The Shaffer Sisters asked me to join this year’s Sew-a-bration, and I’m so glad I said, “yes”.
Like many busy moms, I tend to put “Shannon things” at the bottom of my priority list, and even when I indulge myself from time to time, I still have to battle the guilt that comes along with it. Not a lot of guilt, just enough for me to wonder if I could have used my time more wisely. Crazy, huh?
Despite those feelings, I was determined to do something for myself because I needed it. I was especially moved by this post and knew I wanted to take part. As far as my wardrobe was concerned, I didn’t necessarily need a new dress. The baby is still small, so I spend most of my time in jeans and a t-shirt. But I *wanted* a new dress to get me out of my *everyday* mindset — something that would require me to put some thought into my appearance. Pretty things have a tendency to do that.
My dilemma: Between the needs of my 4-month-old, freelancing and designing new patterns, not to mention keeping the day to day activities of my family in check, I knew I’d only have time to sew in 5-15 minute increments and that I wouldn’t have time to try the dress on for fit while sewing. With my work schedule, I’d also just have 2 days to fit it all in. I could have put this off for another time, but If I put if off, I’d probably never get to it.
Solution: I set up two spaces to complete the project. In my sewing room I got my dress form sized and ready for draping and the ironing board prepped for ironing. I then set up a second space in my bedroom (where the baby naps) with my laptop, scissors, and seam rippers. For 2 days I’d drape, sew, iron, cut seam allowances and rip out seams between those two spaces in between cooking, playing outside with the kids, keeping the baby entertained, answering emails, and just, . . .well. . .life. Thankfully, the set up worked.
I chose draping for this project because I didn’t have time to draft a flat pattern. This was a *sloppy* drape for sure. The darts could have been more even and the armholes lower. It’s also a bit too tight across the bust area, but that’s because I didn’t adjust my dress form properly.
Below are pics from when I started the project. I knew I wanted to do something fun with the neckline, so once I draped the basic bodice, I got out my tailor’s chalk and began playing around with different shapes. Good thing the chalk washes out. Since the dress was kind of plain, I also added a nice open back for interest. I chose an exposed white zipper for the closure.