*I was given free product for this post, but I chose to take it because it’s absolutely adorable and I wanted the challenge. Plus, I kind of NEEDED to see how cute my wee little cousins would be in the dresses.*
I’ve already promised not to overwhelm you all with my new sewing hobby, but I’ll be damned if I don’t at least tempt you to give it a try. Even if you take one attempt to learn, you future too-long-need-to-be-hemmed pants will thank you. So far, I’ve only attempted to make pillows and the beginnings of a quilt on my own. I felt ready to try something more difficult, so when I had a blogger back out of a post, I volunteered as tribute. I mean, look how cute my little cousins look in the finished product.
Little Dress Boutique
Little Dress Boutique (LDB) is probably one of the cutest craft/sewing products I’ve seen in a while. You know those adorable pillowcase dresses people are pinning all over Pinterest? Little Dress Boutique makes it much easier (and cuter) to make your own. They offer six different collections, with each collection carrying a dress and coordinating fat quarters, 5″ strips, and 1-yard cuts. The wonderful part about the collections is all the fabric goes together so you don’t have to pick out from a whole bunch of different fabrics. It’s also great because it doesn’t require as much cutting as a regular dress would.
My favorite part of doing this project was the fact I could actually do it with never having made anything like it before. The dress comes with directions for assembling and the Fabric Editions website (makers of LDB) has several tutorials for making many versions of the dresses. To make my cousins dresses, their mom looked through the LDB Look Book and picked out which dress versions she liked. I was afraid to attempt ruffles, but they weren’t near as difficult as I thought. I would say none of the dresses was as difficult to make as I thought. That said, keeping these sewing tips in mind will be very helpful.
Don’t expect to knock out any project super quick.
If you think you’re gonna whip together a whole dress or something in an hour, you’re not going to enjoy the process. The enjoyment from sewing comes from watching the piece come together, not in how fast it can be done.
Always take the time to iron.
I hate ironing. I don’t every iron my clothes. Whatever wrinkles come out with a quick run through the dryer or a once over with my hair straightener is the best it’s gonna get. Unfortunately, when it comes to sewing, ironing is 100% necessary. I avoided it at first and hated every second, but I fully committed to ironing with the LDB dresses. It made a HUGE difference. It made sewing the pieces together much easier and the entire look of the pieces much more professional looking.
Remember the fabric gets really hot, not just iron.
Obviously you don’t want to touch a hot iron, but the fabric you just ironed will get super hot. I got several burns, all from fabric. Remember, when you iron the fabric, you aren’t running the iron across the fabric, you are pressing down flat on it. After pressing, I would touch the fabric to pin it and burn myself every time.
Pay attention to your bobbin thread.
It’s always a pain to run out of bobbin thread (the bottom thread in your machine) when sewing. My machine has a clear cover over where the bobbin thread goes, I love it. If you’re lucky enough to have a machine with that feature (and even not, really) pay attention to how much bobbin thread you have left so you don’t have to replace it in the middle of sewing something.
Know where your supplies are in the beginning.
In the middle of sewing the LDB dresses, I needed to replace my bobbin thread. (Hence where the previous tip came from.) I realized I was also out of my top thread. I had no idea where my new thread was. I spent forever trying to find it. Turns out it was literally right in front of me. Know where things are ahead of time so you don’t get pissed off ahead of time.
Always ALWAYS check measurements before cutting.
I don’t want to talk about how many times I’ve cut things wrong. Don’t just “measure twice, cut once,” measure like ten times.
Also, check that your fabric is facing the right direction before cutting.
I’ve also made this mistake several times. Directions will tell you to cut or sew fabric right sides together or wrong sides together.
It really is about the journey.
The first project I sewed was somewhat miserable. I felt like the project was lasting for-ever-er. Every time I stopped to look at my progress, I felt like I was so far away from being done. But when it was complete, I felt sooooo satisfied. The next time I sewed something, every time I paused to view my progress, I instead looked to see how far I had come. A simple change of perspective made it so much more enjoyable.
The project is not finished until you’ve given a final iron and cut off the extra threads.
I was so proud my dresses…and so glad to be done with them that I didn’t worry about a final pressing or cutting off the extra threads. The threads were the first thing everyone noticed when I showed them the dresses. After cutting them off, they looked a million times better. Now I know a project isn’t finished until it’s had the final touches have been done.
People will always be impressed with your work, no matter how far from perfect it might be.
No matter what “mistakes” you’ve made, the final project is going to be awesome. People will always be impressed with your work. I mean, you MADE something. That’s something to be proud of.
To celebrate Little Dress Boutique and encourage everyone to learn to sew, Fabric Editions is giving away the perfect (and most adorable) beginner sewing machine plus and ENTIRE collection of Little Dress Boutique. That means the dress, strips, 1-yard cut and fat quarters. I don’t know about you, but I need a turquoise sewing machine. Use the giveaway widget below to enter and be sure to tell all your friends!
P.S. Two other fabulous bloggers will be sharing their own versions of Little Dress Boutique this week. Visit their blogs to see how much cuter their dresses are than mine, (They are experienced sewers.)