Friday, April 29, 2011

Portfolio Dress Sew Along: Day 5

Welcome to the 5th and final day of the Portfolio Dress Sew Along hosted by Gwenny Penny and Pickup Some Creativity!


Today Chris and I will be sharing our finished dresses and some additional tips and tricks we learned along the way. If you are just joining us, click here for Day 1, here for Day 2, here for Day 3, and here for Day 4 of the sew along.

Time to share my finished dress with you. I'm not much of a model, and I hate having my picture taken. We have very few pictures of me because I'm usually the one behind the camera. I've been nervous about having to pose for the final product, but here goes nothing...


This is my favorite picture (probably because you can't see me :)...


I'm pleasantly surprised with this dress. I love the pockets, and the cotton lawn Lisette fabric is so light and airy and comfortable.


OK, enough about me, let's move on to...

Portfolio Dress Pattern Tips and Tricks:
  • A sewing gauge is really helpful, not just for this project but for any sewing project.
  • I use a water soluble disappearing ink pen for my pattern markings. When I'm done with the marks, I just use a damp washcloth to wipe the ink off the fabric. My pen is bright pink so it really stands out against the fabric.
  • Don't be afraid to use lots of pins. No one will think any less of you for using 50 pins to attach your sleeve or neck band. Pinning gives me confidence when I'm sewing.
  • I could not get the button loops to turn using the method described in the pattern. I used Chris's idea instead. It was much easier and still looks great.
  • I had difficulty with two parts of the pattern. The first was Step 9, attaching the side front and pocket (piece 3) to the pocket facing and front (pieces 4 and 1). My problem was with the pinning. I originally pinned all three pieces 1, 3, and 4 together. You actually need to pin pieces 1 and 3 together until you come down to the pockets, then pin pieces 3 and 4 together without piece 1. The second difficult part for me was Step 28, attaching the neck band to the garment. It took me about five tries to get everything to line up, which meant removing my 800 pins every time I started over, but I'm glad I took the time to get it right. Make sure you clip the neckline of the garment and attach the neck band at the staystitching.
  • Pay attention to changes in stitch length. When you go from regular stitching to basting or gathering then back to regular stitching, it's easy to forget to change the stitch length on your machine between steps. The same goes for changing thread colors when switching from working on the main fabric to the contrast fabric and back.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated or just read along this week. I learned so much over the past five days, not only about sewing and patterns but also about blogging and sew alongs. Make sure you check out our Flickr group. I can't wait to see how everyone's dresses turned out! Chris and I will be featuring dresses next Friday, May 6th, so you have another week to finish up and add your dresses to the Flickr group. If you don't have a Flickr account, please feel free to email me a picture of your dress so I can add it to the feature post. We'd like to include everyone!

A special thank you to Chris for being my partner in crime on this project. I wouldn't have gotten through this without you :)

17 comments:

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

Aww you look sooo cute!! It turned out fantastic!! You look great, no need to be nervous!

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

So cute! And the dress is nice too! :) Congrats on finishing your first sew along. It was terrific!
xoxo,
Amy

Chris said...

You are lovely, and the dress turned out great! I am so happy we were able to do this together. You are a wonderful seamstress and I appreciate all the thoughtful details you added to your posts. Thank you.

Jodi said...

Gwen, you look lovely! I LOVE that dress; and the color looks great on you! I am going to have to try a dress (I have never done a dress!).

Have a great weekend!
Jodi

Kristin said...

You look gorgeous!! Love the dress!! As always I'm totally impressed with your talent and skill.

LeAnne said...

I've been following along as you've been sewing! You did a great job--you would do my home ec teacher proud! I don't know why you are hesitant about modeling--you're BEAUTIFUL! So is the dress---and I cannot remember the last time I made a dress for myself. I think it may have been when my daughter was baptised and she is 28 now!!!!

Mrs. Taylor said...

Gwen, that dress is too cute and looks great on you!

I have a surprise for you over on my blog today. Check it out: http://www.ourtaylormadehome.com/2011/04/id-like-to-thank-academy.html

SewLindaAnn said...

Great job on the dress Gwen, you look fabulous! Looking forward to checking out the Flickr group.

Ana @ Don't Fear the Ripper said...

Looks great on you!!! Thank you for the sew-along!

Naturally Carol said...

You look lovely..I think you should put this new 'head' on your blog profile..the lighter hair really suits you. Your dress turned out really well too.

Lu said...

Gorgeous! The blue looks fantastic on you.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

AMAZING JOB GWEN!!!
I completely agree with you regarding your tips and especially step 28, my did not, and still does not match up.
I also have some issues with the sizing on this pattern, but I will have to reserve those comments until I finish my dress. I hope to have something to share in a few days. You and Chris have done a fabulous job on your finished dresses and your process photos.

Hele said...

the dress is cute (and so you are)!!!

I have not my sawing machine here, so I couldn´t follow you, but may be in the future...

Darcy said...

The dress is fantastic and you look great! I bought this pattern as soon as I saw it but haven't made it yet, but I think with your awesome help I just might get started on it. Thanks for doing this great project!

malia said...

You are adorable and so is your dress... absolutely love it!

Brooke said...

oh my goodness! it's awesome. you did a great job. It looks lovely on you! I'd love one of those in Navy - worried it would cling to everything except men and money! (My mom's old saying!) ha ha ha xo

Modern Velvet said...

Very pretty! I think you did a great job on your dress. I was curious if you've ever used a loop turner? They are long & thin with a hook on the end to turn your loop right side out. Much easier than the thread method & nice to use for threading elastic through small casings too... JoAnn Fabrics & other fabric/notion stores carry them.

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