Thursday, March 13, 2014

LoLH Phase 1: Advice Needed and Videos of M & M

Yesterday was a Snow Day in Michigan.  On March 12th.  I can hardly believe it.  But, the day wasn't a total loss because the Postal Office delivers in rain or shine, snow or sleet.  Therefore, the new sewing machine still arrived on our doorstep.  Introducing the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine!  Just the name alone makes me feel like a professional...Project Runway...oohhhhh.  Good marketing, Brother, good marketing.

After work, when the roads had cleared, I stopped at JoAnn's for a pattern and fabric.  I started looking for a pattern by opening a drawer and was faced with this:

Thinking that there must be an easier way to find a pattern, I flagged down the experienced woman behind the enormous cutting counter and she pointed me to a well-organized book.   I looked through the book and realized that this dress would require different parts of two different patterns. That doesn't scare me in the slightest (eek).

The next job was to pick out the fabric for the top, the skirt, and the cape.  With the perfect fabric selected, I took it to the cutting counter where there was a man also buying fabric and thread.  I followed him to the thread section, haha.  I also purchased new cutting shears and lots of pins.  I went home and set up shop, here is my workstation:

You may notice that I chose four different fabrics.  Again, why not go big?!  The top material is a bit see-through so it will need a liner.  I have no idea how to best attach the liner for easy sewing.  The woman at the store said I could do something to it - the word started with a "b", but I can't remember the word to even google the method - anyone know?

I found a nice stretchy, flowy material for the bottom of the dress which will hopefully lay better than the poofy skirt in the pattern.  I couldn't find a 100% sequined fabric in blue for the top of the dress, so I went with a fancy design of swirls sprinkled with sequins:

Next is the sleeve and cape material.  It has glitter all over it, much to my chagrin, but it was the best fit for the project and color of the other fabric:

After setting up the sewing station and reading the sewing machine instructions, I successfully wound the bobbin and tried a few practice seams.  The fabric may be tricky to work with since it is delicate, meshy, and stretchy.  I have already gone to Facebook to ask for advice on reverse stitching, but still have more questions.  If you have any answers or tricks and tips, please share here or on my Facebook post.

1.  How do you recommend marking the lines to be sewn - with one of those chalky white things that I see the seamstress use or pin the pattern to the fabric and sew together (then tear the pattern off after sewing?).
2.  Should I follow the pattern for the size Maddi is currently or measure her and compare - in other words, how accurate are patterns for sizing, typically?
3.  It was hard to guide the material and sew a seam at the edge of the fabric, should I leave a bigger edge and then trim later?  Or is leaving a bigger edge on the inside of the dress no big deal?
4.  Using the single stitch setting felt flimsy, which type of stitch is your go-to stitch?
5.  Repeating from above, what is the best way to attach the liner to the top?
6.  Anything else that a beginner sewer should know?

Thank you in advance for all of your advice and help. I told the nice lady at the store that she would likely be seeing me again (asking for help). She smiled and said, "yes, please come in and show us the finished product".  I chuckled, blushed, and thought, "I'm not sure I will want to bring it out into public", but then I realized that Maddi would love to wear it into the store and she will probably be beaming; and that's all that matters.

To make a lengthy post even lengthier, I want to share these videos of Mason and Maddi.  They have a new bedtime routine for Ava.  Mason reads her a book and then they both take turns singing Ava a lullaby before shutting the door.  They're the sweetest lullabies I've ever heard.  Mason creates different lyrics each night (my favorite song, that I didn't capture on video, was when he called her little darling).

Maddi singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (it's dark and she sings softly):

Mason's song (also dark in the room and he sings softly):

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