I'd love to know, if it isn't too nosy, how long this takes complete with smocking and embroidery? (Still trying to be more productive here...)I have been asked this before, and could only say that I didn't know, as to me, sewing is hobby time, and I don't time myself unless it is to allow myself half and hour of sewing before I take on some required task that I don't really fancy. However, I started another little dress on Thursday night, intended for niece A, who turns 3 in a fortnight, so felt this was a good opportunity to document the construction effort to answer the question. This will undoubtedly be too much deadly dull information for most. Read on at your own risk.
Disclaimer - there is only a little bit of smocking and embroidery on this dress.
Thursday evening, just before bed:
1.Find pattern, easily located, which is a bit unusual, due to research in pattern stash for previous dress, already traced due to multiple use, - cut out dress and lining, 15 minutes.
2. Sew and press shoulder seams and skirt seam, 10 minutes
3. Make 3 metres of piping from purchased bias binding. I only had the 40mm binding, so cut it in half lengthways first. 15 minutes.
Leave for work, reluctantly....
Friday evening, whilst dinner is in oven, children engrossed in Pottermore and husband reading computer. (This is when I acutally started timing myself to the nearest 5 minutes, prior to this I am guessing)
4. Sew piping to neck, armscyes, sew bodice and lining together, press, turn, press, sew side seams of bodice, press, sew waist line piping 25 minutes
5.Change thread and wind bobbin for Singer, use ruffling foot to pleat skirt.
Saturday - unparalleled sewing opportunities as the weather is dismal, Saturday sport and exercise are cancelled, and my husband is out for the day. Only a few errands and household tasks to do and a mother's taxi service call. I have multiple sewing sessions as follows.
6. Centre back seam of skirt, skirt placket, sew skirt to bodice. Unfortunately this includes some unpicking and repleating of the skirt due to earlier measurement error.
7. Pleat small piece of fabric for smocked pocket. Fortunately the smocking pleater is already threaded, left over from a previous project 10 minutes.
7. Apply bias binding to heem. Trial of rolled hem foot for second pass (this is the other half of the trimmed 40mm tape and only single fold). Trial of rolled hem foot unsuccessful, muttering and 15 minutes of unpicking result. Reapply bias binding to hem rolling by hand. 30 minutes
8. Hand sew bodice lining to waist seam 30 minutes
9. Mark and sew hem tucks, press 25 minutes
10. Find buttons and make machine buttonholes 10 minutes
11.Watch a television programme recording with the children. Hand smock pocket section, sew on buttons, make thread sash keepers.Programme length 100 minutes - inefficient sewing time as I did stop sewing often to watch the show. Allow 60 minutes pure sewing time
12. Cut out pocket and lining, wind bobbin, rethread machine,apply piping and construct pocket, attach pocket, hand stitch down pesky lining that peeped out inappropriately
13. Press again, 5 minutes.
Total sewing time 280 minutes = 4 hours and 40 minutes
I could buy a very big box of Lego if I worked at my real job for that long. I don't suppose though, that I would get to watch a televison programme in the middle.