I've been, working on a dressmaking/design class for well over a year. I started it before Johnny was born and had hoped to finish it long ago. Luckily it was self-paced so I was able to pick it back up when my motivation showed up again. The class is through Penn Foster and if you are interested in learning to sew it is well worth it! I already knew how to sew but learned an immense amount in the 22 part course. The one thing that is notably better is my confidence in "I can do that!" I'm not afraid to take on any project now, before I didn't want to ruin or waste fabric and I was always worried it wouldn't come out how I hoped, ect. Now I'll just do it :)
My final project had to be a full outfit, either a dress or a top and bottom or a suit or something. I could use a pattern but I really loved the last part of the course on design by draping (which is how most of the designers do it on Project Runway in case you're wondering) so I chose to create a dress from scratch for Tricia. She will be wearing it to her boyfriend's squadron holiday party tonight.
She needed a maternity dress, obviously, so high-waisted was a no-brainer. The style she had in mind was the Nepolionic Josephine dress with a long skirt and tight, low cut bodice. It could not be a costume per project directions so I tried to keep it simple and modern in line. I think we nailed it :)
Everything it's made of was already in my sewing closet, except the zipper. The top is taffeta from Maastricht, lined in dark green cotton (from an old sheet!). I'm not sure where the lace came from but it is hand-made, each flower delicately sewn into a mesh base. I, in turn, hand sewed it into the neckline. The skirt is made from a really pretty lightweight cotton that came from a family member.
In my opinion the good parts are the lace inset, the bias draped skirt, the rouched belt. The bad parts are the too-tight bodice that pull too much on the back darts and the lack of enough fabric for the skirt. I pieced together more blue taffeta for the gaps and it's super pretty and kind of modern, but I would have liked to have had enough to do it 'right'. The zipper is not as invisible as it should be, I will have to practice that more.
So there you have it. When she is no longer pregnant I can re-hem the front of the skirt and she can wear it for awhile :)
I'm so, so happy to be done with this program. I was afraid I wouldn't finish, that it would just be tossed to the side or I'd never find the time. I realized a few short months ago that I was trying to do too many things at once and so buckled down to finish up and move on. Not sure yet what I'm moving onto but I'll keep ya posted :)