When I was lulled into the sewing Blogosphere one activity I found very interesting was the idea of a sew-along. Hundreds of people all over the world sewing the same pattern and making it their own version of the pattern is … in a word … greatness. I sat on the sideline all summer watching the sew-along’s come and go. Waiting for a sew-along I wasn’t afraid of, and a pattern that would suit a beginner like me. And finally the Saltspring Sew-along was announced.
Now this was perfect for me fo a few reasons. First, the pattern is for a Beginner sewer who is open to learn new skills. Secondly, I have been wanting to try a Sewaholic pattern. Their patterns are made for pear-shaped women. That’s partially me. I definitely have hips and but, and I would love if I lost 5″ off the waist. Ha! While I’m aspiring to something greater, I may as well ask for 10″ off my waist.
Back to the Saltspring. Taah-Daaah! The results of my first sew-along!
The Saltspring pattern has two options. This shorter length and a maxi dress. During the sew-along, I made the maxi dress out of muslin, but when I finished it it thought it overwhelmed my 5 foot frame. With that, I ultimately decided to make the shorter version. I found this beautiful cotton lawn fabric from fabric.com along with the pink lining. Blue, hot pink and turquois … these colors are definitely wearable over the next month or so. This was my first time sewing a lining into a garment and the muslin was very easy to construct.
While I was sewing the muslin, I made two adjustments to the pattern. I changed the straps … I the option from the Saltspring team to tie the straps in the front instead at the top of the shoulder. They discuss that here. The pattern provides instructions to line the bodice, but there isn’t a lining on the skirt. I decided to fully line the skirt and bodice because of the thinness of the cotton lawn. My first experience with cotton lawn was a good one. I’ve never used it before. Who am I kidding, I haven’t sewn with most fabrics. Using a straight size 12, I didn’t have to modify the bodice at all. With my hip measurement, I usually have a huge inconsistency with the bodice, but not the case with this pattern. It fit perfectly. This is a big win for me. Being a newbie, I don’t know how or what to change when a bodice doesn’t fit properly. But I had a safety net with having the patternmaker available during the sew-along to answer any questions. Not an option with the larger pattern companies.
I loved the hot pink as a contrast to the navy blue so much that I decied to make the pockets out of that fabric as well. I really like the end result. It’s a great pop of color and matches the pop of color on the back of the garment.
Though I’m not an expert on zippers by any stretch of the imagination, I now understand the frustration I hear from people when they are installing zippers. I don’t think it was the fact I had a lining. I really couldn’t put my finger on why I struggled so much with this zipper. I’ve done 4 invisible zippers … not counting this one … and this one gave me the most trouble. And no, I wasn’t drinking while sewing. At least not while I was installing the zipper.
But I worked through it, and I’m happy with the result. I just love the pops of color – the peeks from the lining and pocket. Yay me!
Overall I’m very happy with the end result. The ties are fun, and with a cardigan, I can even wear this to work. When I purchased the Saltspring dress pattern, I also purchased the Thurlow trousers and the Tofino Pants. I hope to build up my skills enough to tackle one of these pairs of pants in the coming months. There’s much, much more to come. I’m really enjoying learning and applying my new skills. I have a lot of new projects on my list, and I have just finished my first sew-along. And just think I had a pity party earlier this week.
See you next time!