In a previous post I stated that I've decided to be very liberal with the requirements of this challenge, because my point was to get a wearable garment out of those fat quarters. I have to admit that this was a very hard challenge for me. I will remember that the next time I'm out to dinner with a bunch of women, and there are quite a few pitchers of margaritas on the table, before I sprout off at the mouth!
My first attempt at making a dress was so horrible that one - I refused to take pictures of it beyond the pic I posted to Instagram early in the process (dayum that was four months ago!) and two - my daughter took one look at it and said trash it. That scarred me. Seriously...and I hid the fat quarters in the sewing cave so that I could not see them mocking me.
Then the dayum challenge came back up and I had to come up with something...anything...wearable.
The Idea ~
From my internet travels, I saw the pictures in this blog post and they triggered something in me creatively. Gave me a new perspective and a different way to go. So using it as my basis, I worked from there on a new idea.
I have to say that my first idea was for smaller stripes from the fat quarters - about 1" wide...but because I wasn't sure if this idea would even work...I didn't want to invest that kind of time on cutting and sewing smaller stripes. So I went with the larger ones using my altered TNT pattern, used here.
Of course making the stripes and sewing them together so that they used the majority of the fat quarters was the most important part of the challenge.
As I stated above, I originally wanted 1" strips as the finished width but settled on 4" strips, that when sewn together made 3" strips. I used 1/2" seam allowances, not the normal quilters 1/4" SAs. Mostly because I think you need to be really precise with 1/4" seams and I'm just not that precise. Also, I figured out the math better using 1/2" seams! *LOL* Another consideration was that I didn't want this to have a "quilting" feel. I wanted it to look like a "professional" dress that I would wear to work.
Of course the stripes took a fair amount of time ~ cutting out, sewing, and pressing. One more note, each fat quarter I received is represented, but I added some solid pieces of linen to help with the look of the stripes and erase some of that Hobby Holly Dress look. What my boss called this picture from Instagram.
The rest of the dress was actually a breeze after the stripe placement was determined and worked out. I have to tell you that I was shocked when I got the dress shell together. Seriously shocked. My idea worked and it didn't look bad. To make sure that I wasn't just placating myself, I sent a pic to my daughter. After she declared it a success, I forged ahead to get this finished.
We Interrupt this Process ~
However, I'd danced around the process so long that I didn't have time to finish it during the week. To make matters worse, after a few days I noticed that the fat quarter side of the dress was hanging lower than the linen side. This was because of the weight I added when I used fusible interfacing on the back side of each stripe.
Now somewhere in this process I told myself that I should underline the linen with silk organza. But being wary that the idea would work, I didn't want to invest that kind of time and resources in a dress that might end up as a wadder.
Once I realized that the dress worked, I very reluctantly decided that I needed to add the silk organza to it so that it would hang correctly. So I took the dress apart, cut pieces of black silk organza and basted them to the linen pieces. Then sewed the dress back together. Do you understand now why I didn't make that Friday deadline?
Back to Construction Details ~
I added a navy blue bemberg rayon lining to the dress.
Thank goodness that was in the notions stash! I also broke down and added navy piping to the neckline. Seriously if I blew past the deadline, I was going all in on this dress.
Somewhere in the construction process, I decided that it was a good idea to make bias binding from some of the remaining pieces of fat quarters to bind the armholes.
Yeah I was wading deep into the pool of throwing every technique I knew into this dress...or is this just the way I sew now? Who knows...but what is truth is that there is self made bias binding in this dress also.
Some hems, okay not just some hems...I added navy blue rayon seam binding to the dress hem and a beige lace to the lining hem and the dress was finally done...
...just in time for some photos before it started to rain!
A few more pics of "The Fat Quarter Challenge" Dress...
In Conclusion ~
I can honestly tell you that I won't be doing one of these challenges again! *LOL* What a wonderful way to inhibit my creativity! I know some people flourish and thrive with these types of deadlines producing amazing garments but me...ummmm not so much! I have learned several things from this challenge...
- You can make a wearable garment for an adult using fat quarters. Just next time I'd like to pick my own fat quarters!
- I don't sew well with a deadline (okay I already knew that one it was just reinforced!)
- I am incapable now of sewing something simple...seriously, silk organza underlining, piping at the neckline, self made bias binding...I got problems y'all! *LOL*
- Never open my big mouth saying I can do something with liquor on the table...
Finally, I have pieces of fat quarters remaining that may show up in the days, weeks and months ahead in the granddaughters clothing...you have been forewarned!
...as always more later!