Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A bear is an animal, right?

To say I had a hard time with this dress would be putting it mildly. This was an absolute bear to sew. As I was finishing it up today I looked at my choice of fabrics and started cracking up. "Of course! It's hexed!!!"

I have sewn Shwin and Shwin's Maggie Mae at least a dozen times. I even added an exposed zip to the last one. Honestly, how hard can it be to add a hood and long sleeves?

 Let me tell ya'...
The first thing I did was drop the neckline to accommodate the hood addition. I decided to draft my own hood and to make it extra snazzy I added a racing stripe down the back.
Simple enough until I realised I had made the hood absolutely GINORMOUS. I trimmed it down and assembled it and set it aside to work on the bodice.

I decided not to do the interior lining since the hood would finish the neckline. I extended the arms and flared them slightly out to make it long sleeved. The I added a facing to the cuff to give a nice clean look.

You will notice there is another racing stripe running underneath the sleeve. I meant to do that.  If by "I meant to do that." you mean I had Wub try the dress on and thought I should probably add some extra fabric so she didn't lose feeling in her hands. Also being able to move your arms is a nice bonus.

Bodice assembled I moved on to attaching the hood.
Notice the super cute grey zipper guard that totally ties in the racing stripe on hood?

Yeah, apparently I was drunk when I measured the hood because after initially making it HUGE I decide to cut it just a little too short.

You know what they say measure twice unless you're Kristi then measure sixteen times and then let Karl measure because you're gonna get it wrong.

Hood modified, attached and zipper inserted...

(Oh yeah I couldn't find any of the THREE zipper feet I have so I had to fudge that a little. Plus it's a zipper, not traditionally my friend, so that took a little bit out of me.)

I decided to (intentionally this time) add a little bit of the print to the side seam pockets for even more visual interest. Initially I sewed them on wrong. After unpicking it all and getting them in the right place I went on to assembling the skirt.

Traditionally a Maggie Mae is pleated but as this was an exercise in punishing myself I decided to gather the skirt.
I don't generally enjoy gathering. It's so fiddly and something always ends up slightly wonky. I went ahead gathered, pinned and sewed. Oh my! so beautiful! Perfectly even, no puckering or ripples and the seam was perfectly straight. The only thing that could have made it better was if I hadn't sewed it front to back.

When I was younger I always wanted my very own Inspector Gadget gadget. It's changed over the years as to what it would be (although I have to admit that Sharpie makes the list quite frequently) However, for the past seven or so years that I've been sewing it's definitely been Go Go Gadget Seam Ripper!

 I frogged the skirt resewed it and it turned out almost as nice. I got all the side seams sewn (which is how I discovered the sleeves were a wee bit strangle-ish and also slightly too short.) I ripped the bottom sleeve seams added a strip of fabric Narrowing it to a point as it reached the armpit seam. What was originally intended to be a neat facing on the sleeve hems was turned into a cute little cuff detail instead.. Because really this dress has already taken up three weeks of my sewing time so why not add more stuff?

The hem was originally intended as a peekaboo facing but I decided to drop it down and let it show.

For all the ripping, picking, poor planning and general frustration I am 94% pleased with it. Which is pretty high for me.

 I'm pretty sure that Wub is 100% pleased though.

 Yeah, 100%.
 The end.

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