Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to respond and answer our questions! It helps so much to read the explanations from many different people because everyone explains it a little differently and put together it really helps me understand the concept better! ^_^
"Okay Lissie, let's get back to work. I'll heat up the iron."
"Iron? Aye matey! Hand me that iron and I'll teach this rapscallion a thing or twenty!"
"Be careful Lissie! You mustn't touch the metal plate! You could melt yourself!"
"Esh! What's the point of a metal plate if you're not going to have hibachi off of it?"
"Even though we're just using fabric scraps, we still have to iron it or the fabric won't lie evenly and we'll have trouble cutting it."
"But there's no challenge in that! No feat of great astonishment!"
"I think it will be challenging and astonishing enough to get through this project without any mutilated parts, thank you very much."
*Ironing was fun. :D I guess I'm like Lissie. We like some uh... danger! Some excitement! Some hibachi related accessories! ^_^
"Alright, now you sit down here and trace the pattern piece onto this piece of the fabric. I'm going to match up the other pattern pieces with the rest of the scraps."
"No no no no no, there's some mistake my good sir! Why, this is a sitting down and being still activity! If I wanted that, I would've become a podiatrist!"
"See? Cause you know it's funny since podiatrists are feet doctors but they're sitting all day?"
"Just trace Lissie."
*This was more difficult than I had expected! The fabric was slippery and the pencil gets caught on it while I trace. Is this normal or am I applying too much force? If I didn't press down I couldn't see the lines on the fabric though. Does this mean I need a different colored pencil?
"You did an excellent job tracing the last one Lissie! Here's one more set for you to trace!"
"Oh don't fuss! I just saw that the pattern can be made into both a dress and a top, and I thought it would be nice if we each had something, that's all."
"Ughhh! You and your logic, and your good ideas, and your making sense! And why is this long rectangular piece sideways? Is it supposed to represent the angle my neck is going to be stuck in after I'm done tracing?"
"No silly, it's to follow the grain line! You remember what everyone said about that right?"
"I remember excruciating pain."
"Cheer up Lissie, cutting comes after this and you know how you love to cut."
"Well... I do like sharp objects."
*Yes! That's one of the cool things about the Lee & Pearl pattern is that it can easily be adjusted to skirt length or shirt length. :) I had two pieces of fabric scraps that were just the right amount for making one of each, and I thought that would be fun then because both Lissie and Lilly will get something new. ^_^ (And see! I learned about the grain line!)
"Mwahaha! Be cut my pretties! Be sliced into your true form!"
"Lissie, let's trade our collar pieces! That way we'll have a little bit of color variation and our new outfits will match."
"Hmmm... You drive a tough bargain gov'nor, but if it's a collar you want it's a collar you'll get!"
"We awaken the Kraken!"
"We awaken the Kraken!"
"No, now we mark out the notches and copy the other directions onto the fabric."
"But but but... I thought sewing was an action packed adventure? What's with all the sitting?"
"There is action! Here, take the scissors again and cut out the notches."
"Okay, but I hope you realize you can only change the subject so many times before I catch on to what you're doing!"
*Ah... it was a lot of sitting and marking today. >_< Don't worry Lissie, we'll eventually summon the Kraken!
"STAY AWAY YOU KNAVE!!!"
"It's bad enough I have to sit, but now you threaten me with needles???"
"They're for making the pleats around the collar Lissie, they're not going into you."
"Oh sure, not going into me, like I'll believe that! Pleats! Who needs pleats?"
"Shhhhh... Sit down Lissie and take a pin. You'll feel better once you're jabbing a needle into the fabric."
*I struggled at first with figuring out how the pleats were supposed to work but once I figure it out, it was actually a lot of fun pinning them in place! It's amazing how adding pleats on can really dress up a project (even if it takes several tries...). :D
"There, the pleats on finally in place, let's see!"
"The pleats are... com'pleat'ed!"
"Get it? Cause-"
"Okay! Well it looks wonderful! Let's baste them down!"
*Ahahahaha! Sorry I couldn't resist. XD I love a good/bad pun! They're 'sew' terrible! >_<
"Not more sitting Lilly! You might as well glue me in place at this rate. We've been doing this sewing thing for 2 days now and hardly even looked at the Kraken!"
"The prep work is just as important as the machine part. If we don't carefully cut, pin, and baste things down, the end result won't look good no matter how much we use the machine."
"I didn't say it wasn't important... just slow. And boring."
"Why don't you think of a pun for baste?"
"Baste on what?"
*Hahaha ok ok, no more! :D I actually don't mind the prep part so much despite Lissie's grumbles. It feels really calming. I wanted to ask though, is there anyway to keep the fabric from fraying so quickly? I know the more I handle it the faster it'll fray, but I wasn't sure if there was a way to hold/move the fabric to reduce this.
"Kraken time! Awaken great beast of the depth!"
"Now listen Lissie, step slowly, like a car's gas ped- You know, that's a bad example seeing how you drive. Just press down very very very gently when I say so, and you must stop immediately when I tell you to, okay?"
"Don't worry so much! What's the worse that can happen?"
"You could stitch my fingers to the fabric."
"Oh. Well. That's pretty bad."
"We're just going to topstitch these pleats in place so we can remove the basting thread. Now slowly... Too fast! Too fast! Stop! Lissie stop!"
"But... I haven't even stepped on the pedal yet."
"Oh! Um, well, that's good then. That explains why the pin hasn't moved forward yet."
*When do you remove the pin when sewing on the machine? I used the pin to hold the pleat in place on the bottom, and to mark where I needed to stop sewing, but the pin clunks when it reaches to teeth part on the machine that pulls the fabric forward. I tried pulling it out before it hits the teeth part, but then the pleat comes apart and I can't tell when to stop accurately. Do I just eyeball it and then pull out the extra seams? Am I supposed to leave the pin in as it goes through the machine?
"Oh my goodness, I can't believe we survived that."
"Yeah, especially since you wouldn't stop screaming every half second. If you were going to be that terrified anyway, you should've just let me try to drive across water to the moon."
"Sorry Lissie, I was just worried I would make a mistake."
"You were worried over nothing! It looks really good! I would wear it at it is except well, it's missing the back, but it's the thought that counts right?"
"Um well, the front looks mostly alright, but um... well... you see... the problem is..."
*What do you guys think? Is the front alright? Honestly, so I can improve please. ^_^
"The back you see?"
"Eeeessssssshhhhhhh! It ah, doesn't, uh, look as bad as the sinking of the Titanic. At least, not by much."
"It's a mess, I know. I can't understand where these knots in the middle are coming from! And what do I do with the extra part of the thread that's hanging off each end? I want to snip them off, they looks so unseemly, but I'm afraid then the seam will come apart."
"Oh, it's 'knot' that bad!"
*Hahaha okay, I lied there was one more pun left. XD Well, any advice on this mess on the back would be super appreciated. >_< I'm not sure why there's a giant tangle at each of the start places. Is this normal? I can't tell what I'm doing wrong. I'm following the directions for the pattern and for the machine, but it's leaving me this pile of spaghetti each time I start a seam.
Also, what should I do with the beginning and ending loose ends? Do I just clip them? Won't that make the seam come apart? Is there some method to tie them down first before clipping them? I assumed I'd just hide the mess on top in the collar, but at this rate the collar is going to be super bulky.
Thank you all for your advice and help! I'm thrilled and so happy with how generous everyone has been with their knowledge. ^_^