I don't usually use patterns, but I also didn't want anything to go wrong with this dress. I had a vague idea that I wanted to wear the finished product (if it turned out) to the Chicago Printer's Row Fair. In 3 days. Dunno why I gave myself so few days to do it. But I had it all worked out. Day one would be shopping and planning, day two was cutting and sewing, and day three was dying and embroidery. It seemed so easy.
Day One: I bought a pattern for 3 bucks. I like the b dress but I want a more open neck line, fuller skirt, and handkerchief hem. I bought the cheapest cotton muslin I could find, 3 bucks a yard. Knowing I was gonna heavily modify the pattern I got 6 yards but only used about 4. I might make a shirt or skirt out of the rest. I also picked up a couple small packets of Rit Dye. All told it came under 25 dollars. Less because I had so much muslin left over, I didn't need to buy 6 yards for the one dress.
Here is the pattern I mostly used. I went with the "B" style dress on the left, but didn't use the sleeves and changed the neck, skirt and hem.
And the back of the packet. It says I didn't need much more than 3 yards, but I like to over estimate that by a lot.
I always have a hard time laying out the pattern pieces like the instructions show you. It never fits quite right. I was supposed to be able to get 3 long pieces across, that didn't happen.
After cutting out the pieces I pinned a piece of scrap paper to it with what the piece was and the number it was listed. This helps in telling front from back pieces because they all look so much alike.
All the pieces waiting to be assembled. I cut it all out in one night and used the next morning to sew it.
Day Two: This day nearly called off the whole project. I love my sewing machine, but it is very old. Its a big heavy metal Singer, the kind meant to last forever. Well lately I've noticed the foot pedal hasn't been as responsive as it usually is. I took it apart and found that the cord that goes to the pedal splits into 2 wires that slip over these 2 metal tabs inside the pedal. One of those tabs was hanging by a thread and about to break off. I've known this for a while and was just very ginger about handling it. Don't bump it, move it very gently. It chose this day to break. Now I know we own another plastic sewing machine, but do you think I could find where we stored it? Of course not. We also have 2 treadle sewing machines, but I don't know how to load the bobbin, and it stores so little thread it has to be loaded a lot. If I broke that or messed up the tension Dad would have a heart attack. The treadles are kinda his babies. If I had to hand sew the whole thing I would never have it done in 2 days. So I McGuyvered my sewing machine with a bit of tape to hold the wire in place.
SAFETY WARNING! DON'T DO THAT AT HOME. SCOTCH TAPE IS NOT MADE TO HOLD WIRES IN PLACE! I DID IT OUT OF STUPIDITY AND DESPERATION. THE FACT THAT IT WORKED DOES NOT MEAN I EVER INTEND TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT AGAIN AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU.
Here is the assembled dress by the end of Day 2. I had hoped to start dying it that day too, but the sewing machine fiasco set my time table back quite a bit.