Free Pattern Review: Whimsical Bow Dress from Fabrics Store

TL; DR – The tools you use matter, and I still can’t quite properly pair a pattern with the correct fabric.

It was time. I had done a number of complicated and complex sewing techniques, and now I was ready: I was going to sew something with a zipper, and a hidden one at that.

I chose the gorgeous white linen-like fabric I got from my Mood Mystery Box, with a lovely free pattern from Fabrics Store, the Whimsical Bow Dress. The tutorial was fantastic, by the way, and the dress a super-easy make.

Except for the [insert litany of swear words here] hidden zipper.

I had bought a hidden zipper foot, and I follows the directions. It looked great! And then…I couldn’t get the zipper up. I literally hurt my shoulder trying to wrench the zipper up. And then it wouldn’t go back down again. And then the zipper split. So, I get my stitch picker out, and remove the zipper, trying not to harm the delicate fabric.

So, I find a video to watch. These Made To Sew videos are amazing, and I can’t wait for her pattern line to be released, but almost 45 minutes on how to sew a hidden zipper? I find out that I wasn’t actually using my hidden zipper foot properly, lifting the zipper teeth up and away from the stitch line. I ironed the zipper. I spent 15 minutes trying to get the teeth into the grove so they would stay standing. I thought I had, but lo and behold, the zipper was jammed up again. I can’t tell if I was using a shitty zipper (possible) or a shitty hidden zipper foot (Brother sewing machines apparently enjoy being *slightly* different and thus require entirely new and different foots, etc), but in any case, thank god the dress has a wide boat-neck so I could just sew up the back seam and still pull the damn thing over my head to get it on.

Typically, this dress is meant for the ties to go in the back, but I like them in the front because, well, I’ve had two kids, I’m in my mid-40s, and COVID-19 wasn’t kind to my belly. But despite the fabric being gorgeous, the end result looks…cheap? Like it’s just a wearable muslin? The bust is also a little weird, but that might just be the bra I’m wearing. Anyway, it’s a nice, simple white dress for the summer, and I still don’t know how to sew an invisible zipper. I do highly recommend the pattern, just, you know, make sure you know how to sew a hidden zipper.

Or not because you can just pull it over your head.

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