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FirecrackerKTM | Posted in General Discussion on

Just joined, and introducing myself as suggested. I’m somewhat new to sewing–my mom sewed when I was young, but I was never interested back then (she pushed it a bit too much). Recently, though, I got more interested and she was so thrilled she helped me buy a new Viking.

So I’m doing mostly clothing with reasonable success, trying to get practice so I can make my wedding dress in a year. I’ve already heard all the reasons not to, but I’m quite decided on this. Going to start the muslin in a few months when I’ve lost a little more weight.

Beyond that, I’m 29, editor at a trade magazine, and all of my other hobbies are outdoors tomboyish ones like dirt biking, Jeeping, hiking, camping, snowboarding and most recently, home and garden projects on the 70-year-old home my fiance and I purchased.



  1. Crazy K | | #1

    Welcome!  I hope you enjoy this group as I have the past months.  It's such fun to share with others that enjoy sewing and crafts, etc.

    Good luck with the wedding dress.  It is quite an undertaking but if you allow yourself plenty of time, you can do it.


  2. Ocrafty1 | | #2

    Glad to have you!  I just joined about a month ago, and have gotten/given a lot of advice and made lots of new friends. I'm sure all of us will be willing to answer any questions and give lots of encouragement towards creating your perfect wedding gown.

    Per your mom buying you a new sewing maching....Lucky you!!  I've had my old Kenmore for over 30 yrs....does she want to adopt another daughter?  LOL


    Edited 3/23/2008 8:27 pm ET by Ocrafty1

    1. FirecrackerKTM | | #5

      Maybe she could adopt you and then leave me alone about grandchildren, lol.The original plan was for her to give me her 30 yr old Viking--it was one of the first electronic ones, and still perfectly functional--but the new machine was actually my stepdad's idea. I would have been happy with mom's but she decided to keep it since she didn't want to "learn" a new machine right now.

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #8

        I have 7 grandkids that I can share.  Of course, they're all wonderful..ranging in age from 12 to 2; 5 boys and 2 girls.  i'm probably too old for her to adopt. LOL

  3. scrubble4 | | #3

    Sharla:  "so I can make my wedding dress in a year. I've already heard all the reasons not to, Going to start the muslin in a few months"

    Sharla Welcome"  I have been a life long readers of Threads but I only joined Gatherings in October '07.  I love this forum.  The folks here are friendly, kind and very knowledgeable.  This counts for a lot when you need help.  You will always get help from folks here for whatever situation you get into and in sewing there are many.  It is a creative activity and the fixes we get ourselves into often come under the "I can't believe I did that" category.  Not to worry I am always amazed at the even more creative ideas for solving these dilemmas. 

    I am really pleased you are going to make your wedding dress.  Pay no attention to the naysayers.  They think it will look homemade and with the help you get here, it will not look homemade just custom made.  It will be a journey and you will learn tons and be so proud of it. 

    I am a big believer in dress forms that fit you not some perfect person.  If you have time and help think about looking into making a dress form.  There have been lots of previous discussions here on Gatherings about dress forms.  You can do an advanced search (top of left hand column).  Also under Tips and Tricks (under Threads banner)  I think there are ideas ranging from paper maiche, through duck tape to a foam cast of yourself in making a dress form of yourself. 

    Enjoy your adventure into sewing.  I too enjoy biking and gardening, but being quite a bit advanced in years from you I mostly enjoy dedicated trails.  Still I bike almost every day.   Stay tuned.


    1. Ocrafty1 | | #4

      I used to love to ride a bike...I've found that the seats no longer fit my body. I tried to ride mine a few yrs ago, while I was losing weight, but got saddle sores worse than when I tried horseback riding. I tried a gel seat....that didn't work either. These old bones just won't learn that trick again.  Its too bad, too...I live along the Wabash River and the scenery is beautiful...so I just walk it when I can.  Hubby just bought a new Harley...I'll ride on that this summer. LOL  I do spend much more time indoors now...love that AC when its hot and humid.


      BTW Sharla,  You'll find that we tend to get off track a little when we answer new posts...we do, eventually, get back on track though..LOL

      Edited 3/23/2008 9:09 pm ET by Ocrafty1

      1. FirecrackerKTM | | #7

        Uh oh, was it the dreaded Monkey Butt???? There are so many hilarious threads on the motorcycle forums about various cures for it ... I hear ya on the AC. Our home does not have it and I would like to get at least a swamp cooler installed this summer. Not sure it will happen. At least it's not humid here--I live near Denver, so even when it's 105 it's like 10% humidity. I would hate, hate, hate to live anywhere hot and sticky. I've always lived in the arid western US.Off track is cool with me. I participate in a couple other forums (mostly dirt bike, 4x4 and now an aquarium site) so I know how things go.BTW, my fiance very much wants a Harley. I hope we can afford street bikes soon. I'd rather have an adventure type bike so we may look a little odd riding together.btw if anyone's curious, the two patterns I am looking at for my dress are McCall's 3959 (out of print) in the lead spot, with Simplicity 2959 a close second. If I do the McCall's one, I may do the top part in dupioni because I love the texture. I'm not sure it would drape right though. Should I start another thread on this? It's so far in the future, I haven't even started orderings swatches or anything yet.

        1. Ocrafty1 | | #9

          I'd probably start a new thread.  No one will answer your Q unless they wanna meet Sharla. Hopefully, many WILL come here, but I'd start a new one anyway....can you post links to the site for the pattern, or scan in the pix from the front?  

          DH's new bike is a touring bike...with all the trimmings.  He just picked it up last Thur...it was still too cold to ride; but he purchased it in Jan and had already made 3 pmts on it without even having it here.  I had one of my own back in the late '70's...a bright red 'Chopper' with lots and lots of chrome...LOL  How times have changed. I was in my 20's, single..with 2 little girls..(my 1st hubby had died shortly before I bought it) and I had a ball...it just wasn't the lifestyle I wanted for my daughters, who were only 2 and 3 at the time. No one who knows me now can believe I had one.  I've been a 'stay at home' mom for most of my life, although I went 'back' to school and got my degree in Elem. Ed. (graduated almost 3 yrs. ago and still can't find a job)  I do lots of sewing, crafts, canning, volunteering, etc.  My friends all say I was " Martha" before she knew who she was. As I said, that was a LONG time ago... in another life..LOL. 

          We plan to do a lot of riding this season.  Lots of poker runs, and some trips.  We have a dear friend whose family (him and his 2 brothers) own a gorgeous double wide in Myrtle Beach, just 2 min (by golfcart) from the beach.  We went there in Oct. for our 25th anniversary...which just happened to be during MB's 2nd bike week of the year.  I wanna go back again, but not during bike week.  Too many bikes...although everyone behaved wonderfully....I just wanna relax on the beach and enjoy the trip there and back.



          1. FirecrackerKTM | | #10

            I'm just chitchatting mainly. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself so I'll save the new thread for when I am actually involved in the project, and order a few swatches here and there in the mean time.Here's the link to numero uno dress:
            (View B)Your motorcycle trip sounds fun. We avoid large gatherings too. we're kind of hermits, I guess. The big Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is only 6 hours from us and draws 20,000 some odd 4x4s, but that's just too many people for me. We do go to Moab with our bikes and Jeeps though. We each have a Jeep, since neither of us is a very good passenger. :) In fact that is where we are planning to get married, in a small ceremony somewhere out among the gorgeous red rocks. My mom was Martha too. We grew, froze, canned, etc. all our own fruit and veggies, and man I hated it at the time. She sewed my clothes for me until I got old enough to be a little snot about it. I think that's why I wasn't interested in sewing until a couple of years ago--I still remember the fights over the giant pastel floral prints she liked and the geometric prints in green and blue and red that I liked. O well, 'tis the story of mothers and daughters, right? I was probably more contrary than most. I'm still afraid to invite her to help me with the wedding dress though since she is such a take-charge type. You guys are getting all the drama huh!

          2. Ocrafty1 | | #11

            We luv drama!  You mentioned Moab...where is that?  I live in boring Indiana...

          3. Ocrafty1 | | #12

            OOOhhh...is that the wedding gown pattern? It is gorgeous!  I just got a copy of an old article from Threads that shows exactly how to do the bust so it doesn't fall down and fits perfectly.  I emailed them and asked for the back issue, but it was out of print...they asked for my land address and sent me a photocopy.  I'll bet they'd do the same for you if you emailed them.  The article is from Issue # 46, pp 51-56 by Kenneth King. "A Strapless that stays put." It tells exactly how to make the 'bustier' that goes inside...for a comfortable gown you can wear all night. I've had several gals here ask me how to get it since I mentioned it in a thread.  I've made lots of wedding/formal gowns and can't wait to do another so I can use this method!


            My daughters (31 and 30) had a hard time learning to sew from me.  I thought they should learn by osmosis..or that they should have gotten it through genetics...LOL. By the time I figured out what I was doing to them, they really didn't want to learn...so I understand completely about your mom.  One of my daughters wants us to try again...hopefully, it will go much better this time...she really wants to learn...she was in 4-H many yrs ago and should remember some of it...but we're gonna start easy!

            You can make this gown and it will make your wedding that much more special.  All of us here will do everything we can to help...and we'll want to see pictures...in progress as well as the finished gown...and wedding pix too!  Can't wait to see how you're doing!



          4. FirecrackerKTM | | #13

            Wow thanks! I'll look for that article. I did make one little strapless summer dress that turned out so-so. It had lots of boning, but the top feels like a shell that I rattle around inside of so I don't wear it much. Too bad, it's super cute. It's not that it's too large, it's just ... weird.anyway, yeah, that's the dress. The top will be a silvery blue and the underdress a deep royal or cobalt blue. I may even spring for real silk--the top only takes around 3 yards, but the underskirt requires much more. Perhaps synthetic would do better for that.Moab is in Utah ... DO a google image search for "Moab" and you will come up with millions of hits. It's all red standstone desert with arches and other strange shapes. It's very beautiful. We go there as often as possible. It's a mecca for outdoor sports like Jeeping, bicycling and motorcycling. There's some rafting too. It's a tiny, tiny little town though. Which is nice, I think. It's not a tourist destination like Hawaii or anything. There are 2 national parks there, although we rarely go because they do not allow dogs.

          5. fabricholic | | #15

            Love the dress. You can do this. I would start the fitting as soon as you can. That is the hardest part for me. Your wedding spot sounds wonderful. Good luck.Marcy

          6. FirecrackerKTM | | #16

            Thanks :)I will have to pay more attention ... my usual sewing methods are a little slapdash, and I skip some of the extra steps now and then.

          7. MaryinColorado | | #14

            What a beautiful gown!!!  Mary

        2. Josefly | | #23

          Your pattern selections for your wedding dress are great. The Simplicity one looks as if it could easily be done with dupioni, especially the top. The skirt would also be pretty in dupioni, but it would not flow like a softer fabric. The bodice drape and tie on the Simplicity pattern might be better if cut on the bias. The McCall pattern specifies dupioni as a suggested fabric.I have raved in the past about a dupioni dress sewn and worn by a young designer - it was cut on the bias, draped and shirred across the midriff and then the shirring released at the waistline for a beautiful full skirt. I was wowed by it. The shirred dupioni really fit the body closely, and didn't look bulky at all. The crisp dupioni skirt stood out beautifully.Of course you could wash the dupioni to soften it if you want a softer look. I would get a yard or two of dupioni and play with it a little before you actually buy enough for a dress. See if you like the way it folds and drapes.If I were going to make a wedding dress, I'd really start now. Don't wait to lose weight. I'd experiment a little with the fabric to see if it does what I wanted it to, and do the muslin now to get most of the fitting and design issues resolved. Then after you lose the weight, you can make adjustments to the muslin, and you'll be ready to start on the dress. Probably the biggest reason people tell you not to sew your own dress is that they're concerned you'll be under a lot of stress as your wedding date nears. That's my thought in encouraging you to get the fitting and design part mostly taken care of now. Of course, you may sew a lot faster than I do, or perhaps you don't get stressed when you have a million things to do at once. Most of us remember how all the details of weddings can prevent you from being a happy, relaxed bride.You'll be very proud you made your own wedding dress, and it will be beautiful and unique.

          Edited 3/29/2008 10:30 am ET by Josefly

          1. dollmarm | | #25

            I agree with getting the fittings and all now.   TOO you will feel so proud and so neat to make your own.  TOO sometimes those ladies that work in the fabric shops can be of great help.  One place where we lived one of the ladies at the Joann's made wedding dress and even assisted in others making their own.  Check that out.  If you remember ( I think I told u) I made 2 different ones and really liked the last one (first one very simple was to be at the chaplain) and then one of my hubby's aunts heard this and decided no way - they would host our wedding and my hubby was stationed near by where she and her family lived and they planned all to my liking.  I was very excited that I had taken the time to make a very nice dress and that I had made it in plenty of time.   My mother helped but I was still living at home, saving and planning for when I moved from Ga to Ca to marry.   (most of family traveled for us- hubby was station at Travis Air FOrce Base and was not up for another leave for atleast a yr.) 

            Many were shocked and pleased that I made it and how much monies I saved.   I come from a line of seamstress, so many made theirs.  There is a wonderful book for Brides that goes into all the  different alterations of making your Dress your own if you want to make changes with your pattern or make it from your own design - can't think of title will get back to you on that one. 

            Have fun and enjoy the whole process, I look forward to hearing more as you sew and plan.  :~) 

    2. FirecrackerKTM | | #6

      I've never used a form or anything like it. I'll have to do some research on that. I make pants, skirts, shirts, dresses, etc. all the time and am getting a lot better at fitting and details. I was going to kind of see how the muslin went and then make my final decision ... the real reason I want to make it is because I don't want to wear white, and other than red there aren't very many other colors. I am making a dress in silvery blue and cobalt blue. I should have clarified--by dirt bike I meant motorcycle :) I have a bicycle too, but I don't ride it as often. Once my dogs (two young border collies) get a little bit better about listening to their mommy and staying close, I hope to take them on the trail more often.

    3. blondielou | | #19

      I just jumped in writing and didn't introduce myself.  I have been writing and butting in for several weeks myself.


      I agree about the dressmakng dummy......I had an Athena model for maybe 20 years which, while it didn't fit my measurements very closely (it was the dial kind) it really did help with hanging full skirts and evening skirts up for hemming.  I then invested in a Uniquely You about 8 or so years ago and was "in flux" with a divorce from a 23 year old marriage with the separation lasting 3 years and then the divorce 3 years.....impoverishing me to such an extent there was no sewing......there was no room for sewing.....I was living in one room and my ex also stole my Viking #1, sequin/crouching/braiding machine, Viking 430 that was solely set on the most perfect rolled hem for my ballroom dance hems as well as est. $85,000 worth of jewelry alone.....next 2 years he burgularized the home through a window when I wasn't there taking thread, sewing notions, applique, lace, glitter, etc. etc. etc.


      Finally I have remarried....husband #3 and am living in a modest split level and have finally been able to fix the Viking 990 my ex left me with and I also had bought a Euro Pro 9105.....I bought a smaller Uniquely You dressmaking dummy and just fit it to myself as well as the Imagine Wave serger.  I am buying everything I need for my sewing and I am almost done sewing my fitting shell from a sloper I had made in the mid 80's in a flat pattern making class my ex and I had gone to.  I'll check the fit on "Daisy Mae" Uniquely You and then will go to G Street Fabrics and have an expert there trace my body on brown paper so I know what type of body shape I have and also have complete measurements taken.  Also, I will have this pattern fitting shell gingham fit perfected and then any of those changes put on my existing cardboard sloper. 


      I didn't make my wedding dress.  I bought a $400 one and I had a seamstress fit it to me.  I then added lace, rhinestones and pearls to it. 


      I'm thrilled that your mother is encouraging your sewing.......my mother taught me but mine now is no longer interested in sewing.  She feels that she now can afford to buy so why sew.....


      Welcome to you and me!



      1. scrubble4 | | #20

        Laura:  What a journey you have had.  How wonderful that you are now happily married and replenishing your sewing resources.  Welcome also to this wonderful sewing forum.  The expertise and kindness here are world class.  Take care Scrubble4

  4. rodezzy | | #17

    Welcome to this forum.  It has the best people I have ever met.  I love talking with them and reading all of the challenges and suggestions for equipment, all aspects of sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet.  These people are very talented and patient.  The knowledge overflows and I try to catch some of it.  I don't talk on everything, because I don't know much, but I read through all of the posts and learn, learn, learn.  This is the only place I can hear about and learn sewing techniques whether I use them or not, it's there and interesting to me anyway.  There are very few people in my day to day life that talk about creating anything, so just reading this forum is a joy.  You never know when you can use what someone has posted. 

    They will nurse you through, expertly, with whatever challenges you have.  I don't make many clothes, so I will mainly lurk around watching for pics of that beautiful wedding dress you are going to make.  Congratulations on your engagement, the great house you guys are going to make beautiful and the wonderful life that lies ahead.  Welcome to the world of creativity, its a fun place to be.

  5. dollmarm | | #18

    HI I am a new member too. Love your dress pattern ! 

    I made my wedding dress - in fact I made 2 of them.  My husband was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in CA., couldn't get a leave for a yr, so we decided we would get married by Chaplain and then come back to our home state in GA. after a year and have  the wedding for the family. I made a really one out of Eyelet material with a slip to match underneath and the design was so nice and then .......  his uncle decided  no way !! They wanted to host us a wedding and open up their home for all the families that could come - come on come all.   (really neat) My husband was stationed near by and would go there almost everywk'end and I would go to his parents almost every wk'end and they would call and we would set plans in  motions.  I ended up making a new dress (that was 30yr ago)- and taking the other one and cutting it shorter for dress.   I had a lace overlay that was scalloped at the ends and still have it saved.  I saved it for my daughter but she eloped, oh well that history on that subject.  Have a great time sewing yours - You will gain great insight, help, instruction and most of all encouragement from all here at gatherings and the subject go into all sorts of subjects too - back and forth and back to sewing all sorts of crafts and life with the family.  Show us pictures along the way and welcome,  :~)  tera


  6. Gloriasews | | #21

    Welcome aboard!  What an interesting life you lead!  We love new members, lots of drama, problems to be discussed & solved, laughs to be had, etc.  We're a nice bunch.

    Your wedding dress pattern is gorgeous, doesn't look too difficult & will look great in the blues you are considering.  The locale in the desert (the coloured rocks, etc.)  should also make the dress stand out beautifully in the pics - so do be sure to post them next year.  We'll all be waiting :)

    I can certainly understand your hesitation with having your mother help you.  Mine was a 'take charge' type, too, & wanted everything HER way.  So my defences popped up immediately - "I can do it myself!"   So you may have an uphill battle & her feelings will be hurt along the way (probably many times).  Let her help with the easy things that won't cause a lot of drama (hemming, basting, pinning, etc.), but not the big things that YOU have to have.  That may ease the situation.  And do get a copy of that 'strapless top that stays put' that Deb mentioned.  It will save you a lot of grief & maybe help you fix your present strapless dress so that it's comfortable.  Keep us posted on your progress.


    1. FirecrackerKTM | | #22

      Thanks :) I don't know how "interesting" it is most of the time. The thing that should help with Mom is the fact we're 1300 miles away, and part of the reason is that we get along better when we're far apart.I'm not sure if the logistics would work out to have her help with ANYTHING, although I might try to have her help me fit the muslin.I do have two alterations I am going to try: I want to see if I can make it a corset back, and I have an idea of how, and I also want the cutaway part of the top skirt to have an angle rather than a curve.
      Sort of like this one, but without the train:
      http://houseofbrides.com/product_image.php?imageid=55921If they had THAT dress in my colors I wouldn't be sewing it at all!

      1. Gloriasews | | #24

        The corset back would work on this design, & probably eliminate any small fitting problems on the big day.  As for the skirt, I hate to disappoint you, but I think the curved overskirt looks more graceful & professional (but that's only my opinion).  To me, the angled one looks like it was chopped off, unless you make the angle bigger to go halfway up the skirt.  Besides, with the angled skirt, you would have to be extra careful doing the angled corners on both sides so that were even (or looked even).  You could make two skirt to your muslin & see which one you like the look of.  The curved skirt would be easier & faster to make.  Those are just thoughts, so don't let them deter you - go with what you want - it'll be your day!  Good luck with your alterations.

        As for your mom, distance does help :).  Maybe she can make the table decorations, favors, stuff like that (to your specs, of course).  That would keep her busy for awhile & feel like she was contributing.  Good luck with that, too :).


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