Class · Reflection · Review · Sewing

Tuesdays with Gertie: Final Touches

This year I’m sewing along with Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up through the Craftsy online community to make perfectly fitted bombshell dresses. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

Well, friends, the last stitch is in place. The bombshell dress is complete. After finishing the bodice alterations, I tackled the hem, the subject of the last video lesson. I even fancied it up a bit with the hem lace that Vicki Kate of VickikateMakes sent me with the Fashion Sewing for Everyone book giveaway win. I’m so pleased with how the baby blue lace goes so well with the bright blue dress. Thank you Vicki Kate! Also, though it’s not what Gertie did, I beveled the corners of my hem. I liked the look better.

I tried it on, and, well, it’s pretty and passable. I love the skirt, but the bodice still has quirks to it. Now that it’s not skin tight, there are these puckers, perhaps because I didn’t cut the bones long enough to go all the way from the bottom of the lining to the tippy tippy top? The center of the bodice between the cups also doesn’t sit flush against my skin despite all the structure that I anticipated would be the solution to my fitting woes back in the muslin stage. In the future I’ll try fitting this kind of bodice on a dress form that’s been padded out with a well-fitting bra, like Lladybird did. One thing that did help was understitching the lining to the bodice. I don’t remember Gertie talking about understitching, but then again there’s so much going on in these videos that she might have and I just missed it. Most likely all of these little things are only something I’m noticing because I was striving for perfection these last sixteen weeks. All that time and effort makes one a bit overly sensitive.

I’ll have photos of the completed dress for you next week. This week I have a giant bandage on my right breast from having a biopsy done last week, and this dress is revealing enough that it would show it off. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said biopsy. I found a mass in my breast a few weeks ago. My primary care physician checked it out and referred me for an ultrasound and mammogram. The ultrasound determined that it’s a smooth, moveable mass, which likely means it’s a benign fibroadenoma. The biopsy is just a precaution to be confident of the diagnosis. I’ve been very open with friends and family, and I’ve been surprised at the number of women who’ve been through something similar. Maybe 20%? Most unknown to me before this incident. Anyway, the moral of the story is that pineapples don’t have sleeves. No, really, the moral of the story is to know thy breasts. I should get my results back any day now, and the bandage can come off on Wednesday. And then I’ll make time for photos.

UPDATE: I got confirmation today that the mass is a benign fibroadenoma. Whew!

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28 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Gertie: Final Touches

  1. I really really hope the biopsy results are as expected. It’s refreshing to see someone being so open and honest about it all. But then I do the same with my loopy pituitary gland – hurrah for blood tests, another one tomorrow!

    But, back to the dress. I have really enjoyed following your progress on this and the colour you’ve chosen is beautiful. I’m also incredibly pleased that the lace I sent has found a home in such a labour of love. I know you’re nit-picking with it, but I bet when we see the photos it will be stunning and you’ll have to point all the ‘faults’ out to us!

  2. I bet the dress looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!

    I’m another woman who’s been through something similar – in fact, I had mine removed on recommendation after my biopsy about five years ago in my early 20s. I hope your results are as expected too.

    1. Thanks. The results were. I’m planning on leaving the mass as is and just monitoring it the next couple of years. Hopefully all will stay as is. But, it’s good to know it can be removed if need be.

  3. Can’t wait to see your dress. I had a similiar scare last year and that was when my mother informed me that ‘oh, yes, she had the same- it runs on her side of the family’ I’m glad you’re being open about it- the old school hush-hush attitude doesn’t help anybody!

    1. It’s been crazy to hear how frequently things like this fibroadenoma occur! Hopefully all the other women in your family know already…

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your health concerns and what must have been/is a very stressful time. And still taking such care over your dress! I’d have tossed my sewing aside. Or maybe I wouldn’t, maybe these distractions are just what a person needs. Sending you supportive vibes.

    1. Yes, I’ve felt very distracted these past couple of weeks, especially with the Boston marathon thrown in. But, sewing was actually a nice way to distract myself.

  5. Can’t wait to see the dress – love those mitred corners and the lace! And thanks for talking about your recent health adventure. Putting things out in the open is helpful to ALL. There have been 3 people in my life recently that have undergone what you have. My MIL put off her screening for two years, and, although she’s undergoing radiation therapy, has finally been declared cancer-free. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Amy, you are so brave – prayers for a good result. On the sewing front, just reminding you that we are our own worst critics – I’m sure the dress will look fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

    1. Thanks! Hopefully the pictures will accurately capture the fit of the dress. And, if there are still issues, I’ve proven that I can unpick seams and can always try to fix them again!

  7. I’m so glad to hear that the mass in your breast in benign. My mom died of breast cancer with I was 17 so it hits close to home when you say you’ve had any sort of mass in your breast. My prayers go out to you tonight lovely lady. Even with the bandages, I’m sure that blue dress looks just amazing!

    1. Oh my. I’m so sorry to hear how close to home this hits. What a sad story. I’m glad you are doing well, and I really appreciate all the great writing you do on your blog.

  8. I’m glad to hear that your biopsy result is right. Back to the dress I think is gonna be great, and I can`t wait to see it. I like the lace detail on the hem.

  9. Thanks for being so open about your biopsy. It’s a good reminder to get checked, do exams and be proactive about any findings. What a scary ordeal! I’m so glad you’re ok.

    I’m excited to see your dress!

    1. Yes, it’s been nice being open and not letting it be a scary, secret thing. It did mean I had to make a lot of calls on Tuesday so that everyone I’d personally talked to would know that all was well.

  10. okay, thank god yaweh buddha and yoda. i know you’re so relieved!

    that said. sixteen weeks on a dress?! i would go stir crazy. i bet if it sits in a corner for a bit any imperfection you see will disappear.

    1. Yes, at one lesson at week (plus a hiatus last week to fix a few seams) it took sixteen weeks to make this dress. Thankfully, I did a lot of other productive things during those sixteen weeks, so I’m quite satisfied with how it all went. Just the right amount of crazy bombshell dress sewing each week.

      And, yes, thank Yoda!

    1. Thanks. I’m already feeling pretty much back to normal. A small bruise and teeny tiny scab is the only evidence that anything ever happened. It’s quite nice that that’s all that it took to confirm the mass was benign.

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