The dress that nearly killed me

I feel like this is a title that should be reserved for something significant—a wedding dress, say, or a grad dress. (I may be in for the latter next spring, unless Tyo finds one at a thrift store or something. How is it possible that this kid is finishing high school?)

But nope. This is just another basic work project.

Partly the timing was bad. I took it out a bit before Thanksgiving (Canadian thanksgiving being the 2nd Sunday in October), thinking I’d have it done before the holiday, and then I didn’t, and then I way overestimated how much time I’d have to sew in around cooking two turkeys and hosting three dinners (don’t ask.)

And basically the whole thing just snowballed and took forever and I had to stop in the middle and make some quick, satisfying projects before I gouged my eyes out with a seam ripper, and then work on it in little fits and starts. Ugh.

The pattern is Vogue, V1559.

My first mistake was getting carried away. I meant to skip the lining. I didn’t need to do piping. But I found this quilt cotton that was an absolute compliment to my chosen corduroy, and, well. I guess I was hoping for some sneaky or cool construction tips with the lined sleeve plackets or skirt vent.

Spoiler: there were none. The instructions were of the “if it’s tricky, do it by hand” grade. Which is fine—great advice in a lot of situations. It’s just not what I’m looking for from a clever, intricate Vogue pattern.

The fit turned out well enough. I cut a size 10 in the shoulders and sleeves, 12 in bust and waist, and added a little extra at the hips. Not quite out to the 14 line but a little more.

I did shorten the bodice. I’m a bit torn. It changes the proportions of the dress and it doesn’t look as elegant. On the other hand the waistband ends right at my waist. Much as I might wish my torso were longer, well, it ain’t. I did a swayback adjustment above and below the waistband, which worked just fine.

Then there was the booboo.

I don’t want to talk about it, but for the sake of truth in blogging, and completeness, I will. The centre front piece in the bodice is only slightly shaped, wider at one end and narrower at the other. I sewed it in wider end up. (Where the bust is, right?)

This was not correct.

By the time I realized the issue, the entire bodice was constructed, piped, and lined, except for the band around the shoulders.

I cried a bit. Then I eased it into the shoulder band. It’s more or less worked out, but the fit is a bit awkward in the bust and I can’t help but wonder if that’s the pattern, or my booboo.

I added my usual amount of length to the sleeves but they’re actually a bit too long. I know, I have a hard time wrapping my head around that, too. But they look a little sloppy. I could take off the cuffs and shorten a bit. If I get ambitious.

This dress was a work project and it’s now on display, and it looks damn good on the mannequin—so hopefully by the time I get it back I’ll have forgotten the struggle and can decide if I actually like it or not!

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13 Comments

Filed under Sewing

13 responses to “The dress that nearly killed me

  1. It is super cool, and I’m sure you will love it after a mental rest from it! It will will be great over a turtle neck too if you need extra warmth.
    (PS: Don’t tell anyone about that centre piece and they won’t know!)

  2. Denise Stevenson

    That dress is in my queue. I’ll mark top and bottom for that center piece, thank you for the tip!

  3. Connie Turner

    Dress is fabulous! You look good in it and I am sure you will love after a rest from it.

  4. PsychicSewerKathleen

    Dress is beautiful! Love the piping and off the shoulder styling. I agree with everyone else that once you’ve had some time away from it and return to it you’ll love it too.

  5. Heather (Thing I Make, Plus Rocks)

    Okay, this is one smoking-hot kinda-casual kick-ass dress! I hope you love it once you get it back, because it looks amazing on you. Those piped lines are prefect!

  6. ellegeemakes

    Well, you look great in it, so effort was so worth it, it’s on my wish list but I’ve hesitated. Now I’m going for it!

  7. Catherine E MacLeod

    It has pockets! Also, cool mirror.

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