So... I've been feeling lately like I haven't had much knitting time. I have been in the process of joining the Roman Catholic Church, and during Lent more and more church obligations came up. Along with giving up a few things for Lent, I also added on a few things. I wanted to learn more about the Blessed Virgin Mary, so along with reading and praying the rosary, I was inspired to embroider a picture of her. I haven't picked up my embroidery hoop for about 20 years, so I expected that I my stitching would be terrible. But, in fact, it wasn't too bad. I suppose embroidery is like riding a bicycle.
I used a 'linen look' fabric from my sewing stash, and size 8 perle cotton. The image came off Pinterest, and I think it is from a coloring book.
The other project I had to hurriedly make was a dress. The Sunday before Easter, after Mass we were practicing the ceremony for the Easter Vigil, and the RCIA lady told me "Oh, by the way, you should be wearing white." Huh? What? I've seen babies and small children in white when they received the sacraments, but I didn't realize that applied to adults too! I'm not a huge fan of wearing white (I'm already pale enough, thank you), so I had to either buy or make something fast. I wanted to wear a dress, and finding a dress that fits me properly and is an appropriate length is like trying to find the Holy Grail.
So, I ran to Joann and bought some white crepe. Usually a dress will take me several sewing sessions and I will cry at least once, usually from trying to sew in the zipper. I sewed this dress in two three-hour sewing sessions, and had only minor mishaps with zero tears. I think the key to my success was using a pattern I had sewn several times before and using a fabric that was easy to work with.
- The seam allowances will show on white fabrics, so serging the seams is necessary.
- Using white lining underneath white fabric might not be the best idea, because those seams allowances will also show. Maybe next time I'll use a nude color?
- Even after serging all the seams, if they don't line up perfectly you can see both seam allowances through the fabric. Bummer. I ended up handstitching all the seam allowances together so that everything was aligned nicely.
- The narrow hem foot that came with my new sewing machine does an amazing job on straight hems, but a rather terrible job on curved hems. I ended up serging a narrow hem and then turning that under and stitching it down.
- I really despise lining fabric. Even after changing the needle, it still seemed to punch holes in the lining, and the fabric ended up with weird stains from my dryer sheet. Good thing it stayed hidden.
But, overall it turned out pretty well. As usual, I had trouble with the sleeve cap and zipper, but nothing that I wasn't willing to just accept and move on. I wore it proudly to the Easter vigil and received several nice comments.