Vogue 8470: Putting On The Finishing Touches

As I’m typing this words, my March dress is now hanging upstairs in my sewing room. The hem is the best one I’ve sewn so far and everything looks great. You wouldn’t know this wasn’t a $100+ dress when you look at it. However, it is not done yet. Probably about 98% at this time.

But let’s ignore that for the time being, shall we? ;-)

My dress on the dress form

Seriously, I can’t wait until it’s FINALLY warm enough here that I can wear this dress out. Twirly skirt, quirky fabric design, classic design, AAAAHHHH.

2013-03-29 09.33.56

There’s just one thing left to do though.

BOOOOO.

When I tried the dress on after putting in the zipper, I saw that it was very gappy in the back. I had tried on the bodice before attaching it to the skirt and it looked gappy, but that was before I put the zipper in. I’d made dresses before that were gappy in the back prior to sewing in the zipper but were just fine after the zipper was installed. I thought this would be one of those dresses.

Not so.

Not even a hook and eye would help. It would still be way too gappy.

Major sigh.

As much as I love my body type, I’ve noticed that pattern companies always assume that just because you have the 38″-39″ hips that you have the 35″+ bust and ribcage to go with it. Not for pears like me!

Fortunately, I’m learning how to make such adjustments. And it’s why I always try on my garments as I’m sewing them. After any major seams are sewn, I always slip the dress/shirt on over my head to make sure things are looking like they should. I never would have done that a year ago, by the way.

Unsure of what exactly to do about the gappiness in the back of my dress at the zipper except to perhaps take in the dress at the zipper (something that I really didn’t want to do because this dress has the best zipper stitching I’ve ever put in and the thought of taking it out almost made me cry), I brought the dress over to my MIL’s house.

Her suggestion?

Hand sewing two small darts on the inside the bodice back near the side seams, and sewing in a hook and eye above the zipper. If there had not been any lining on this dress that had been sewn in so carefully, I could have just done a larger seam allowance on the side seams. But alas, that was not the case!

Where my MIL pinned in one of the sides of the dress bodice.

Where my MIL pinned in one of the sides of the dress bodice. At those spots on the inside of the dress is where I’ll be hand sewing some small, inconspicuous darts to take in the gappiness of my dress.

Where my MIL pinned in the other side of the bodice.

Where my MIL pinned in the other side of the bodice.

And her suggestion for the next time this happens on a garment was to take it in at the side seams rather than at the zipper.

So sometime today, I will be hand sewing those two darts. So no doing a Snoopy happy dance yet.

Then once those are sewn in, March’s dress with be DONE!!!

Vogue 8470: I’ve Definitely Come A Long Way!

Like I wrote in an earlier post, I received quite a few sewing patterns for Christmas as well as my birthday, which is only a month after Christmas. Both sides of my family, my husband’s as well as mine, love my new hobby! :D

One of those patterns was Vogue 8470.

Back in mid-January, I visited Fabric Hut, a local fabric store here in the Hampton Roads area, with a gift certificate in hand and on the hunt for some really nice fabric for that pattern. What made me want to try this pattern was the style. It looked easy and very flattering. I decided that I wanted to make the style of the blue dress in the above picture.

And I found some wonderful fabric: a cotton/poly blend with multi-colored circles against a cream background. And for the lining: a soft lavender cotton!

Close-up of the fabric I chose for the main body of my dress. Soft cotton/poly blend :D

Close-up of the fabric I chose for the main body of my dress. Soft cotton/poly blend :D

Laying out the pieces for the skirt and bodice on the main fabric. Isn't it cool??

Laying out the pieces for the skirt and bodice on the main fabric!

Before I start sewing, I always look over the directions to make sure that I completely understand all the steps, and most of all, why they are asking me to do something a certain way. For this pattern, I did not have to do much studying, to be honest. This dress is a basic halter dress with gathering at the bust, a back zipper, and a circle skirt. And I’ve sewn enough of those dresses that I know how it’s all supposed to go together. Though it is rated as Easy on the back of the envelope, I would not consider this easy for a beginner, simply because it is quite involved as far as how it’s assembled due to the lining. If you know what you’re doing, then yes, it is easy. For a beginner, I would rate this as intermediate.

With this dress, I decided to assemble it a little bit every day, rather than going for five to six hour stretches on the weekend. I figured that if I slowed it down, then the garment would be even better and not look rushed. I could spend more time on making sure all my threads are trimmed even on the inside of the garment where no one else will see it, that everything fits properly before sewing major seams, etc.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Today I did a final fitting before I sew in the zipper this week (again, going slowly with my project). And as I looked at myself in that dress in my full-length mirror, I realized just how far I’ve come with my sewing in just two years. I can hardly even believe that I’ve only been sewing for that short amount of time.

I was completely taken aback at how beautiful and well-constructed it was, from the way I paid careful attention to how many gathers were on each side of the bodice front and the way I slowly cut out the pieces from the fabric so the edges were nice and even. It really looks like a dress from White House Black Market or any other exclusive fashion boutique.

It’ll be getting warm here in a few weeks, so I’m really excited to wear this dress. Looks like I’ll be finishing it just in time too! :D

Being super picky, I admit that I still have some small things to work on, especially with zippers (honestly, I might just hand sew in the zipper for this dress), but that’s OK. I’m not perfect. I’ve only been doing this for less than two years. It’s OK that I’m still making mistakes.

Oh and here’s me in the outfit (with the back pinned up):

Doing one last fitting. WOO almost done! :D

Doing one last fitting. WOO almost done! :D