The camera arrived! I haven’t figured out all the bells and whistles, but managed to shoot some photos of the dress I finished on Monday. I started with Butterick 4838 from the 1940s and made some modern edits: shorter hem, lower neckline, and no collar. Plus, because I dislike sewing buttonholes, a back zipper instead of front buttons.
Like a lot of midwesterners I belonged to a 4-H club as a tween. My first 4-H project was called “Joyful Jumper”. It was the early 90’s okay? I promise jumpers were sorta cool. Anyway, I don’t recall it being an entirely joy-filled experience (temperamental sewing machine, stuffy upstairs bedroom, confusing pattern directions) but the one good thing I took away from it was learning how to sew a blind hem. That jumper had crooked seams and wonky armholes, but the hem was beauuuutiful.
I busted out my old 4-H skills and blind hemmed this dress while watching a movie.
If my hemming is reliable, my zipper installation is not. Sometimes they’re great and sometimes they’re awful. Pardon my boasting, but this was one of my Top 3 Zipper Installations EVer. Here’s my new and improved set of steps:
1. Using the largest machine stitch size, sew garment together as if there’s no zipper. Press seam open.
2. With a seam ripper to (carefully!) open the seam where the zipper will go.
3. Place the zipper behind the seam. Don’t spread the seam open- keep it lying flat. Using a contrasting color of thread, hand-baste both sides in place (this worked better than pinning it, so it’s worth the extra time).
4. Using a zipper foot on your machine, stitch the zipper in place.
My new shoes came too! They’re keepers.