Mary Quant Minidress: The Sewing (Stage 2)

Project 4, part 5 – A Dress is Born! (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 here)

Either a cephalopod is attacking my dress, or I’m working on attaching the facing.

Welcome back to the Mary Quant minidress sewing project! I can’t believe we’re finally here – the sewing is complete! The first half or so took me about 3 hours of actual sewing (with about 6 more hours put into preparing the fabric and making the toile), and this half was approximately another 3 1/2 hours. I definitely was grateful for having the video tutorials that accompanied the instructions as there were some techniques (such as the “burrito roll” for finishing the armholes) that I hadn’t done before, and it was very helpful to see someone doing them live.

Also I am 100% getting a new iron – please leave a comment if you have a recommendation!

I had a little bit of trouble at the keyhole neckline – I didn’t line it up perfectly, and so the fabric didn’t “catch” when I was sewing it all together:

I ended up with a very small similar issue on the hem. Argh!

It was easy enough to fix, though – I was able to ease the fabric back into place by hand and then whipstitch it into place!

From a distance you can’t tell at all – proving I picked the right color thread for the project!

Of all the parts that really made me feel finished, hemming was probably the most substantial – even though after I hemmed I still had to attach the waist belt and collar button!

Pictured: satisfaction.

The hibiscus flower that adorns this fabric is the state flower of Hawai’i, symbolizing beauty and joy – perfect for this cheerful and fun summer dress. (Technically, the yellow hibiscus is the designated flower now, but from the 1920s until the current designation in 1988 all colors were recognized!) And in 2019 a rare hibiscus that was declared extinct three years before was found by a drone flying through the cliffs of Kaua’i which is pretty joyful in my book! It seems that the pink-flowered hibiscus is also from Kaua’i, so maybe I should rename this my Kaua’i dress. It’s been seven years since I was on that island, so I think it’s time to go back soon! 🙂

Taken with my cell phone in 2014 so the quality’s not the best, but the Kiluea Lighthouse still impresses!

Is any project ever really done? There are still a couple of minor things I’d like to update such as tacking down the waist belt at the corners (and I’ll probably take care of that, at least, before the reveal post). However, as far as the instructions are concerned, the Mary Quant Kaua’i Dress is done!

Front view…
…and back! Look at that checked-off instruction sheet! 🙂

I’m so happy with it! It’s easy to put on (although a little tricky to take off because of the lack of both fasteners and stretch in the fabric), and it looks super cute. It’s also a huge validation of where my skills are at – it’s been so long since I sewed a complete piece of clothing for myself that part of me was wondering if I was going to get critically frustrated. The techniques I’ve been practicing as I’ve sewn/restored other things have turned out to stand me in good stead; however, and I’m now tremendously motivated to keep creating! So join me next time for the big reveal of how it looks on me, as well as what fruity drink I decide to accessorize with!

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7 thoughts on “Mary Quant Minidress: The Sewing (Stage 2)

  1. So cute!!🌺🌸 are you going to model it? I bet it’s adorable on! Definitely calls for a trip to Hawaii! I have always had good luck with rowenta irons😀


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