Although this Tina Givens pattern is called the “Bloom Dress,” it’s more like a tunic at this length and with the front slit. It really is an easy pattern but, of course, I have a hard time reading patterns and this freebie comes with almost no instruction. I also didn’t choose the type of flimsyish fabric they recommended which landed me in a quandary or two. I ended up with too much bulk in all the wrong places and a fabric that unravelled if you blinked at it.
So, the local sewing machine shop, Marie’s Sewing Center in Woburn, has a “sewing cafe”, a time when you can make an appointment and bring something in that you’re having trouble with and you’ll get a one-on-one assistant which was a fabulous experience. Theresa was very knowledgeable and had a bunch of tricks up her sleeve that she generously imparted on me.
She also gave me the great idea to use a thin fabric for most of the pockets, leaving only enough of the real dress fabric where it might show. Well, that turned into one of my typical sewing nightmares as I proceeded to rip out the pockets that were already sewn in and remake them with a thin cotton. But then when I sewed them back on, did it wrong twice and in two different ways! UGH! Yes, I was swearing. BUT what a difference! Now they lay in there nice and flat.
The neckline was another problem. No matter how lightly I thought I was hand stitching that interfacing in, it was still bunching up just enough to look unkempt and the little stitches puckered. These patterns neglect to mention a lot of the usual details such as clipping the curves and I had forgotten to do that. Besides that, Theresa showed me an unusual stitch that in the end, never showed at all.
I also got to use a serger for the first time and that was a blast!
Later on, at home, when I finally got to the sleeves, I found that the way the pattern was cut I somehow ended up with a lot of bunched fabric where the top of the pocket meets the bottom of the sleeve on the sides. So, armed with newly acquired bravery after my sewing session with Theresa, I re-cut the pattern to flow smoothly and much to my surprise it worked out seamlessly.