Coffee Date Dress.

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After yesterday, I needed something to cheer me up a bit. Lately, sewing has been taking me to my happy place. Today, I will introduce you to my first ever garment: The Coffee Date Dress.

Since I am still learning to sew, I am all about the free patterns. I’d rather screw up on something that I can get again and again than on something I paid a lot of money for. As you can see in the link, this is a cute dress. It was also pretty ambitious for someone who had only been sewing for a whole week! I dutifully traced everything out on my Ikea fabric (did you guys know that Ikea made fabric? Me neither, not until last month!), and started putting things together. No, wait, I made a toile first (the fake dress). It was massive, so I went down about 3 sizes.

The problem with Ikea fabric is not only does it not drape very well, it unravels like crazy! To combat this, I thought french seams would be a good idea. It probably would have been too, with the right fabric. With this stuff, it created too many layers, and the machine struggled. I slogged through, and the end result was pretty good, if not a little frustrating.

I went to try it on. So far, so good. That is, until I reached the bust area. The zip isn’t going up! What the hell? Oh, wait, did I include seam allowances? The pattern said they weren’t included, and I cut right on the line. Fuck…. I did get the zipper up in the end, but I had to take my bra off and squish my boobs together. Sexy, right??? Here is what it looked like then:

See the squshy boobs?

Damn! Everything else fit pretty well, especially the waist. The dress was far from perfect, the biggest cosmetic problem (besides the bust) was the zipper. It was horribly misaligned. Like, almost an inch off. So, in the end, I said ‘Nuts to This!’, and put the dress away, un-hemmed and unwearable by me. I did learn a lot from this though. Always line up your seams before you sew, how to install an invisible zipper, and that french seams really don’t work to well with dresses. In the end, I was pretty happy with the result.

Fast forward to last Sunday, and one of my best friends, Liz, is over to work out. She wants to see everything I’ve sewn so far and spots the forgotten and forlorn coffee date dress. She asks if she can try it on, and low and behold, it fits! She loves it and wants it. I made her promise to wear a belt with it so no one will see the wonky zipper. She thinks this is hilarious.

It occurred to me that I really would rather give her something that looked nice than something that was very obviously flawed on the outside, so guess what I’ve been doing this afternoon?

Take a look at that!

That’s right! No more wonky zipper! It’s almost perfectly aligned! I hemmed the dress as well, so here is the final result:

Front
Back

A truly wearable dress. I even tried it on, and was able to zip it up without assistance. It’s still too tight in the bust for me, but not as tight as the first time. Score!

I hope you like this one, Liz! 🙂

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