Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sewing: pattern review, fabric tip, cheap crystals

I'm finishing up Ice Girl's latest competition dress. It's KwikSew's 2796 and it was very, very easy to sew.

Ice Girl's measurements are very close to size small and I'd made KwikSew size smalls this spring with good luck. This dress, though, is pretty tight on her (the ones from this spring are still fine). Next time I'll make the medium.

I bought the salmon-colored two-way stretch fabric with an iridescent sheen on clearance, but it wasn't really a bargain. The fabric is very light and nearly see-through, so I had to line the whole thing with swimsuit lining fabric. It wasn't hard, but it was a pain.

I really liked how the straps and the binding went on the bodice. It was sensible, easy, and it looks good. I used a rolled hem on my serger for the bottom hem and it turned out better than I thought it would.
The real bargain was the beads that Ice Girl and I are putting on the dress. They're not Swarovski, they're cheap ones from JoAnn fabrics. JoAnn sells them in assorted packs of 300 each: 3, 4, and 5 mm clear crystals. Normally, JoAnn charges about $13 for a package, but I was able to find a bunch of 50% off coupons, so that dress is decked out in crystals.
Sewing Review: I'd buy the KwikSew pattern #2796 again, even though it's a bit small. The binding around the bodice would look good in a contrast fabric; in fact, Ice Girl and I think that the next dress will have a white bodice, a royal blue skirt and leotard panties, and royal blue binding for the armholes, neckline, and straps.
I'd also buy the cheap crystals again. When I really let the glue bubble on the hot fix tool, those suckers are on there for good.
I'm going to be careful about clearance fabric in the future. Lining the whole outfit is good, but I spent just as much on the fabric in the end and more time on the outfit than I should have done.


Skittl1321 said...

Great job on the dress. I just finished a practice dress this weekend- I need so much practice on these things!

Ice Mom said...

Thanks, skittl, for the nice compliment! The dress in the photo has only 1/4 of the beads on it. I was up until 1:30 a.m. Sunday (Ice Girl had a competition) beading that darn thing. I think I might go easy on the beads next time. :)

Good luck with your sewing! The more you do, the easier it becomes. Post questions here, if you have them. :)

Lisa said...

Hi! I just stumbled this blog in my search for leotard patterns (and reviews), and was looking at this one. It appeals to me for its spaghetti straps, rather than the scoop neck and thicker straps most leotards have. I was wondering--would it be possible to configure the pattern for a plain leotard, without the skirt, and hence without an empire waist seam? I'd like to find a nicely shaped, one-piece leotard pattern.


Ice Mom said...

Hi, Lisa. Well, you could certainly skip the skirt portion. The top and bottom are in two pieces, but you can pin them so the top and bottom seam allowances overlap and then cut out the leotard. I would think it would be pretty easy to do.

A word of caution with the straps: the elastic goes in one big piece from neckline to neckline and then over the shoulder as straps. If I had to do it over again, I'd finish the leotard and then work on the straps. Pin the elastic to the neckline and back to make sure that you have the right amount of elastic. The straps aren't adjustable!

Good luck!

jenn42 said...

what kind of sewing machine(s) are you using? I'm debating the serger and a coverstitch machine options.

Ice Mom said...

I'm using a 20-year-old Bernina sewing machine and a new Brother serger. I know a gal with a coverstitch machine, but she has it in addition to her sewing machine and serger.

Aussie Dancing Mum said...

Dear Ice Mom - I've used this pattern twice now, both times the long version for my dancing daughters. Looks gorgeous, fits beautifully, although shoulder straps can slip down on narrow-shouldered kids. I'd fogotten this had a short version too, it's perfect for this year's contemporary ballet. Thnx for reminding me!

I've never used hot glue & beads before - can you tell me more? Both dancing girls also do gymnastics & sports aerobics & they want me to glam up a leotard (or 35).

Ice Mom said...

Welcome, Aussie Dancing Mum!

I have two posts about affixing crystals to dresses that I recommend:

The E6000 method:

The hotfix method:

Here's a crystals review you might find helpful: