Saturday, February 5, 2011


This pattern is simply not playing along. I don't know how to explain it - nothing is tremendously difficult - but it's all going sideways at every turn. To wit:
  • It's too short. Now this isn't my fault - when it's 2 inches above the knee, pre-hem, and you're 5'3", there's someone else to blame. But everyone said it was short. Why didn't I cut an extra 2 inches at the end?
  • The topstitched folds (the curved lines you see on the front of the dress) are a dog's breakfast. Look, I'm not all high on me, but top stitching is one of my sewing strengths. As is sewing with knits. Why my seams look like a toddler helped me is beyond me.
  • Which brings me to my next point. For fuck's sake, start by making the back of the dress. Why the Vogue people don't advise this is beyond me. I was much less crappy (though not great) by the time I made it to the back stitching.
  • The way this works, you have to sew the darts under the folds. This is pretty impossible to explain unless you look at it - and unless you sew, really. That process is much less smooth than you'd imagine. In some of my folds, you can see the dart ends wonking out a millimetre from the right side. Can you say "screams amateur"??
  • Now we get to the real disaster - of serger proportions! I ended up cutting some of my fabric off (mangling it really) because - freakin' stupidly - I serged without lowering the presser foot. OMG. Thankfully, I did some mega-fixups which saved the day from the front (more or less). But it looks like botched plastic surgery on the inside. I loathe messy work.
  • No doubt, this is the messiest thing I've made in a year. If not ever.
Here's my stern warning. Do not go down a size. There isn't a lot of extra ease and if you end up having to take 2 inches off one side of your dress because you cut the skirt by horrible accident when serging, you're going to need it.

At this point I've just about made a sausage case.

But wait! I'm not even done with this thing - and I'm on hour 16! I estimate I have another 3 hours. I mean, there are sleeves and hemming (the kind where one somehow manages not to shorten the dress further). Oh, and somehow I will have to rip out half of the facing under stitches because I did a crap job there too.

The thing is, this could be a gorgeous dress. I can see it in the lines. It works awesomely with a curvy frame - and a narrow one, I might add.

I just don't think I care to wear it enough to go through the work of making it again. So let's hope I somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat. As long as you don't look inside.


  1. I'm so sorry you're having so much trouble with this dress! Maybe it's time for a LARGE glass of wine...;-)

  2. Yikes. This sounds like a crazy one. Sending happy sewing vibes your way to enable you to complete it. But, hey, if you don't, no one will blame ya.

  3. First time commenting, long time reading. Can you make a faced hem? Would that look purposeful, or messy? That way you could shorten it as little as centimeter or two depending on how level it is already. If not, could it be a top?

    Bon Courage,


  4. Kim: Just had 2 large glasses of wine. It's looking a bit better.

    Sewn: Ain't it the truth. Finally, I won't even blame myself. But I'm not giving up yet.

    Valerie: Why thank you for reading and commenting! I actually hemmed it after I wrote the post - it seemed like the least scary task. I turned up a serged edge .5 inch and sewed. Doesn't look gorgeous on the inside, but it's not like that makes it look any worse. I think the height will be ok. Slightly too short, but not overly noticeable. Something tells me I may have to buck up and make this one again. Just to iron out all the kinks.

  5. So sorry to hear about the glitches, but the glad the wine is helping. Now you just need some sunshine :-).

    Sometimes a do over is in order.

  6. Susan: Wine was the only thing helping :-)