My First Dress-Finished!

Last week I finished my first ever made by me dress, but not without some complications and a little adventure.

All I had left was to install the zipper and hem the skirt. I’d never sewn a lapped zipper before so I watched a few videos on Youtube to get an idea of what I needed to do. To my surprise it wasn’t that difficult!

I’ve hemmed plenty of skirts so that part was a breeze too. I eagerly ran to the bathroom to try the dress on. It fit!

Well, at first glance it did…

It was just a little too tight in the bodice. I snapped some awkward bathroom mirror selfies(which I will not be sharing here!) and posted them to the b6453 sew-a-long group on Facebook to get some advice. Many were suggesting I do an FBA(full bust adjustment).


Remember how I was going to do an FBA in the first place but decided to be lazy and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance instead?

Laziness never pays ya’ll.

I was a little anxious to perform surgery on my poor unsuspecting pattern pieces so I went back to Youtube University and watched a few hundred(no that’s an exaggeration it was only like three) videos and read some helpful articles.

It didn’t look easy but it didn’t look impossible either.  It bothered me though, that my second muslin was a little loose and yet the finished dress was too tight. I didn’t get it. What did I do differently?

The zipper! I wasn’t too precise when measuring how much to fold the fabric for the lapped part. I decided to be lazy again and grabbed my bff seam ripper to rip that zipper out.

I installed the zipper again but this time I folded the fabric over an inch less. But only on the bodice, so the zipper is still hidden in the skirt.

Ta-da! It fit. So maybe laziness does pay?

No, no, it doesn’t. I should have done an FBA. Because sewing with a smaller seam allowance ended up adding to the waist as well, so now my dress fits in the bust but is too loose in the waist. I’ll be making another(actually I’ll be making quite a few of them) b6453 dress and this time I’ll do it right and learn how to do an FBA. I know I’ll have to do them on every other pattern I follow, so I’d better learn how to do it now.

You might be wondering why I don’t have any pictures of the dress in question. Well let me tell you why.

The weekend that I finished my dress, I was supposed to go on a date with my husband. We were going to get some groceries, and take some pretty pictures of my dress. And also go to Joann’s where I would drool over all the fabric(not literally, gross) and tempt myself to break my No-Spend.

My Dad invited Bill(oh, that’s my husband) to go take pictures of an old railroad for a few hours on Saturday, the same day that we were planning on having our date. I thought I’d tag along, since it was on the way to the town we’d be going to for our much needed break from the kids. Also I missed my Dad, I haven’t gone with him on one of his adventures in a long time.


My Dad and I, photo credit to William Jensen

I wanted to wear my dress for the date but it was too cold to be walking around the railroad in so I brought some pants to wear under it(not the railroad, the dress). I didn’t think it would be a big deal, we were just walking along a railroad, right? There was a chance it would rain but I had my jacket on and the sky looked grey and sunny.

The trip was fun at first. Watching my Dad and husband bond over photography(what daughter doesn’t want to see her Dad getting along with her husband?), enjoying the beautiful nature, and imagining what it was like way back when the train was still running on the old railroad.


Bill-imagining the old railroad. Or maybe thinking about food.

Sure, the tunnels were really scary and dark. The many trestle’s that we walked across were rusted and sometimes missing the metal that covered up the gaps in the bridge(don’t look down!). But those were all fears that I was able to overcome.

I want to take a moment here to advise you not to go walking willy-nilly on train tracks. The particular train track we were on is no longer in operation. You might think you’ll hear the train before it comes but many have died because they were too focused on something else(like taking a picture) to hear it. So make sure it’s not in use, and don’t go alone!   

The railroad trek lasted much longer than all of us thought it would. We were thinking we’d be done around twelve, maybe one. One o’clock came around and we were still high up in the mountains, about halfway done with our adventure.

See the road far off in the distance? That’s where our hike was to end.



My Dad had mentioned a few times that there was a burned out trestle towards the end of our hike and we might have to find a way around it. In my mind I pictured some of the trestle burned but maybe some of it was alright and we’d go carefully across it. That’s what I thought he meant. Although thinking about it now, I don’t think he would have us walking across a burned, possibly unstable trestle.


Burned Trestle, photo credit to Evan Jones

Well, there’s no crossing that! Unless your an experienced tightrope walker. Which none of us are, unfortunately.

Our options were to turn back or climb that steep mountain on the right side of the photo. By now it was three o’clock and none of us wanted to walk the long six miles back. So across the mountain we went.

And guess what? It started raining. Really hard. Not only were we pretending to be mountain goats, but now we had to grab onto the mountain to keep from sliding down to our deaths(I might be exaggerating here but then again it was a looong way down).

We made it to the other side safely and without anything too eventful happening. There was one point where I thought I saw some kind of animal scurry by in front of me but it was just a rock my Dad had kicked out of his way.

The rest of the hike was just a blur of more trestle’s and tunnels(totally easy after the mountain climbing incident). We finally made it back to the car around five or so, exhausted and hungry. Bill and I hadn’t thought to bring any snacks, but we did have some leftover doughnuts from breakfast waiting for us in the car. Dad had brought a little to-go package of almonds which he generously shared with us on the last bit of the hike. I think he was afraid that Bill was going to eat us.

My dress survived the dangerous hike but it was drenched in rain water and had splatters of mud all over it. I wasn’t going to get any good pictures of it that day.

When we got home I washed my dress, and most of the mud stains came out. My mom suggested I use dawn on the stains that didn’t come out so I think I’ll try that. (by the way, I went on an outing with my mom this week. It was way less dangerous.) I hope to get some pictures of my b6453 dress this weekend, but I don’t know! So far this week it has rained, snowed, and hailed. That’s Idaho weather for you!

I enjoy going with my Dad on his photography outings but next time I’ll be sure to ask what dangers will be awaiting us. And maybe I won’t wear my pretty handmade dress.

My Dad will be writing a whole series over on his blog about the old railroads in our area. Check his blog out here. It might take him awhile to get the post up, he has a bunch of pictures and videos to sort through. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of my dress over there! 😀

What do you think of the half of my dress you got to see?

Have you been on any adventures lately? Tell me about them!






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