Monday, 12 January 2009

Christening Gown and Sewing Tips Part 1- Preparation

I have been asked to make a christening gown. The grandmother wanted to make it herself, but found she ran out of time. I will share the progress with you as I make it.

Here is the pattern of the dress with the fabric and lace as supplied to me. I have been asked to make the basic dress and then sew several layers of lace on the bottom.

Sew Christening Gown Pattern

Sew Christening Gown Pattern

Here is the first in my series of sewing tips designed for those of you beginning so sew. These are not just for sewing heirloom outfits, but are suitable for anything you want to make.

MY SEWING TIPS PART 1 - PREPARATION
These tips apply to all sewing projects

* Use good quality fabric, lace and thread if you intend to keep the gown as an heirloom. Cheaper or inferior materials may not survive the test of time very well.

* Use thread suitable for the fabric you are using. Incorrect threads will give unreliable results.

*Use fabric recommended on the back of the pattern envelope. You can not cut woven fabric with a pattern designed for stretch fabric. This is because woven fabrics do not have the same stretch capabilities of knit fabric.

* Some fabrics specifically require pre-washing before you cut them out. This is a very important step with some fabrics and can make a big difference to the appearance of the finished garment. If you are not sure, check when you buy your fabric.

* Take your time, and read all instructions carefully before you start. Keep referring to them as you go.

* If you are not very confident with sewing, I recommend to make a trial gown using a similar fabric to help you work out all the kinks you may encounter and changes you want to make BEFORE you sew the final garment. You can then use this as another cute outfit too, so it won't be wasted.

* Make sure you and your work area are clean! Marks from hand cream may not show up until years later. Wipe over all surfaces and make sure there is no residue of sewing machine oil anywhere, including your machine, table and anywhere else the fabric may touch.

* Some fabrics need to be left to HANG! This will allow the fabric to drop if it is going to before it is cut. If the garment is left to hang after is is made, it may go out of shape. Yes this has happened to me, one dress need to be re-hemmed 3 times and that was AFTER being left to hang for 2 weeks! When you purchase your fabric ask if you need to let it hang.

I will add the links to my other sewing tips here once they are published.

SEWING TIPS PART 2- CUTTING OUT
SEWING TIPS PART 3- SEWING
SEWING TIPS PART 4- FINISHING

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any handy sewing preparation tips you would like to share, please feel free to share them here by adding a comment below.

3 comments:

  1. That will look stunning when it is made!
    thank you for the advice to very useful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the tips, looking forward to seeing the made item

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like this will be quite stunner! How lovely of her to ask you to make it, you will do a grand job and make her proud! Look forward to the end result hunny!

    Natalie x

    ReplyDelete

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