I have planned to make some summer dresses for quite a while. I have even picked a few fabrics from my stash, but couldn?t get the courage to do it. Most of my former attempts to sew a dress for myself were not successful. The reason is that I do not fit any size and each and every pattern needs many adjustments and even then it?s very hard to get a decent fit. I kind of liked a pattern in the Burda WOF magazine (5/2005 mod. 134), but it was a plus size pattern. When I checked the measurements, I figured that a size 44 would fit me generally everywhere, except in the shoulders. And that is where you usually start with a good fit and then adjust the rest of the dress. Still I made a muslin of the bodice from an ugly fabric in good faith. But as soon as I tried it on, I realized that it had so many fitting issues and I was ready to give up. It fit in the bust, but the shoulder were way too wide, the neckline gapping, the armholes binding, etc. But since I didn?t know where to get a better pattern for a sleeveless dress (there was one more catch ? the fabric was really narrow, so I had to make a gored skirt for the dress). My mom helped me to pin out all the excess fabric and I gave it another try. I transferred all the changes to my pattern and traced a new one. I lengthened the front, shortened the back of the bodice, then I took darts in the neckline: one center front and also on each side. This also brought the shoulders closer together. I made the back a bit narrower by folding a bit on the center fold. I also drew another, smaller neckline. I didn?t make a muslin for the skirt part, since it seemed to fit according to the measurements. I sewed the dress and wanted to wear the next day, but discovered I had no zipper for it. So, I just prepared the left side seam for a zipper and stitched it together, hoping I wouldn?t even have to put one in. When the dress was almost done, I tried it on and suddenly discovered why I should have done a muslin for the skirt part as well. I forgot that I was shortwaisted and this skirt was pretty narrow, so the excess fabric kind of gathered around my waist. Plus I discovered that it was pretty tight around the hips. I realized that I couldn?t fix the car by the next day and so I just kind of gave up on it. Two weeks later, I finally got the courage to take apart the empire waist seam. I did two major adjustments. First I took in the lower part of the bodice princess seams and also the upper parts of the skirt seams. That eliminated some of the excess fabric at the empire seam. Then I cut off some of the skirt at the top, less in the front than in the back and sewed it back on the bodice. Lastly I did put in an invisible zipper. I did have a bit trouble with it, since it was the second invisible zipper I sewed in my lifetime. But I think I managed pretty well. The only problem was that the Burda instructions were almost non-existent on where to place the zipper top, they just pointed to the general zipper instructions. So, I placed the zipper top as usual a bit lower than the armhole binding. When I finished it though I figured out that I should have probably put the zipper stop totally at the edge of the armhole. This way I had to put a hook and eye closure on the top, which doesn?t bother me and isn?t visible, but it?s almost impossible to close or open myself. Generally, I think this is the best fitting bodice I made so far and I think I will use it again for another dress. But I am not so happy with the skirt. And it?s not that it doesn?t fit, but isn?t very practical, because it?s pretty narrow at the hips and when I want to sit down or bend over, I have to kind of pull the skirt up. And when I sit, then it gets wrinkled in the front. Since I am a mom of 5 and generally don?t just stand around, I think I will next time changed the skirt somehow to a 6-gore A-line style, so that there is more ease in the hip area. But it?s definitely wearable (just wish I had cuter sandals) and I am happy for that.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Today my youngest pulled out of the closet not one, but two children's sewing machines and pretended to be sewing (sound and all). He also pulled later some fabric scraps and passed it through the machine for a long time. It didn't bother him that he didn't sew anything. He was having so much fun with it :-) . I wonder...
Friday, June 30, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Time to start school and time to finish school :-) . And now it’s time for [color=660000]summer vacation!!!!![/color] And we are all so glad. It does mean that we will have to make some adjustments in our schedules and figure out how to meaningful fill our time, but I am glad that the children will be away from all that bad influence for over two months. I am glad that we are all going to be able to eat our noon meals together, instead in 4 shifts. I am glad we will be able to do all our chores in the morning and then be able to visit people or have people over in the afternoons and evenings. I am thankful to have a bit more influence over my children and spend more time with them. On the other hand there are so many new responsibilities and events that come with summer. It is going to take wisdom from God to balance it all. Yet there are many things to look forward to over these next 10 weeks: relatives who are coming to visit, summer camps, maybe a few outings to a pool, more work on our property, more time as a family, time to read with the children, time to play with them,…. I am thankful all our children have done well in school and have all A’s. I am glad they have all a good testimony in school. I am thankful that they were protected in that bad environment. I praise God for a successfully finished school year. Let summer begin!
Friday, June 16, 2006
Often when discussing things on Christian or homemaking eboards or email lists, I hear complaints from mothers that they would rather play all day with their children then do any housework. And usually there is encouragement from others to keep enjoying the children while you can and continue playing with them :-). I must say I could never relate to problems like that. You could say, I am quite the opposite. I would much rather do the housework than play :-) . But I must explain something here. Most young moms have a hard time with all the work that children bring. I never had extreme trouble with that. I can feed the baby millions times, change the diapers, wash them, bath the babies, clean up after them, make homemade baby food, sort the toys, the clothes, do all the laundry, pack a huge bag trip after trip, all the while managing a home, cooking and even designing a webpage here and there, doing computer scrapping, writing lots of correspondence and keeping up with friends and family. But what I can not do (or have a very hard time doing) is to take the children to the park and watch them play or play with them. Now if I had a book or a laptop (grin)…. I am dying of boredom there. I also have an extremely hard time just sitting on the floor and playing with dolls or have a pretend tea party with my little girls. Now, ask me to sew a dress for their dolls or bake a cake for the tea party and I will roll up my sleeves with satisfaction. And in this case, I am envious of my playful friends who rather leave the housework undone and play with their precious babies. But when I start thinking about that I never really played much. I don’t think I ever played after age 10 and when I was thirteen I was in a music group and very active in church and youth group. When I was 15 I started working a lot with children and very soon I could organize a complete children’s conference or a 10 day camp. I often felt like without my long and tedious preparations everything would fall apart. And yet, when it came down to it, it was my “disorganized” friends who got the privilege to form friendships with the children and counsel them and lead them to God. I was always better on a stage then in interpersonal interaction. And finally I am understanding why it is so much easier for me to take care of my children’s needs then actually spending some quality time with them. Now, I will plan for it, but then I will find millions of excuses to “do” things. Or I find work for them to do with me rather then to just play with them :-). I am realizing that I am and always have been a task-oriented person rather then a person-oriented. That is why it is much easier for me to do things [color=330066]for [/color]people rather then spend time [color=000033]with [/color]people. That is why I function better when I have lots of things on my to-do list rather then lots of free time to spend with people. And I am realizing that I have been given a great gift that can help me in many areas of life. But at the same time I am realizing that I need to sometimes stop, take a breath and enjoy people around me – especially my children. Don’t get me wrong, I love them with all my heart. If I could only learn to sit down and play with them and actually enjoy that :-). The one thing that I am really glad about is that as my children are getting older, I can relate to them so much better and I have things to talk about with them and I am looking forward to spending time with them so much more than when they were younger. Maybe there is hope for me…..