Since I've never made a piece of clothing before I thought maybe I should practice on something that was a little less expensive. I bought 2.5 yards of pretty pink pin dot on navy fabric from the bargain bin for around $9. I think it is rayon - I know nothing about apparel fabric, nothing! Note to other beginners, rayon is very slippery, a less slippery choice might be better for your first garment. The learning begins! A friend of mine, another newbie sewer, joined me and we dove in thinking we'd be wearing our dresses out for the evening. That did not happen. In a few hours we did manage to trace the pattern, cut our fabric pieces, sew together the shoulders and sew the pockets in. We figured we could probably finish sewing the sides together, sew the neck, arms and waist shirring in a couple more hours. That did not happen. On our next meeting we managed to sew the two main pieces together and the neck. Sewing neck and arm holes are really hard! Seriously. My biggest struggle was pressing this fabric; it just would not crease. Even with lots of pins it was still moving around quite a bit while I was sewing. My neck is a little ruffly on the inside as a result but it looks ok on the outside.
I was determined to fix the ruffle effect for the arm holes. Much research commenced. I decided to add a sheerweight fusible interfacing and recut the arm pieces. Much better! The interfacing allowed the fabric to crease when pressed which made all the difference. Next time I'll be sure to carefully fit the arm and neck pieces too. Sigh.
Although a lot of freaking out was done over the waist shirring, it was all for nothing, my Pfaff handled it like a boss. The trickiest part was hand winding the elastic thread on the bobbin. Yes, hand winding the bobbin. And of course I wound it the wrong way the first time. Doh.
Hemming was last. No freaking out but tons of research for hemming slippery fabrics. Basically, the tinier the hem the better. But I still had the pressing issue and this time I couldn't use interfacing like I did with the arms. I took a chance and just sprayed it down with lots and lots of heavy starch. Worked! Immediately put dress on and demand hubby take photos before it falls apart!!
Whew! I sewed a dress. A dress I could, and did, wear to work. Happy!