Category Archives: Navy
Just like last year, I made a dress for a military ball this year. My husband and I weren’t able to make it to the Navy ball, but we were able to make it to the Strike Fighter Ball. This ball is only for pilots and flight officers in the fighter community. It was a blast to say the least! As usual, the Navy knows how to party.
Out of the three ball gowns I’ve made, this one is probably my least favorite. I love the sleeves on this one much more than last year’s, Simplicity 2053, dress. My favorite, despite the color, was my first ball gown I have ever made the Simplicity 1909.
Anyways, this year I made a Navy blue dress, it looked more like blurple (blue-purple) in the store, which made me excited. It turned out just blue in the pictures though. I used a David Tutera stretch taffeta from JoAnn’s Fabric store. I really liked working with the stretch taffeta, it was much more manageable than crepe back satin. I used view C to make my dress, but didn’t put any lace over it. I wanted a nice place dress for the ball. I also made it solely on my serger and my Featherweight! She is such a good little machine. It made making this dress fun!
It took me about three days to make. I don’t think I’d make this dress again, I might do view B if I did and use it as a nice little black dress. I made a size 14 and should have gone with a 12. I had to bring in the dress quite a bit, which is probably why I don’t want to make this dress again. I also had to cut off about 5 inches from the skirt length so I could walk in it. I usually have to make my dresses shorter, but 5 inches is a lot especially when I am wearing platform heels that give me lots of height. I also didn’t like that my fabric I was working with didn’t have a right or wrong side. That made doing the sleeves difficult. I hate doing sleeves in the first place and luckily my husband was there to help me understand the pattern.
Once I figured out my sizing from measuring myself, I went to a 14, but should’ve stayed with the recommended 12. I sometimes think I’m bigger than I am. Haha. I guess I’d rather have made it too big than too small. So that’s a good thing. After figuring out my bust size, the directions are fairly simple in figuring out which size to cut, I started cutting the pattern. This is always tedious work.
After cutting the pattern and following the directions of putting the sides and front then back and sides together… I was at the point where in the directions, you are supposed to put the wrong sides together then add the sleeves. Then you’re supposed to try it on and make markings of where you need to take in or let out. I wish I would have gone against the directions and skipped all this. It seemed pointless to me. I guess if you’re a very oddly shaped person it could help. All I did was learn that I need to bring the waist in about 2-3 inches each side and make it all a little smaller. Then you take all the work you just did apart and assemble it the right way and sew where you made your markings.
Then you work on the invisible zipper (I still need an invisible zipper foot, FYI) and then the neckline. From here on out the directions were simple and easy to follow.
I didn’t really follow the directions for finishing the top zipper portion, I just sewed so it looked good and then hung the skirt up overnight so it could “settle” as the directions say. Then in the morning I put my heels on and had my husband help with making the marking so I could hem it. I cut about 5 inches off the skirt and them hemmed it. That’s a lot to take off especially even when I’m in huge platform heels.
Anyways… Here is my finished dress…
Just like last year, I decided to make my dress for the Navy ball. I started Tuesday night and finished everything, but the hemming. I did change up the dress a little. Since I was using a polyester spandex blend fabric, I decided to not have a zipper – I would just pull it over my head. I did size 10 and it fit okay, I could have brought it in a little more, but I’m only wearing this dress once (at least that is what I plan) and so I really didn’t want to spend a bunch of time on it. I did view F on the pattern with the sleeves from view D. I also, didn’t put the buttons on the sleeves either and I gathered the back portion of the skirt so it would match up with the darts. That should not have been a problem, but since I didn’t use a zipper and I cut the back skirt on the bias, it made it a little big.
I’m glad my mother was here visiting so she could be a part of the dress! She’s amazing. The gold fabric, my husband and I chose, was chosen because he just received his wings of gold – we like to match and be cute. Haha. He’s now a naval aviator and will be flying super hornets! I am so proud!
This pattern was fairly simple and easy to cut out. I liked it better than cutting out the satin from last year’s dress. It took me about 2 days to make. Technically, it was all done in one night (5 hours), but I just needed to put my wedges on that I was going to wear with the dress and hem it.
The directions were a tad unclear about the pleats and I do not understand that extra little fabric tail – it served no purpose. I just matched up the top line with the second line and sewed those together. Then I matched the third with the fourth and so on.
Since I was not adding a zipper, I think I cut out a little too much fabric, especially on the bottom skirt. I just cut the pattern piece on the bias so there wouldn’t be a seam since I didn’t need one because of not having the zipper added. So to fix that and to make the darts match up, my mom and I just gathered it. It didn’t turn out too bad actually. I hate gathering, by the way. I’d rather make pleats (but NOT darts, I hate darts).
The dress turned out really well. I am not a fan of the sleeves at all. I should have just gathered them instead of making the two pleats. I just don’t like sleeves that come out far from my shoulders, I am kinda petite and I don’t think it looks that great on me. I fixed that by wearing my hair down, so it wouldn’t’ draw a lot of attention to that area. This fabric was not too bad to work with, it’s stretch, but not forgiving if you make a mistake. Be careful that you don’t have to seam rip anything because the holes will show. Also, if you sew too close to the edge and the thread tension messes up, it will look a little melted on the fabric because of the gathering and folding.
As a military spouse, you hear this term daily – well, almost daily. It means Permanent Change of Station AKA relocation. There are always people coming and going when you’re in the military community. My husband, dog, and I recently PCS’d from Florida to Texas. Our first move, after we were married, we were leaving Maryland. My husband just graduated from the Naval Academy and we were newly weds. We were married the day after graduation in CA. Crazy fun trip! Haha. Our first PCS, we had the Navy help us with that move, but this time, we decided to do the move ourselves.
After our move, I’m still not really sure what I like better. A partial do-it-yourself, aka a dity move, or a full do-it-yourself-everything move. They both have pros and cons. What’d I really like is a chance for my husband and I to drive together, so I’m not so lonely. I’m grateful for cell phones though and that I got Chupa, our Min Pin, in my car with me. She is a mommy’s girl. So cute!
After this move, I decided that my husband and I should make a list of things that we need to do before we move and a list of things to do when we move to our new place. I thought sharing it would help… Yes, I did write down hygiene supplies because on our move, I packed my deodorant up in a box and placed it on the U-Haul somewhere. Whoopsies.
MOVE – OUT:
- Tell landlord (30 day notice – give them copy of orders)
- Cancel internet (give fwd address)
- Cancel water (give fwd address)
- Cancel electricity (give fwd address)
- Cancel allotment (if have it set-up)
- Set-up carpet cleaning/look at moving check-out list from landlord/ fill in nail holes
- Get boxes/tape/ or set-up Navy movers
- Start eating all fridge food and stock up on water bottles if you have Navy movers help
- Weigh empty cleaned vehicles
- Pack personal bags
- Bathroom supplies (I.e deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brush, shampoo/conditioner, razor, epilator, some makeup, face wash, makeup remover, nail file, body soap)
- Blow dryer & hair tools
- Flight suit & khakis
- Running shoes
- Church clothes & shoes & tie
- iPod charger
- Plan route of travel with pet-friendly hotel stops & weigh scales at the destination
- Picture of family on day of move-out
- Bring family binder & pistols in car
MOVE – IN:
- Find a place & sign lease
- Change of address
- USPS (typically takes 7-9 days to take effect)
- Navy branch clinic
- County auditor (election ballots and such)
- Insurance, such as USAA
- Bank, such as Navy Fed
- USNA Alumni
- BYU Alumni
- Home Again
- And other companies (magazines, etc) that would need your new address
- Set-up electricity
- Set-up water
- Set-up internet
- Sanitize house (Clean clean clean it before moving things in!)
- Move-in inspection
- Picture of family on day of move-in
*If you have any other items that should be added to the list, let me know! Thanks. This list is still in the works too. I am sure we forgot some things.