So were the words of Marianna from Sew2Pro last Tuesday.
So, after emerging, bleary-eyed from watching the first seven episodes (I loved every minute), I started considering Marianna's challenge.
I decided to include several things in my challenge:
- a time limit;
- use fabric from my
- use as many techniques from the series as possible in my one garment.
After perusing my stash (that took some time in itself), I decided to use stretch fabric (episode 3) to make a wrap dress (episode 3) and do some pattern matching (episode 2). Marianna kindly provided the link to some of the patterns used in the series and I downloaded the wrap dress. Some detective work revealed that the pattern was actually Butterick 5454.
So, with the pattern printed and glued together, I set myself three hours for the challenge.
I think I am a pretty fast sewer. There were no instructions and I knew the pattern matching would prolong the cutting out process, but I thought three hours was doable. Ha! Little did I know....
Dramatic TV moment 1: The pattern matching was a nightmare. 'Like a TOTAL nightmare' as my son would say. I cut each pattern piece from a single layer then flipped that piece to match the pattern and have the stripes going in the opposite direction. But where was the opposite direction? The diagonal stripes meant that each piece had to be flipped 90 degrees, not 180 as I first thought. Oh dear. Knowing that stretch fabric needs to have the greatest stretch going around the body, this was a bit of a spanner in the works. However, after a quick stretch test, I decided that this fabric was of similar stretch up and down as it was side to side, so I just went for it.
I had to cut each piece as I went, rather than being able to lay all the pieces out on the fabric first. I had quite a large piece of fabric ($2 from the op shop - score!) so I thought it would be fine, despite cutting a couple of pieces the wrong way round and having to recut them.
I was wrong.
Dramatic TV moment 2 (head in hands, horrorstruck): The above picture shows the back skirt piece not fitting on my remaining piece of fabric. OK. Recover. Not to worry, I'll just put in a stripe matching patch and no one will ever know...
It took over an hour to cut out all my pieces except the sleeves and the waist tie. I was careful to match the stripes and orient them in the desired direction. I thought I'd got that right.
I thought I had, but I hadn't.
I pressed on. Having that timer running was way more stressful that I expected. The pressure on the actual GBSB must have been so intense.
I started sewing the bodice first. The back was looking good. The front was looking bad. How did the stripes end up in the same freaking direction when I was so careful cutting the pieces?
Then, with little time left, I sewed the skirt. Again, the back was the only reasonable section.
Before I knew it, there was only one minute to go! Very dramatic TV moment.
|One minute to go!!!!!|
The bodice and the skirt were still two separate pieces. The edges of the skirt were unfinished, the sleeves and waist tie were not even cut out.
I saw Patrick and May approaching and hid the offending pins.
Fortunately Patrick and May allowed me to go away and finish the dress before they did their final assessment.
I was ready to run fast and far in the opposite direction, tossing the wrap dress in the nearest bin on my way past.
I considered my options. Did I have time to go fabric shopping and start again? I pondered some more and then an amazing thing happened. Project Runway's Tim Gunn murmured in my ear: "Make it work".
Gathering my dregs of enthusiasm for this project I picked up my dress and my timer and forced myself to continue.
It took me another 2 hours and 43 minutes to finally finish.
"The first thing I notice" said May "is that the stripes are all running in the same direction at the front...
...but in four different directions at the back"
"Completely intentional" I lied.
"The pattern matching is not bad in places" said Patrick.
"I love you Patrick" said I.
"And the top-stitching with the twin needle is handled quite well" added May.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Things were looking quite good. Until...
"Oh dear" said May, "what is this seam here? Has a patch been added at the back of the skirt???
"Meggipeg, you are the weakest link. Goodbye."
Well, it's definitely not my finest piece of sewing, or my favourite piece of fabric, but I did challenge myself and, despite some stressful moments, I had a lot of fun with this sew.
Is it wearable? Let's see.
The back is pretty cool (can you see the patch?).
It could be worse. Actually, I really like this pattern and I challenge myself to get some really lovely stretch fabric (NOT striped) and make it properly next time. In three hours.
Betcha I can.
PS. Thank you to Marianna for a really fun competition.