Friday, January 21, 2011

Swing dress fabric. was the trip to Joann's. After searching through every aisle in the store, and reading the information on every bolt of fabric in the red tag clearance section, this is what I chose for my swing dress:

It's rayon challis. It was on clearance for $5 a yard, and all of the red tag was an additional 50% off. So I got 3 1/2 yards of this for just over $10. :) I was having a hard time finding fabric that was the type the pattern called for (I'm usually shopping for printed cotton. I know next to nothing about apparel fabrics), and then I saw this. At first, I didn't like it. Plus, it's dry clean only. But I didn't have much choice, so I bought it. And it keeps growing on me. :) Every time I look at it, I like it better. I think it'll look cute on a 40s style dress.

The pattern calls for an (optional) brooch for the front of the dress. I don't have a brooch that matches the fabric and didn't really want to buy one. So I found these adorable buttons instead and bought them using my coupons. :) I'm not sure which ones I'm going to use yet, but I'm leaning towards the black ones. We'll have to see.

When we got home, I was feel really motivated and excited about this sew along, so I printed off my e-pattern and started piecing it together. Ha.

I was going to take pictures of the process to post here, but I was so frustrated and stressed that I completely forgot. The process took two hours (about 25 minutes of this time was scolding the cats and staring blankly at the pattern pieces). Go ahead and laugh. I had Pandora (my France-inspired "La Vie En Rose" station...I just discovered Pandora this week!) going, and our two cats were crouching and pouncing and hissing and running everywhere. When I *finally* got the first pattern sheet together, I put it in the floor, where my brother's cat kept running and sliding across it. What is it with cats and paper on the floor?

I started by holding the pieces up to the window and matching the lines up that way. Then it started getting dark, the piece was getting too big to handle, and my arms were about to fall off. So then I moved to the floor. Then the kitchen table.

I freaked out at one point because things weren't matching up perfectly. This is what I was thinking then: "You're such a doofus! Next time just cough up the extra money to get the real pattern sent to you!" I almost went upstairs and printed off the 20 pages again, which would have been incredibly stupid. Thankfully, I didn't. Instead, I watched the e-pattern videos here. They were a huge help...mostly because she reminded me that I'm not perfect and the lines don't have to match up just right! I'm such a perfectionist, and most of the time that's not a good thing. And she also mentioned starting from the center and working your way outward. I did that with the second sheet. I wish I had watched the videos before I started this whole process.

Anyway. My two big sheets of paper are all taped together. I was planning on just cutting it out, but after all this effort, there's no way I'm cutting into that "master pattern"! I meant to buy some cheap plain interfacing today, but I forgot. So I'm not sure what I'll do yet. But I'm definitely going to trace the pattern again before I cut it.

I also bought two black zippers for the dress (not sure whether I'm going to do the invisible zipper or regular one yet) and some very sheer fusible knit interfacing for the midriff, like Casey recommended. The interfacing was 50% off, so I got a couple yards of Craftfuse, too. It ended up being about 75 cents a yard. I use it all the time and normally pay $2 a yard at Hobby Lobby. And I bought this cute black/grey/white silky fabric for a skirt. I originally was going to get this for the swing dress, but there was only just over a yard left. So it'll be a skirt eventually. (This was also red tag 50% off-just a couple of dollars worth.)

Finally...yesterday, I made a new wallet and iPod/cell phone cozy. They're both now listed in my Etsy shop!

I'm usually not big on pink, but I really love damask fabric. It's so elegant looking.

Until next time,


  1. wow looks like you were busy! im a perfectionist to...i really like that case it looks awesome!

  2. Love the fabric!!

    Funny thing - I was just shopping for 1940s dress fabric too, and bought several different colors of rayon challis. I just washed/dryed by machine and it turned out just fine. - so maybe you could test it out on a piece of your fabric?

    can't wait to see the finished masterpiece!

  3. the iPod cozy is very close to the way the background of your blog looks like!

  4. How cute!~ Though I can't understand how a girl can't be big on pink... heehee!


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