Monday, April 01, 2013

what has kept me away

Of course, my whirlwind trip to Kansas kept me away last week Monday through Thursday; but after we got back, the girls and I stayed busy with other events as well.

On Friday, we had a field trip to the Minnesota Raptor Center.

But that isn't what kept me busy. It was finishing K's Easter Dress.

These dresses have been nothing but a hassle. The pattern, McCalls M6549, is not well sized. C's dress was huge. Unfortunately, being new to actually modifying garments, I then cut too much off the bodice and had to sew it back on (the swirly fabric I used for it was a small piece and I had no extra). It was a mess. I finally found the measurements chart for the pattern (I had looked and looked and couldn't find it - it was on the flap).

I thought after measuring K and selecting the correct size, things would go better. They didn't. Her dress was still too big. Sigh. I was also disappointed with my choice of coordinating fabrics on K's dress. I think instead of the water-stained blue, I should have found a hot pink because I think the skirt looks darling with her hot-pink spring jacket.

Did you see the embroidered bird on the hem of her dress? He is an enlargement from the feature fabric. I like him. I need to practice using feature fabrics though - I don't like my cutting choices on the skirt fabric either.

The dress pattern is supposed to be a halter top - but I thought the tie straps were ridiculously long. I intended to button the straps to the inside of the waist. However, my sewing machine's buttonhole maker had different plans and the holes were seriously ugly - so I decided to button on the outside and have a button on each side of the strap. I ended up hand stitching the buttonholes to reinforce them.

All the frustration and complaining aside, I love C's dress. I think K's dress would be much cuter with different coordinating fabrics.

Now you know why you haven't heard from me since the trip. I will share pictures and thoughts from my trip later this week. It was nice to be home on Easter Sunday even if it was cold and windy and the snow is ugly.

Stash Bust

C's Dress
  • All the fabric in her dress is from my stash
  • Zipper was from stash as well

K's Dress
  • Animal fabric is from stash
  • Solid water-stained fabrics were purchased
  • Zipper is from my stash
  • Floss for embroidered bird is from my stash
Pattern is from JoAnn's Dollar Pattern sale. I will not use it again. 

Things I Learned
  • I learned how to hand-pick a zipper to attach it - a worthwhile skill that I now love.
  • I learned how to hand-stitch buttonholes - I like doing it too and will probably do it more often.


  1. Welcome back! I am glad the long drive went safely. I love following your sewing adventures and I am so glad you are sharing them here. The embroidery work is excellent, the girls look just just lovely in their Easter frocks.

  2. I think you are doing great and are not being too hard on yourself. I nearly lost it when I attempted to teach myself to sew when CC was a baby. I could probably hand sew a button hole. I love hand sewing and often repair linens while watching tv late at night. Welcome back and a late Happy Easter too.

  3. You poor thing. What a nightmare! Of course, if you hadn't told us all of that we would have just told you how adorable the dresses are (because they are, both of them) and how clever you are with you funky choices and personalizations (because you are!)!!

    I look forward to hearing about your trip. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  4. I agree with the others. Melissa, you mustn't be so hard on yourself. You are learning. I think you did a lovely job. I mean just the fact that they are wearing the dresses says something important!

  5. Love the dresses!
    The snow piles, not so much. We have that here too. Yuck.

  6. Love those dresses!

    Thanks, too, for sharing the pictures from your trip home. I enjoyed looking through them and reading your captions.