm.

Elan-USA convertible dress

But as soon as I put the dress on, I was reminded why I rarely wear it: it’s too long. Being five feet small, the dress is almost ankle length on me, which makes it feel a little too formal. But the dress itself is made out of a jersey-knit material and is supposed to be a semi-casual dress. I would never actually wear it for a formal occasion.

I picked up the hem of the dress to examine it, wondering if I could attempt to hem it myself, and was shocked to see that the dress had no hem at all! It looked like freshly cut, jersey knit fabric. How come I had never noticed that before?

With only 30 minutes to spare before my birthday dinner, I pinned the heck out of the non-hemmed-dress and grabbed my rotary cutter. There was a moment of hesitation where the rotary cutter just hovered about the fabric while I panicked. What if I ruined it? But if I wanted to wear the dress to dinner, there wasn’t time to think about negative consequences…

So I cut. And cut. And cut. Then, the moment of truth: Dress + Lindsay + Mirror.

It… was… PERFECT! I think I’ll be wearing it more often now that it’s the proper length. And now I have a long, thick remnant of fabric leftover that I can use as an extra sash for the dress.

I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make the cut without my newfound interest in sewing. I never would have looked at the hem of the dress in the first place!

Have you ever made a last minute alteration?