Sewing for the First Time

Sewing for the First Time


The wonderful world of Instagram gave me a gift – a gift by the name of Olu who spotted one of my illustrations that reminded her, of her sewing pattern. We connected, she suggested I sew the dress, I hesitated, she encouraged, I resisted, she encouraged some more, I got swept up in the moment and said YES! This is how I came to sew my first dress.

This is the illustration Olu from Made-It Patterns saw that reminded her of her Groove Dress. This dress was sewn using the Groove Dress pattern.

So I jumped online and ordered the above fabric from my Spoonflower store. Not completely sure what fabric to buy, and knowing that it needed some stretch, I chose Organic Cotton Knit Ultra.

While I waited the eleventy-five years for the fabric to arrive from Spoonflower HQ to Australia, I went off to Spotlight to buy some fabric and sew a test dress (as per Olu’s suggestion) so I’d be ready and prepared for my fabric when it arrived.

At Spotlight I was faced with a daunting amount of fabric – it went for miles. I asked for help, was given a slightly sullen look with a finger point in the direction of the stretch fabric.

After a long and considered look amongst all the fabrics on display, I chose one that I thought was lovely and thick ‘ohh doesn’t this feel lovely?’ I thought. I didn’t dare ask the sales assistant if this fabric would be good for a dress for fear of another un approving judgy interaction – people who have no idea can sew too lady!!

Once I got the fabric home I took some photos and showed my new sewing coach Olu… Olu informed me I had bought a winter jersey fabric.


This meant it was thicker than a normal jersey, wouldn’t have as much stretch but should be easier to sew… You beaut! Easy to sew. Winning.

So I began to sew it, realised I had no idea, YouTubed my little heart out, attempted to sew again, more YouTube, a glass of wine, it turned out, I was happy – bring on my fabric now.

My fabric arrives!

I open up the plastic post bag with scissors, ever so careful not to accidentally cut into the fabric I so loving designed… I pull it out and…


The colour was BLAH. What went wrong!? I turned to the Instagram friends I had that could actually sew and discovered I probably should have ordered the Modern Jersey from Spoonflower. Opps! Oh well, onwards and upwards – lets sew this bad boy.

Armed with all the tools and new skill set I had from sewing my test dress, I was eager to get started! I cut out the pattern, pulled out the sewing machine, set it to the zig zag stitch and…


The stitches didn’t hold!! Whatttttt? I messaged my coach again, she said that the Spoonflower fabric must have more stretch than my test fabric so I’ll need to adjust my machine and double check I’ve got the ball point needle. Adjust my machine!? How does one do that!?


I YouTubed my little heart out, desperatly trying to find someone with the EXACT same (shitty) sewing machine as mine to tell me exactly what to do. No one had my sewing machine. So I plucked up the courage and started testing out a few settings. After much frustration, a few swear words and long walk down the beach (I didn’t do the beach thing) I was ready to sew this dress. The sewing machine was set up and ready to go!

Below is the rest of my journey in picture format – enjoy.


1 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

September 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

Loved reading your blog post, it made me giggle. From the pictures, it seems like your zig-zag stitch for joining seams is too ‘deep’. I should look more like a wavy line, if you see what I mean. All machines are different but I set my Bernina to 1 width and 2 length. Anyway, your Groove Dress looks AMAZING and well done for taking on the challenge. I hope to see more in the future.

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