Akram's Ideas

Summer Sewing

Last September I got a sewing machine as an early birthday present from my mother-in-law, and since then I’ve been practicing sewing a few items here and there. My first project was a retro inspired dress using Simplicity 3833 pattern version C. Although the dress came out nice I had bought the wrong size pattern, not realizing that pattern sizes and dress sizes are different. Needless to say the dress is wearable but a little snug.

Simplicity 3833
Simplicity 3833

During Christmas I embarked on a different sewing endeavor. I decided I’d sew purses for all my sisters and if I had time a Christmas dress for me. Although I can say I’ve mastered purse making, those projects took all my time, that I only got as far as cutting out my Christmas dress.

During the spring semester I didn’t really have much time and what’s worst I got sick during the end of it, making it difficult with grading and finals. Despite all that I did manage to finally finish my Mom’s birthday present (whose birthday was in March) just in time for Mother’s Day. She requested a purse like the ones I made my sisters. Though she never did settle on a fabric, I found a lovely turquoise blue and matching pattern fabric for contrast that I thought would suit her style.

Once the purse was done I decided I finally finish my Christmas dress now that the semester was over. I used a very Christmasy red plaid fabric I’d gotten a a flea market, 3 or so yards for somewhere around $3. I followed the McCall 6503 pattern. This time I followed the right pattern size, though it fits, it’s a little snug in some places, leading me to discover that the dress patterns are not 100% accurate.

McCall's 6503
McCall’s 6503

My next project was a quick skirt, but I was worried about making it to snug, I ended up making it too loose. Now I need to fix it before I can really wear it.

By this point I was kind of frustrated with dress making, when a few weeks ago I happen to get a Joann’s email about a one day madness sale, which they had a Singer 150 adjustable dress -form on sale for $89. This was quite a steal since I thought about getting one back on Black Friday, but then it was $99. So, this was a better deal and I had a shipping coupon, which made the grand total $98. I felt with the dress-form I could finally get a well fitted dress.

Before making my purchase I did a little research. I at first thought I’d get the dress form in red, but discovered at online sewing bloggers suggested getting it I grey, so that when taking photos of your clothes on the form it doesn’t take away from the dress fabric. So, I bought the grey one.

Now that I had the form and time to sew what would I sew. If you recall back in January I’d been researching the idea of dressing in vintage style attire. Since vintage clothes were hard to come by and expensive I thought I make my own. This at first seemed difficult to do with modern dress patterns until I came across Sew Weekly’s “Make this Look” category. This category featured post on how to create a similar dress to ones found on Modcloth using a modern pattern. So, when the fabric stores were having their dollar pattern sale I bought a few that were suggested.

I had planed to start with one these patterns, but then I ended up coming across a box of vintage patterns at an antique store, and then some more at another. Before I knew it I had quite a collection. Though not all of them my size a few were. Thus I thought I start with one of these.

One of a few vintage patterns I've come across
One of a few vintage patterns I’ve come across

So begins my “Summer of Sewing” where I plan to sew a bunch of clothes this summer and blog about each one. Wish me luck!

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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