It’s been a busy couple months since I started sewing garments! Like I said in my previous post, I found garment sewing intimidating and scary, so I hope sharing my early projects may help other aspiring sewists figure out how to get started!

I’m continuing to steadily build my skills, being careful not to take on projects that are too ambitious. I’ve made so many things, and right now I’m overwhelmed with both fabric and ideas!

Some of my recent projects below. These are all suitable for beginners and advanced beginners.

Zinnia Skirt

Pattern: Colette Patterns Zinnia Skirt (version 1)
Fabric: Rayon
New Skills: Buttons & button placket, gathered skirt
Alterations: Left off patch pockets. Slight adjustment for my waist, which is pretty small. This was easy to do  – I didn’t adjust the pattern, just held it to my waist and made some cuts before I stitched the waistband closed.

Love this skirt. So much that I made it twice! I had been scratching my head trying to decide what to do with that beautiful floral fabric (designed by Rifle Paper Company for Cotton and Steel), and this was just right. I made a wearable muslin with the navy rayon before I cut into the Rifle Paper Co. fabric. I sorely need some pockets, though! I may try to add some in-seam pockets.

After several wears and washes, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: I need either higher quality or more stable interfacing in the waistband. The waistband is no longer holding shape, so once I find an appropriate interfacing I’ll remove it and sew it back on.

Zoe Dress

Pattern: Sew Over It London Zoe Dress
Fabric: Lightweight chambray by Robert Kaufman
New Skills: Dress fitting, tailoring, princess seams, pockets, sleeves
Alterations: Lots of tailoring changes. I had to take in the waist quite a bit, which is thankfully made pretty easy with princess seams. I had to handsew parts around the waist to make it nice and fitted.

Lots of new skills acquired with this one! Honestly, I’m shocked it worked out. Although normally I think this dress would be a nice garment for a very beginning sewist, it was nearly out of my league because I wanted it more fitted than the pattern called for. But it worked! Whew!

Hayden Crop

Pattern: Seamwork Hayden (version 2)
Fabric:  Linen from Joann Fabrics
New Skills: Patience. This one took a lot of patience. I decided to dive in with this linen instead of making a muslin, so I did a lot of alterations after it was sewn together. I also attached the sleeves inside out twice! And when I’d finally gotten them on right, I snipped a big hole in one and had to replace it yet again.
Alterations: The pattern is very, very boxy, so I made quite a few adjustments to the shape. I also replaced the bias edge with an interfacing.

Hayden Super Crop

Pattern: Seamwork Hayden (version 2)
Fabric: Lightweight chambray by Robert Kaufman
New Skills: Heavy alterations, wrangling bits of scrap fabric to turn it into a garment ;)
Alterations: As is becoming the norm for me, I made a lot of tailoring alterations. What I ended up with were two shirts that are very different with very different fits.

Chambray shirt: made with leftover fabric, very fitted. Learning a lot about my body and necessary alterations. Because I didn’t have much fabric to work with, I wasn’t able to attach a waistband. Happy accident – I like the length! It’s perfect for slightly high-rise jeans if I want to show off a bit of midriff, but it also looks good with skirts that fit at my natural waist.

You may be able to tell, the “keyhole” closing in the back ended up as a U shape instead. Let’s pretend that was an intentional part of the design and not a cutting mistake… ;)

Betty Dress

Pattern: Sew Over It Betty Dress
Fabric: Cotton + Steel Jubilee Party Lights lawnquilt (purchased at Cabbage Rose Quilting in Fort Worth, TX) | Cotton shirting from Joann Fabrics
New Skills: Fine tailoring skills
Alterations: Bodice fitting for full bust, narrow shoulders, and small waist. Added in-seam pockets.

This is it! This is the dress I’ve been building towards. When I first toyed with the idea of sewing so many years ago, it was because I wanted to create an endless supply of dresses just like this. Will you judge me if I never make another pattern ever again?


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