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I’ve dusted off my sewing machine after a long hiatus, and it’s lovely to be making clothing again. My first project was another dress from a pattern I’ve had for years, Simplicity 3829. I actually don’t really like the example dresses on the pattern cover, but I love the way this dress looks made up. It’s the details of the the fit that make it beautiful, I think: the drop waist, the square neckline, the princess seams, the waistline pleats. It feels good to wear.

I’ve made this pattern twice before. The first edition was in a yellow floral print. I think my mom originally bought it to make curtains and then changed her mind. I love it (especially the yellow), but it’s hard to wear in the winter.

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Version 2.0 was a favorite color combination of mine. I didn’t feel like dealing with sewing facings, so I decided to use red double-fold bias binding on all of the edges instead.

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For the most part, this was straightforward and easy, but I did have fits trying to bind the inner corners of the square neckline. I finally made it work, though not very beautifully.

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If anyone knows the technique for doing this properly, I’d love to hear it. I searched high and low and found tons of information on doing and outward corner (mitering), but never could figure out the inward version.

For quite some time I’ve wanted a plainer version of this dress more suitable for fall/winter wear (i.e.–not sleeveless and not in an obviously summer print). I didn’t feel like waiting to go to the “big city” to hit JoAnn’s, so it was with delight that I remembered the four yards of plain navy blue cotton at the bottom of my sewing box. I love navy, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

After I had all the pattern pieces cut out and the bodice put together, I realized just how sheer the fabric is. Despite its dark color, it’s really a bit see-through. To fix this, I lined the bodice. I just made a second layer of the bodice (fortunately I had lots of fabric) and stitched it together at the shoulders and side seams. This also took care of my seam finished for the bodice seams–I didn’t even have to worry about them since they were all enclosed. Later, I attached the skirt only to the outside layer of the bodice, then whip stitched the lining down over the seam allowance.

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Notice that it is not yet hemmed in these photos…

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Nothing else really noteworthy, construction-wise. I hand-hemmed the sleeves and hem, because sometimes I really like doing a little bit of hand sewing. I’m always glad to be done when I finish the skirt hem, though.

I love the fact that I have enough sewing knowledge to do something like add a lining to a pattern and have it work the way I want it to. It’s very freeing.

And a rant about photos….

I love reading sewing blogs, but seriously, how do people get such great pictures of themselves in the garments they’ve sewn?  I have a basic digital camera with a self-timer, but it’s murder trying to find some place to set it up where it gets the right view and the background is half decent. I rarely have anyone else around when I think to take pictures. I’m lucky if I can get pictures that look decent and presentable, much less flattering.

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