And I mean it when I say ABSOLUTE BEGINNER.
Although I’ve been sewing for 10+ years, I have been very inconsistent and have only done primarily flat, straightforward projects with straight lines and minimal effort. But, since I’ve discovered the world of garment sewing and somehow managed to eek out 2 pairs of pajama pants that didn’t immediately burst into flames when I touched them, I of course thought what every absolute beginner thinks when they are under qualified but overconfident and told myself I am obviously super good at this and could take on any sewing project needing minimal instruction or research.
Yeah, that’s not how it works. Also, we’re just gonna have to deal with the shitty photos too, ok?
For my first real garment sewing project, I wanted something that would be no muss no fuss – just a quick “in and out” job on my machine, if you will.
So when I saw the Georgia Dress from Seamwork, I thought it would be a fun and easy project. Although I typically like to wear clothes that are more form fitting, I wanted something with ease and even decided to try their pattern hacked version with half paneled front skirt. Against my better judgement, I decided to try making this dress with a fabric I’ve never used before and to practice techniques that were new to me ahead of time, and when I started getting frustrated, I rushed to the finish line. NOT. A. WINNING. PLAN.
The pattern itself is simple, understated, and lovely. I absolutely adore the fact that you can do so much with so little for this dress. The paneling makes it easy to try color blocking or even mixing materials for a piece that’s more edgy and fun for a party dress or sick ass work outfit. But, the easy fit and laid back vibe make it perfect for brunch with friends or as a simple warm weather weekend dress to hang out around your house in. As a mom who has little time to get ready and doesn’t exactly have time or money to buy clothes for every occasion, I require my clothes do double duty to dress up or down, and the Georgia definitely does…
…or at least it would if I’d made it correctly.
I think my first error was my fabric choice. Since I have very little experience using anything other than quilting cotton, I probably should have gone with that until I’ve gotten more used to how garments are constructed and how other fabrics behave. What can I say? Although this fabric isn’t particularly challenging to work with, it was a bit more slippery than I’m used to or was expecting, and because of that, I had a hard time getting it to cooperate. Mostly I had trouble in the spots I’d never tried before – the gathered panels, the sleeves, and the facings.
Although my first sewn garment came out completely unwearable, I don’t view it as a wash because I did learn a lot by making it. Mainly, that I should try to find patterns for pieces that look like clothes I already wear often and I know fit me well. I also learned that if I’m really not feeling a project half way through, it’s ok to stop. I’d rather just move on to something that inspires me and makes me happy than force myself to add something to the “done” pile because, ultimately, I was over it and rushed to finish so I could move on (and it shows).
Although my first attempt wasn’t a winner, I would try this pattern again. I think I’d like it more as a comfy casual sundress in a lightweight cotton and without the gathered panels in the front that seem only to serve to make me look like a 12 year old. Who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll make one and do a side-by-side comparison so I can see how much I’ve improved. It can only get better from here, amiright?
TECHNIQUES LEARNED: Gathering, attaching set-in sleeves, adding a facing, letting that shit GO