I love wearing dresses, I really do. I make a lot of dresses, so the fact that I enjoy wearing them is a good thing. (Though if I didn't enjoy wearing them I guess I wouldn't make so many.) Thus, every Sunday I wear a dress to church. However, there are those Sundays when wearing a dress to church might not be the best plan. Like that week when immediately after church I was going to go volunteer at an event where I would be helping with horses. Yeah, that weekend a pretty shirt and nice jeans were the way to go.
I made this pretty shirt, using Butterick B5854, the year after I graduated high school, the year I got really into sewing. I picked out the soft, drapey, (did I mention soft?) peach fabric at Joann's and paired it with some ivory lace a lady at church had given me. Down the front I sewed on four pretty little shell buttons. I was rather proud of myself for making such a pretty shirt. I wore it a few times right after I made it, but not many. Why? The pleats on the front of the shirt just didn't lay right. They were too high up. So, for the past 4 years this shirt has mostly just hung in my closet. I'll look at it, think "that's such a pretty shirt" then move on to wear something else.
Finally, a few weeks ago, when I needed a pretty shirt to wear to church and then to volunteer, I pulled the shirt out and decided to fix it. It wasn't that hard really, I don't know why I put it off for 4 years.
I undid the center front seam that the pleats were sewn into. I re-sewed that seam. Then I put the shirt on and re-pleated the excess fabric into 3 new pleats a little lower down. I sewed them in place and sewed the pretty shell buttons back on. What I didn't do, and looking at these pictures I see I really should have done, was iron the whole shirt.
Oh well, I still wore it that Sunday and I got a few compliments on it, wrinkles and all!
Re-working this shirt I saw how much my sewing has improved over that last 4 years. That circle flounce on the bottom has stretched out so it's uneven. The seams are unfinished on the inside. That flounce hem? Yikes! Seeing how much better my sewing is now in comparison makes me feel really good about my current sewing. With that in mind, I really can't wait to see how much better my sewing will be in another 4 years!
Honestly, I'm still not completely satisfied with the pleats on the front of this shirt. They still don't lay quite right. But you know what? This is a pretty shirt so I'm going to wear it, flaws and all, and I'm going to enjoy it! Maybe I'll make another shirt from this pattern sometime, just to see if I can make a equally pretty but better fitting version. But meanwhile, I need to sew myself some T-shirts for the World Race!