Mary Quant Minidress: The Sewing (Stage 1)

Project 4, part 4 – Perfection is a Process (Part 1, part 2, part 3 here)

Even flat-lining is so much fun – it’s all finally coming together!

Welcome back to the Mary Quant minidress sewing project! After playing around with the fabric for a bit and deciding that the Hawaiian print by itself was just a teeny bit too sheer, I ended up deciding to flat-line the dress using the muslin from the toile. Flat-lining is super easy; it’s just cutting out a second piece of the pattern and stitching the two together. It’s not going to hide any seams like bag lining or other methods would, but it accomplishes my goal which is ensuring no one can see my underwear while I’m wearing this dress!

After flat-lining and sewing the bust darts, I took a break from my Featherweight and fused interfacing onto all the pieces that needed it.

My iron is so tiny! It’s technically a travel iron…I may need to upgrade at some point.

Fusible interfacing is set with heat and steam. Typically instructions will recommend that you use a damp cloth and a dry iron, and hold the iron in place until the press-cloth dries out. I had a few problems with that – one being that continually dipping a cloth into a bowl of water seemed like a great way to get water everywhere, and the second being that a damp cloth dragged the interfacing off the fashion fabric constantly. So I switched to using a dry cloth, and the steam setting on my iron, and it worked great! (Other than having to constantly refill the water reservoir in my iron because, again…it’s a travel iron.)

I was really happy that my interfacing bodge job went off without a hitch!

With the interfacing complete, my next task was constructing the accessories. I have to say, even though I read the instructions and watched the videos several times, I didn’t realize that the pocket buttons are just for show, and that the pockets themselves don’t close. The pockets are real! Just not how I imagined, lol. I could have probably redesigned them to be more like what I imagined, but honestly I was more interested in getting work done on the dress than going back to the drawing table on construction.

So here we are with purely decorative buttons on the pockets (and a totally functional collar off to the side!).

Truth be told, this stage of the sewing was definitely an exercise in reminding myself that perfection is a process, not a static state of being. The abovementioned pockets weren’t quite what I imagined? No worries. They still look super cute, and now I know to check the design more carefully in future dresses.

Stitching got wonky in a few places? Whatever – the seam allowance will hide it!

I’m here to tell you that the sewing you’re doing is the perfect sewing because the sewing I’m doing is perfect too. (And if you’re not sewing – whatever creative endeavor you’re enjoying is perfect!) It’s perfect because I’m going through the process. I’m learning, I’m taking notes, I’m finding what works for me and what I need to work on more, I’m trying. I spent a solid twenty minutes attempting to invert the tube for my button loop like the girl did in the instruction video, then I got frustrated and simply stitched it by hand already right side out:

Pictured: sweet victory.

Perfect. It’s perfect because it works, and I didn’t let myself get disheartened. I just found a way to do the job that let me keep progressing. I am always improving, always moving forward – and always being ok with where I am right now, too. Perfection is a process.

And so is this dress!

According to the instructions, having pinned the collar to my dress I’m now officially halfway through! So join me next time when I finish up the sewing (and hopefully stab myself with pins a few less times!).

4 thoughts on “Mary Quant Minidress: The Sewing (Stage 1)

    1. I’m so excited; it’s getting really close to being a real dress! 😂 It’s so important to me to support all creative endeavors – it’s my own little crusade against entropy and industrialization. ❤️

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