I just spent this past weekend whipping up a great pioneer costume for an acquaintance of mine from church. This was an interesting project and lots of fun. The costume was for a 10 year old girl. What made this project so interesting was the fact that this little girl is an atypical size, requiring not a child sized pattern, nor an adult sized pattern. The pattern had to be custom made to fit her body. To alter a patter to this degree required lots of measurement taking, a good grasp of sewing with a pattern, lots of numbers (math), and patience.
Before starting this project, I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it was. I haven't attempted sewing a dress using a pattern for over 10 years. I have used patterns before for smaller things like aprons, skirts and hats, but it always seemed like I couldn't understand them very well.
Having completed this project now, a process which took me only 4 days in all to complete, I realize that it was fairly easy for me. I suspect it's simply because I've been sewing long enough now to know what I'm doing. The patterns no longer confuse me and I can think out the whole sewing process in my head. Such a good feeling to know you have gotten proficient at something you love doing!
So here's a photo journey of the dressmaking process. In a previous session, I took extensive measurements of Stephanie to get her exact body shape in numbers. Then, using the adult pattern as a base, I marked up the pattern pieces to what I hoped would fit her with additional space to fit comfortably. I was having difficult time getting the proportions just right even with all my measurements. What I ended up having to do was get a child sized pattern for the same dress. I used the two patterns as the opposite extremes (one too large, other too small) and then marked up the perfect size in the middle more or less.
And now, I want to make one for myself.