Sewing – The Next Generation

I have two teenage daughters and I’m often asked if they have any interest in sewing. Up until now the answer has always been no and this didn’t bother me too much; they have their own lives to live. It’s more important to John and me that they be passionate about something and both of them are incredible dancers and musicians. Plus, when your Mom has the skills to make everything from 56 dances costumes to a wedding gown why bother to learn yourself? I don’t make them day clothes anymore because they like to shop, but of course I was been pressed into service to make them dresses for a summer’s worth of events (8th Grade Semi-Formal, American Dances Award Nationals Awards, sundry Bar-and-Bat Mitzvahs. Even in college I did not have such a social life)

Their dress choices are in this blog post. Whipping them up was no problem at all until I pinched a nerve in my C7 cervical vertebrae during the week of Friday the 13th – HAH and lost two weeks of sewing time due to the pain. They both found alternate dresses for a friend’s Bat Mitzvah but they really wanted something special for Semi and ADA. Abby gamely asked if she could make her own dress and of course I said yes. I guess the moral of the story is that even if your children don’t seem to have any interest in sewing right now, you never know when they might decide to give it a try.

Abby did most of the work on her muslin; we used Susan Khalje’s machine tread trace method and I think this was a good way for her to understand sewing basics. I was out of muslin and the fabric is silk dupioni left over from her Aunt Patty’s wedding gown. She did all of the cutting, marking. sewing and she installed the zipper. The muslin fits her perfectly; the only adjustments were to shorten the back waist (a trait she shares with me) and there is a tuck to shorten the back length where it gaps at the armsyce.

McCall’s 6201 comes with A-B-C-D bust adjustments built in, which I loved because she needs an FBA but I never do and I’ve never done one. Saved a lot of time there. The instructions include directions for determining the cup size; basically you do that first and then decide what size to cut based on the cup size. The pattern includes full size front pattern pieces for all cup sizes; the back pattern piece is standard for all cup sizes. Abby is a size 6 C cup in this pattern. This pattern is well drafted and is a great basic cocktail dress. A couple of sleeve variations are included.

The fabric for both dresses was ordered this weekend from Thai Silks and she enjoyed making her muslin enough to work on the real dress. I’m thrilled that she is sewing and I’ll be blogging about her progress!

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