Finish What You…Ugh! Patterns!

Jen's Reader ReFash
Is it Spring Yet?

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to finish everything I

Wanna know what bugs me?  Sewing Patterns.  I hate them.  You’ve probably noticed that I rarely use them.  There are a few reasons for this.  First off, they start too big.  I’m somewhere between a size 0 and a 2.  Every sewing pattern I find starts about 2 sizes bigger.  Since I rarely sew using a pattern, I’m not good enough at it to be able to alter a pattern to a size that will actually fit me.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Also, I don’t like rules.  Patterns are nothing but rules.  Do this…then do this…cut this exactly like this…blahblahblahblahblah.  Where’s the creativity in that?  And having to iron out tissue paper that inevitably gets caught up in a breeze, falls to the floor, and then gets mangled by Douglas doesn’t thrill me either.

The last time I sewed something using a pattern was in August 2012.  Now.  Even though I hate the whole process, I feel like there’s something to be learned about garment construction from it.  That’s why I pulled out this guy:

This one. Right here!

I was going to make that dress right there on the right.  I would use one dress for the body, then another dress to make the raglan sleeves.  What could possibly go wrong?

I started off with this simple linen number.

A perfect blank canvas!

I decided that blue was just a bit too bright, so I tossed it into a dye bath.

This should muddy it up nicely!


Sloshy sloshy!

After my starter dress was rinsed and dried, I got to cutting!

Don’t do it this way. Actually pin the thing. I’m being extremely lazy here.

The pattern called for a zipper, so I hand basted one on…

First I pinned…


…then I stitched!

I replaced the foot on my machine with a zipper foot…

This little guy right here.

…and stitched it down!


By this time, I was curious to see how my dress was going to look, so I pinned those two sides together on my dress form.

It looks like a feed sack. :(

What the hell, Pattern?  Why do you list measurements on your package that are clearly a big freakin’ LIE????  What would I bother making a too-big dress that I’ll end up having to refashion?  Why would I want to waste my time like that?

This dress sat on my dress form for almost a month.

I hated it.  It wasn’t going to look nice.  The sleeves were going to look awful with it, and I’d end up having to redo the entire damn thing.  Every time I walked into my sewing area, I was reminded of this disappointment.

I was about to just scrap the whole thing.

But I had to finish what I

I just wanted a cute dress.  That’s all!  So, I tossed that pattern aside, and started getting creative.  I went ahead and sewed the pieces of the too-big dress together, except for the neck part.  Then, I closed up those raw armholes.

Pin & Stitch!

I had a problem.  Unless I could shrink my head to the size of my fist, it wasn’t going to fit through my new dress.  :/

Say hello to Mr. Hand!

Not to worry!  I had a plan!  I also had a spool of grosgrain ribbon!

Hey buddy!

I took two strips of said ribbon and pinned them to my new dress on my dress form.

See where we’re going here?

I stitched them down…

Don’t worry! I trimmed off that extra ribbon when I was done!

…and after a press, my new dress was ready for a lovely night of theatre!  :)


I’m pretty pleased with this one.  I especially like the back!

The zipper isn’t crooked. I’m just standing weird!

I think my new dress has a sort of 1920’s vibe to it, and I’m totally fine with my decision to give up on the original pattern and just wing it on my own.  :)

Closeup of the front!

After a very long week, I must say I deeply enjoyed!  I hate to give spoilers of my upcoming review for , but this show is just fantastic, and you need to go see it if you can!  :)

You must see this!!!

I was so very very happy to run into my mentor from my overworked college (Seriously…I put myself through college working 2-3 jobs and Stage Managing All The Things) days, K Dale!  :)

I shouldn’t play favorites, but he’s my favorite. :)

After a quick burger stop, my evening was complete.  :)

Hi Erin!



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