a year in the sewer

oh man. as you might have guessed, our vacation was awesome. i am going to write more about the surprise and aftermath, but we are in the midst of the chaos that is the return to daily life from out of townsville. so just a tidbit for now.

i realized a few weeks back that it was approaching a year since i first decided to start sewing. i went back and checked the blog to find out that my actual sewiversary is september the 5th, 2009. so it was incredibly fitting that on the night of 9/5/2010, while on our mexi-vacation, i wore this particular dress out to dinner:

about a month ago i decided that i was willing to take on the challenge of sewing something for a grown-up. a me-sized grown up to be exact. i was inspired by grosgrain fabulous's "frock by friday" series wherein she walks you through the steps to sewing a dress starting with just fabric and a pattern on monday day by day until you are ready to rock your frock out on the town on friday.

anyway, that led me to this website where i got the free pattern for my dress. i loved the patterns used by grosgrain, but i didn't want to pay even the measly $3 for one she has used because i was fairly confident i would butcher the snot out of this (my body right now + first time project=not a ton of confidence) and didn't want to waste my money.

i chose the maryy pattern because of it's forgiving empire waist and cute sweetheart neckline. i got a satin-esque ( i think its polyester...shudder) fabric on sale at joann for 11 bucks and got cracking.

it was so stinking hard, you guys. i know this was a free pattern, but it was really difficult to follow. hardly any pictures and instructions that left a lot of holes to be filled in by my frazzled brain. plus i had never used such a slippery material before, so the science was far from exact. fortuitously, smarty-me bought a visually busy pattern in anticipation of shoddy details, and this actually covered up a lot.

i one point in the process i almost gave up. i started phoning it in and only halfway trying. because of this, it's actually not as good as it good have been if i had persevered and stuck it out because it really did come together in a kind of shocking (to me) way in the end.

the HARDEST part was that jesse was in the room with me that entire night as i sewed and SO many times i almost said, "well, at least i'll just be wearing it in mexico, so know one there will know me if it looks terrible." i had to bite my tongue on that about 6 times. i think he even asked where i would wear this once it was made and i had to continue to the intricate lace of lies that preserved his surprise.

i am really proud of this dress. the fact that i made it and actually wore it in public with not a small amount of pride felt really awesome. and double cool that it was 365 days after i first touched a sewing machine.

not actually trying to feature the dress here. jesse was trying to set up a timer-shot and i was marking our places. evidently with healthy dose of sassitude.

please judge the dress, not what's filling it up/spilling out of it. #1: i felt like crap and was so nauseous before dinner. #2, i was clearly very sunburned and my swimsuit was not cut the same way my dress was, thus horrid lines. #3: my posture plus a pre-preggo bra didn't make for the most flattering of d├ęcolletage. aside from that, pretty sweet!

so tell me the truth, if i hadn't said anything, could you have totally told that this was a home-sewn dress? another neato thing about this is that i'm fairly sure i could wear it again after pregnancy. i didn't really change the pattern to account for the bump other that to make it a tad longer. and the bodice part was a little snug so hopefully it would be a homerun after i deflate a tad. throw out the sweat and labor hours that went into it (but all done in one night) and a flowy fun vacay dress for $11 isn't too shabby.

happy sewiversary to me!


  1. I definitely wouldn't have guessed that you made the dress. It's cute! You make me want to learn how to sew :)

  2. Never would have guessed it was made at home! Looks awesome...hey, if you start enjoying making clothes, your Etsy store may seriously support a college fund :)!

  3. I never would have thought the dress was not store bought (very nice store, too)...although, my expectations of your sewing are growing...you really shouldn't doubt.

  4. very impressive! would never ever have thought is was homemade! i cant wait to hear more about the wonderful vacation!!

  5. I would never have guess that dress was made at home. It is great!

    I so wish I knew how to sew.

  6. Nice use of the word decolletage! It's a super cute dress and yall look super happy!

  7. Never would have known- definitely doesn't look like any hand made dresses I've seen- very trendy and beautiful! I'm impressed!!!

  8. nice job, girl! i am so impressed. way to go. i hope y'all had a fabulous time in mexico. how fun!

  9. You are hott!!!! And that's all that matters. I never would have known :-)

  10. Impressive! Can't wait to see your new maternity line! And love the fabric. And you make the dress look beautiful by the way.