August 17, 2016

Great Things to Sew: The Vivie Dress by Blaverry

Many many years ago, my grandmother taught me how to sew on a button.  She taught me how to neatly, knot off your sewing by passing your needle through the loops of thread and pulling the string tight.   I had just finished re-reading the section in my sewing machine manual that explained how to sew on buttons with your machine, but I made a near automatic decision not to do that and sat down with my needle and thread and did it like my grandma taught me.

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Years later, I’m a real seamstress. I do Serger sewing machine reviews on my blog. I sew every day (or atleast every 2nd day). I spent time over the course of five days in making this dress.  Not five full days.  Not forty hours.  I laid out the pattern on the table.  I put it together with miles of tape and then cut it out.  I made up two mock bodices to check a sizing change (and it worked!)  I carefully pinned and cut the fabric because I had juuuuuuuust enough to eeek out the main pieces of the dress. I basted. I gathered.  I sewed.  I serged.  I trimmed miles of strings.  I ironed.  I ironed again.  I ripped out seams when the finish wasn’t perfect.  I measured and drew and measured again.  I considered throwing my sewing machine across the room when it would do buttonholes perfectly on test fabric and then refuse on the dress itself.  I learned new techniques (pockets!  collars! plackets! belt loops!).  I made mistakes, one that made me want to die a little bit, but I soldiered on and if you scrutinize the dress, in real life, you’ll see it, but I doubt anyone will actually notice it.

There is great satisfaction in completing something that took so much time and effort and the finished product always feels worth it despite the mistakes and angst.
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This dress is  Vivie from Blaverry and can be purchased and printed at home. They give great instructions on how to blend sizes, which I have to do for Baby Bee because she is as long and skinny as a spaghetti noodle. Or maybe even angel hair.  I was nervous about my ability to pull off some of the dresses features, namely the collar because I failed spectacularly at putting a collar on something a decade ago, but the instructions were super easy to follow and very detailed and while I think my collar technique can improve, I think it’s pretty good for a first go ’round.  If I make this exact dress for Littlebit again, I’ll raise the waist a few inches.  I think it looks best where her ribbon belt in, but on the dres it’s lower.    I really liked the layered pattern (meaning, for those of you not in the know, that you can select ONLY the size you’re making and that’s ALL that prints making it much easier to decipher).  Right now Blaverry only makes patterns for girls (in sizes 2t-16, for the most part) but they have some great options and you’ll be seeing Ansley and Thea later on.  And probably another Vivie because what’s good for the goose (Littlebit) is expected by the gander (Baby Bee).

The fabric is from Timeless Treasures and it was added to my stash years ago (two?  More?) and a few google searches doesn’t show anything easily available that’s quite like it.  I’m glad I held on to it for so long because the results are perfect.

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