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  • Camilla

A Beginner's Journey, by Amy (@whatamy_makes)

Since creating a new instagram, just for sewing, I’ve been so inspired by what people are making and creating. The array of amazing clothing patterns have been consuming my daydreams for so long. Not to mention the stunning fabric choices which help make these garments so unique and personal. I just knew it was time to start making my own wardrobe. Now I have dabbled with sewing in the past, so basic sewing skills aren't completely alien to me. However, I’ve never used a pattern or sewed a garment before. So here we go, this is the journey of making my first dress.

My first obstacle was deciding on a pattern. I had my eye on tilly and the buttons, it seemed highly recommended for beginner sewers. I eventually settled on the Lotta dress as I was drawn to the size-inclusive images they advertise with. Additionally, it looked comfy and a bit flirty with the large skirt. As for fabric, well that was more of a minefield for the very indecisive person that I am. The cotton lawn fabric I ended up choosing was quite a stretch for me. The colour and the large check weren't like anything I currently have in my wardrobe. But I figured if I was to make a dress, I might as well go all out! So I took the gamble.

The first steps were rather easy: wash, iron, and then cut the pattern. Although, cutting the fabric was quite a nerving experience. I was surprised by how scared I was to make that first snip. To be honest, I believe I waited 3 days before I finally started to cut the pattern. And probably another few days before I commenced stay-stitching the skirt and bodice. I was finally ready to start piecing my garment together. Finally moving onto the bodice construction including; inserting the neckline facing, finishing seams, understitching, stitching in the ditch, and pressing. I did have some issues with fitting my neckline facing, which resulted in me recutting and interfacing a new one. Furthermore, I got to experience my first joy of unpicking, as I attached some of the bodice to the understitching. I thought this was supposed to be easy!

Now my curved stitching was far from being neat, the notches weren’t 100% aligned, and the zig zag seam finishes were a complete mess (especially around the underarms). But it was coming on, and it was making shape. Once the skirt was attached I sewed the elastic channel, inserted the elastic, and then tried it on. Ahhh, nuts. Unfortunately, it was not quite how I imagined it would be. I realised too late that the bodice was too long and the size I cut was just too baggy for my taste. Unfortunately, it made me feel so much bigger. Due to the bodice piece being too long for me, the skirt then fell far lower than the intended knee length. Overall, the dress just did not seem to flatter me.

Now, I may not be a fan of my Lotta, but this was the first garment I've ever made. It was a pure labour of love and unfortunately, it just didn't quite work out on this occasion. I have toyed with the idea of making them into a top and skirt, as I feel I may be more likely to wear them as separates. But who knows, with a bit of time, I may grow to love it as is. Now onto garment No:2 xx

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