Instant Dress!

McCalls 4152

I haven't seen this pattern (sent by Theresa, thanks!) before, have you? It's advertised as an "instant dress", with a ONE-PIECE pattern that you lay down and cut out all at once.

Looking at the back, I think I see two pieces, but no matter. What's interesting to me is that this pattern (available at RustyZipper) is still uncut. Even instant takes too long for some people …

I think there are two kinds of sewists: the ones who want to get to the finished product as fast as possible, and the ones for whom the getting there is (more than) half the fun. I used to be absolutely one of the "cut it out and run" folks; as I get older I move more towards the "enjoying the process" people (although that may just be because I am trying to enjoy the doing of everything as much as I enjoy the ends — except for teeth cleaning at the dentist's, that may be forever beyond my reach).

The "process" people should not be confused with the perfectionists who never finish projects because they are always unhappy with their work and want to rip it out and do it over (again), and the "make it today, wear it tonight" should not all be accused of being slaphappy people who use fusible everything, although sometimes I see that happening. (Luckily, not here!)

Which are you? Have you always been a "I gotta wear it now, where's my stapler?" or a "here let me finish these seams by hand in tiny stitches with silk thread" person, or did you switch camps?

65 thoughts on “Instant Dress!

  1. Even though I have been sewing off and on for years and have been making my own dance costumes for several years, I still consider myself as a beginner, so I am not comfortable with taking shortcuts – I dont know any anyway, and besides, thats not really my personality. I am still learning all of the little touches that make a big difference in quality; if my pattern instructions dont tell me to do something like finish the seams, it doesnt necessarily occur to me to do so. The things I do know, however, I enjoy doing – even hemming yards and yards of chiffon by hand. I like the process (sewing is very soothing for me), and I want to end up with a high-quality garment.


  2. Im in between now–get it done right (or as much as possible) so it can be worn soon! I hate having to rip something out and redo it so I do take extra care when doing it, but Im willing to compromise enough to have it ready to wear in good time.


  3. I almost always machine-sew hems because I frequently wear longish dresses with lace-up boots, and the speed-lacers [hooks] at the tops of boots will catch on and rip out hand-sewn hems, which often leaves picks and frays the fabric.


  4. My mother is te sort who cant put down a project once she starts. Shes also a night owl, so wed go to bed at night and wake up with a new dress. It was like living with elves.When I want some instant dewing gratification I make doll clothes. I can generally finish an outfit in one night. The instant dress makes me think of Amy Wongs spray-on bikini from Futurama.


  5. So, I bought this pattern. How should I trace it onto fabric so as to keep the pattern one-piece? Im quite sure this will need at least one test muslin.


  6. like to finish projects and wear them, i too sew the clothes because i need garment. one more thing all comments are just wonderful.


  7. I wish I could be a quick-sew, wear it the next day kind of sewist, but Ive encountered so many fit problems and patterns need so many adjustments that Im forced to be a process person. Although, I actually do enjoy the process of making a quality garment that I can be proud of and wear more than just a few times. I just wish I could speed it up. Maybe thatll come with more experience. After years of just focusing on making renaissance costumes for the faire, Im now relearning why I gave up on making actual real-life clothes: they actually have to fit correctly, whereas with a renaissance garment, you can typically get away with making your body fit the garment. Heh. Its worth it, even when after completing and wearing a dress and finding that something is slightly off I have to go back and fix it….sigh.


  8. Ha, I am the finish by hand, but maybe not with silk thread girl.I took a look at the large image of that pattern. I dont think that the dress itself is one piece, I think the tissue is one piece, so that you do not have to pin individual pieces and orient the grain lines repeatedly. The drawing shows center, side and back seams.


  9. Somebody probably already said this…(too busy atm to read all 61 other comments, hehehe), but Ive always thought that if its worth doing, its worth doing well.This applies even more when Im sewing. 🙂


  10. My sewing is all practicality-driven at this point. I dont toil over, say, tailored suits or ballgowns or cocktail dresses, because they are not useful to me. All I require are hardwearing everyday dresses, and a couple Sunday dresses.So a machine-sewn hem will generally outlast a hand-sewn one, and nobody is going to care about a hand-picked zipper. Fusible interfacing is just fine with me.My seams are all serged, and that is as fancy as its going to get for awhile here. That being said, out-and-out slapdash sewing will negatively affect either the wearability or the life-span of the dress, so Ive learned not to be TOO complacent about detail work. Its foolish to spend 90 minutes and 10 dollars on a garment that just gathers dust in the back of the closet. Better to spend 4 hours and 20 bucks for decent yardage, and get something youll wear every week for a year.


  11. Simplicity had the same gimmick in the 1920s; one large sheet of tissue had all the pieces arranged as laid out. You pinned the sheet to your fabric, cut everything out and you were done. They dropped the practice after a few years.The older I get, the more deliberately paced my sewing. If I like an article of clothing, Im inclined to wear it to rags, so the up-front investment of time in hand basting, enclosing all seams, making linings, hand hemming, etc. seems to be reasonable. Last week I did Hong-Kong bindings on an eight gore skirt. It took me forever, but gosh, it looks great.


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