Have you heard of the Curvy Sewing Collective? If you haven’t, and you are a curvy gal, plus-sized or not, you’ve got to check them out! Anyway, right now they are having a wrap-a-long, which is being hosted by Jenny. Since learning to sew my own dresses is on my retirement play list, I decided to play along.
This was my first real foray into sewing with stretchy fabric and I was quite nervous! I didn’t want to screw it up and end up wasting the money I’d spent on the fabric and the pattern. I really hate waste (which is probably why I love scrap quilts so much). Anyway…I’m not going to learn how to sew if I don’t jump into the deep end, and this sew-a-long was the perfect opportunity to have a support system. If I needed to call for help, I knew help would be there.
Jenny was making an entirely different pattern, so her instructions didn’t match exactly up with the Vogue instructions. Because I don’t have the confidence to step off the path yet, I elected to follow the Vogue instructions, but at the same time pay close attention to the differences as I went along. My thinking was that this would be a good way to learn, and I could then make a second dress and follow Jenny’s directions where it made sense to do so. That way I’d understand the whys and how comes instead of just blindly doing it. (If you know me, you’ll recognize this trait! I always want to know how come things work the way they do!)
Some of the differences in instructions were:
- Vogue had me assemble the bodice and the skirt separately, before attaching them together while Jenny suggested sewing the back bodice to the back skirt, the front bodice pieces to the two front skirt pieces, and then sewing together at the shoulder seams, leaving the side seams open (for now).
- Vogue had me sew the sleeve seam and then insert it into the arm hole scythe. Jenny walked everyone through how to sew the sleeve in flat and then sew up the sides and sleeve all in one.
- Vogue had me make an interfaced neck facing. Jenny taught everyone how to replace the facing with a t-shirt edging.
- Jenny also had us using products such as wonder tape and knit stay tape. Which I didn’t use, but probably will next time.
I plan on sewing this dress again, using Jenny’s directions this time as everything she said made perfect sense and I could follow along with her reasoning for the changes. Also, I’d like to try the different way to finish the neck line.
I didn’t have enough fabric for the ties, so I had to piece them. Since I was piecing them anyway, I also made them longer. Surprisingly, I can wrap them around so they cross in the back twice! I love this because it feels much more secure. Next time, though, I’ll use a diagonal seam on the piecing because the straight across seam has left a bulge that annoys me (even though I’m sure I’m the only one who can see it).
It was a challenge! I can’t tell you how many times I balled it up and threw it in the corner! Seriously!
I had some trouble with the neck gaping. It really bothered me.
…then this morning I woke up with the idea that if I moved the side opening (where the tie comes through from the inside) down onto the skirt instead of having it on the bodice, it would snug the left bodice piece up a bit.
And it worked!
…but if any of you are sewers, I’d appreciate some tips on how to prevent neck gaping in general. What can I do next time to make the neck edge snug down instead of curling back? Does it do this because the interfaced facing prevents stretch?
Next time I’ll also lengthen the bodice about 1 inch. I’ve been giving the dress a test run around the house today, and I find I have to keep tugging the bodice down. It wants to sit just above my waist. Again, a bit annoying. I don’t like to be constantly tugging at my clothing. Other than that it is very comfortable!
Vogue 8379 is a keeper. I think it is surprisingly flattering (I didn’t expect it to be!) and so I will definitely make it again. Next time I’ll make view A with the long sleeves.