Once you've got it cut out, the directions take you through construction, step by step, taking time to explain along
the way. I got thoroughly spoiled by this pattern - many of today's will say 'do this' without explaining how. This one explains
it all. You may need to refer to the Barbie Sewing Book once or twice, but on the whole, it's very easy.
It does rely a bit much on hand-sewing things like armholes and cuffs. It doesn't take long, and gives you a bit of a
break from the sewing machine. Buty you may prefer to hem those up before you sew the seams - what's referred to as 'using
flat construction' basically means sewing up hems and cuffs and armholes before they become sleeves, bodice, and skirt.
Hand sewing a 2-inch circle is a bit of a pain.
It walks you through darts, half-darts, collars, and gathering almost effortlessly. I'll be honest - the tiny-looking
Mandarin stand-up collar on the Oriental Sheath nearly had me locked up worrying, 'How in the world am I gonna do this ?'
! But it went in just right the first time. I was amazed at how easy it was. By the time you've made the first of your selections,
you'll want to make them all ! And then, you'll want to customize - make the sheath longer, leaving the straps off the sundress...it
all fits so well, why not make it your way ?
That's the real beauty of the Advance patterns - they fit ! Well, they do if you remember that the seam allowance is
a half-inch, instead of 3/8 or 1/4 inch like many other patterns. My first sheath was a bit baggy because I used a smaller
allowance out of habit. It may help to mark where the seams go on the wrong side of your fabric. That also helps keep your
stitch line straighter, too.
The pattern calls for using everyday chalkboard chalk to make pattern markings on the fabric, but I still prefer the
old tracing wheel and paper. Still, it was nice to see that frugal, don't-need-a-lot-of-new-stuff mindset here.
Whenever I buy a pattern, I always scan it first. I made eight of the Oriental Sheaths, and tore the paper printout up
completely. I can't imagine what I would have done to the original, almost antique tissue. Once you try this one, you'll want
to use it again and again, so if you don't have a scanner, you may want to make a few copies of it at your local copy shop
or the like.
There's an example of the Sundress and Oriental Sheath, Views 1 and 2, on the 'Absolute Beginner' photo page. I
hope to add a few more here. As soon as I can rememer where all those sheaths went...
I hope one of my favorites becomes one of yours !