Saturday, June 16, 2012


So in starting my next project, I might have broken my sewing machine.  To be honest I have no idea where to go from here. 

The dress was supposed to be so easy, and maybe in theory it is. I really struggled with it. Here is how it started.

With your top on, figure out what height you want your skirt to come up.  I pinned the line and then carefully took off the top.

I measured down to the pin and added about 1/2 inch for sewing.  Mine measured 15 1/2" 

Putting the skirt part back on, wrap it around you 1 1/2 times.  Cut off the remainder of that.  I cut off about from my elbow out.  I got to tell you, my measuring is very efficient... not! 

Placing the correct sides together, I pinned the two edges together.

Sew a simple line all the way down the height of the skirt.  So now you have a "boxy" skirt. 

This is where my project derailed a little. (and by that, I mean A LOT!!).  Now, I am supposed to start on the waist line of the skirt.  Using elastic thread, I wound a bobbin. 

You want to use the regular thread on the top, but elastic in the bobbin. You also want to use a long stitch so that it naturally ruffles the top edge of your skirt. I didn't know what a long stitch was, so I just got started. But about half way done, I realized the skirt wasn't ruffling. So then I started messing with my brand new machine... never good! 

This is where I think I broke my sewing machine.  Something happened in the bottom of the machine, and now every time you try to sew, it catches and pins the cloth down into the machine... making a huge mess.  I ended up having to cut the fabric to try and get it out. I then would have to disassemble the machine to try and get the thread out from underneath.  It was a nightmare!  I have tried probably 10 time to sew again, and every time it happens again.  I have changed the type of thread back to normal and reset the stitch settings.  I think I might have bent something underneath... I have no idea how to fix this one! 

Any ideas or suggestions?--- CHANGE THE NEEDLE!

Thanks to a friend, my sewing machine is not longer in danger of being thrown against the wall (for now).   I had been cleaning out the bottom every time the thread was getting caught, but it was the needle that need to be changed.  Oh, the things I still need to learn!

Once my machine was fixed I started this project up again, however the skirt still wasn't ruffling.  My wonderful sister-in-law, Jessica, came over for a day of fun-filled sewing.  She knows SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more than I do and even between the two of us and about 5 hours or so, we couldn't get the skirt to ruffle.

We followed the exact instructions and then Jessica started reading other peoples responses to this blog to find out that everyone else had these problems too.  We tried two different sewing machines-- adjusting the tension and stitch length to every possible setting-- only to eventually give up on that idea.  (I will say, that because of Jessica--and only Jessica-- we did get the skirt to kinda ruffle, but it wasn't enough)  Then we started brainstorming other ways to create the look needed. 

Jessica taught me how to make a ruffle sewing two lines and then pulling on the bottom stitch of both lines to make the ruffles. 

 However, in all my strength, I broke the thread... and about 30 minutes of painful finger work went down the drain.  Finally I decided to just pin pleats into the dress... that should work, right?  Smooth sailing from there, right?

I've got the pleats pinned and the top of the dress pinned in place, so now I am ready to sew them together..... except....

I stinking did it WRONG!!! Ouch!  Jessica thoroughly enjoyed my realization that I did it wrong.  As I started sewing it, I thought to myself how funny it would be if I sewed the top wrong, and then when I finished, Jessica commented on how funny it would be if accidentally sewed the top wrong... and then I flipped the dress right side out...

It was wrong side out!

So my wonderful sister-in-law started the lovely process of ripping out that seem while I started on making the belt for the dress, how hard could sewing a rectangle be?  At least I got that right. (sorry, no picture). 

In the remaining time, we got the seem ripped, and re-pinned the top back into the bottom.  Yes, Jessica double and triple checked that it was correct.  But I ran out of time for that day, so this dress would have to wait once again to be finished. 

This morning, I woke up and hit the ground running.  I was going to finish this dress if it killed me!  I starting sewing the top back into the bottom of the dress (for a 2nd time) only to finish and see this...

The top had gotten caught the seem in some places.  AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!  I ripped out that seem again, and finally finished in what seemed like good timing (for the 3rd time, I mean...).

Now, all I had left to was to hem the bottom of the dress to the correct length. The only problem was that I hadn't ever done a hem before, and I haven't mastered the art of sewing a seem straight...  But I figured it out eventually.  Hems seem like they would be easier if someone else did the pinning as you go, however, it was just me. 

TA-DA!!! :)  The belt is very important in making it not look "frumpy."

I like it!  And if you were willing to read this whole pitiful story... you are a better person that I am! :)

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