Fringe for Halloween

Last month I swore off sewing for myself.

We are less than four months out from Stormy’s arrival (I'm not panicking. Who's panicking!) and I have things I want to get done for both boys that I feel like should take priority over stuff I may or may not be able to wear again after a few weeks. Plus I still have two half-sewn blankets that I started for Paul but never finished because it became too difficult to sit at my sewing machine by the end of my pregnancy. So of course when I watched the latest episode of the Hey Sister Podcast I was immediately possessed with the need to sew myself a Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch after seeing how adorable it was as maternity wear.

Fringe Dress.png

But again, I’m not sewing for me, so there’s no way I would let myself go out and buy fabric for the dress I am not sewing. A few days later, however, I still could not shake the need to make one and so went up to my (tiny) fabric stash and pulled out this Riley Blake Halloween fabric. Next thing you know I have pasted together the pattern and started cutting. I only had three yards of fabric, which is about a half yard shy for the size 12 I needed, but I somehow managed to make it work by omitting the pockets and buttoned sleeve tabs.

Please forgive the messy selfies. My toddler is not yet a trained photographer.

Please forgive the messy selfies. My toddler is not yet a trained photographer.

When I started this pattern all I saw was a cute dress that would work well for my growing baby bump and buttons that would accommodate breast feeding should I be able to continue wearing it next fall. What I did not take into consideration is all of the techniques I had never tackled before -- curved hemline, buttons, waist ties, open bodice. Once I sat down to start sewing I felt a little overwhelmed, but by then I was committed so I pressed on. Fortunately the pattern is very clear and I set out with only a small amount of hesitation.

Fringe Waist Ties.png

Even though this is a very straight forward pattern once you get going I found myself taking an extraordinary amount of care with my sewing. I’ve never been a very precise sewist (I say never. I’ve only been sewing about a year), but I found myself really wanting to make everything as perfect as possible. This meant that sewing sections like the front facing took me over an hour, but they are the nicest facings I have ever sewn and I am quite proud of how they turned out.

Fringe Bodice.png

My skirt gathers and buttons, however, were an epic fail. I cannot seem to figure out sewn gathers. This is the second garment I’ve sewn which calls for them and I love the final result, but I just could not manage to get the skirt to gather. Maybe because the gathers come after the side seaming? In any case I faked it as best I could and called it a day. The button holes also turned out much more sloppy than I anticipated. The buttons I picked out kind of hide the fact, but I did rip the fabric when opening up the one closest to the waistline. They are also a tad too far from the edge, so the placket bows out just a touch. Selfies from the right only please!

Fringe Selfie.png

Overall I am very pleased with this dress. My only complaint is that it is out of very distinct Halloween fabric so I won’t get to wear it for much longer. I’m already contemplating at least one more to get me through the winter, but that is ridiculous. I still have to do all that sewing for the boys and that should take priority, right?