Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Hazel Dress

Here is my newest dress!  It is called "Hazel" and you can get the pattern here:

One thing that I have learned about sewing is that there isn't always one right answer that will work in every situation all of the time. A great example of this are all for the different ways of “finishing” a garment. "Finishing" is what you do to keep the fabric from unraveling after a garment is, well, finished. One way to do this is to use pinking shears all aroud the edges of a seam. Pinking shears are sciserses that are designed to leave a jagged edge rather than a smooth one.

A second method is to make a full or partial  lining for the garment, which basically requires you to make a whole separate item and sew it inside of your garment. It can be complicated, costly, time consuming and can add too much bulk in some cases. It can also lead to a super professional looking, beautiful final product. Making a lining makes sense if you are using a thin fabric that might be see-through, or to help add structure.

Another way of finishing a garment is to use a kind of stitching that I don't know how to do, and which I also suspect is the best and easiest way to do it.  Moving on...

And lastly (as far as my limited knowledge base can take me), a fourth way to finish a garment is to add bias tape around the edges of the seams, enclosing them so that it cannot unravel. This also makes the inside of a garment look as nice as the outside (theoretically).

I assumed, before I actually put this method into practice, that the only reasons not to use bias tape as your primary method of finishing were laziness (it is a time consuming extra strep), and to save money (not having to buy bias tape*).  

So I decided to use bias tape on the inside of my latest dress in an attempt to be extra awesome and fancy. I also felt that it would work well for this pattern because there were so many exposed seams on the inside of the front of the dress.  It ended up working out just fine in this case, but that was just because of pure dumb luck. It turns out that other reasons not to use bias tape to finish a seam include: it can add bulk to your garment and it can show through the fabric. I got lucky because the fabric I used is bright and thick, but I will be aware of these possible issues in the future.

The bias tape I added to the inside of the top.

This dress was described as an easy quick sew by Colette Patterns, but it caused me even more trouble than the last dress I made using stretch fabric. I got to know my seam ripper (it is exactly what it sounds like it is) very very well on this dress. BUT, the finished product turned out to be worth it. I am so proud of this dress, I don't even want to wear it. I just want to hang it on my wall an look at it. I haven't even tried it on yet for fear that it wont fit and the spell will be broken, but when I finally do wear it I will be sure to post photos here. :)

*Bias tape can be made by hand, but it is an arduous task that I will always be to lazy to ever do. 


  1. This is seriously my favorite dress that you have made! I am in LOVE with it!

  2. *Blush*. Awww thanks Beauty Girl. Maybe I can make you one for your wedding present. ;)

  3. Gorgeous Hazel! I just finished my first one but haven't taken photos yet. Bias tape is a great way to finish seams and I always forget about it. Must remember for my next Hazel because there will be more.

  4. Thanks Melizza! I LOVE the Hazel pattern. Can't wait to see yours. ;)