Sunday, May 8, 2011

V8648: Still Plugging Along

Here's where the dress stands right now. I should be able to attach the skirt before the night is over and be almost done with it. I'm REALLY looking forward to being done with it because it has been a MAJOR PITA. It still doesn't fit as well as I want, but because I'll be wearing it under a jacket, I'm calling it Good Enough so I can move on. It will probably still have to hang in the Magic Wardrobe for a month before I like it.

After I had finished the FBA and Rounds 1 and 2 of alterations, I decided I really should've done my usual alteration of shortening the upper bodice by about 1/2". I didn't feel like starting over so I just kind of fudged it.

The back was easier because I made a straight tuck through the center back panels and a gradual tuck on the side back panels which tapered to nothing at the side seams.

The front was a little trickier, since the girls were already using the extra length at the side front panels but there was a definite droop in the center front panel. I ended up doing the equivalent of a sway back alteration to the center front panel. Would that be a sway front? Ugh, that's depressing. ;-)

Those little tweaks are not the reason I'm ready to pitch this pattern, though. It's those blasted straps that will NOT lay right no matter what. Other reviewers have mentioned the oddity so I'm sure it's not just a personal figure quirk and instead is a drafting weirdness/error.

Below is the tissue on top of the adjusted tracings I ended up using. Keep in mind that the strap angles of the tissue had already been adjusted from the original so you're looking at a HUGE cumulative alteration. Can you see how much more I adjusted? And look at how much I shortened that back length. I've *never* had to do anything even remotely similar to any other pattern. I might as well have just freehanded a bodice a started from there. It couldn't have been any worse.

My advice if you're contemplating making this dress … Enter At Your Own Risk! Which is too bad, because it's a really nice style.

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Moving along … I'd like to draw your attention to Nancy's blog and her upcoming trip to Uganda to teach Ugandan women to sew. (And aren't these woman beautiful? I love all those colors and prints!)

Please consider donating to help fund Nancy's trip. She has made this journey for the past two years and while her reports and photos afterward are so uplifting and inspirational, it's clear this is a ministry that still has much to accomplish.

My blog has 456 followers at last count. If each one of you donates just $5, Nancy's airfare will be covered. Details to donate by check to Nancy or directly to the ministry in her name are on Nancy's blog. If you want to donate via PayPal like I did, click here and donate to

I can't think of a better way to spend $5 (or more!) today, can you?

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Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Your dress is coming along nicely! I had to smile at your comment regarding the "magic wardrobe". I find that I enjoy my garments after we've parted ways for a time. It's almost as if I hold a grudge..... :D

  2. It will be nice when it's done. I like the black contrast band.

    For the record, I've made a few 2-toned dresses, with a different colored bodice, and the jacket to match the bottom of the dress, and I really enjoy them. Just a comment, because you seemed to like the contrast on your muslin.

  3. Sorry it has been such a hideous experience, but it sure does look good. I hope it behaves itself form here on out.
    Thanks for the nudge to help Nancy.

  4. It's looking nice - I like your fabric choices.
    The "sway front" alteration looks like a bust dart from CF that could be rotated into the existing princess seams - sort of a different take on an FBA.

  5. Even though this dress construction has been a PITA, it looks as though the top has turned out well. The black band looks good. I am holding out deciding if it is worth it to try until you are finished, to see how satisfied you are overall. Can't wait to see it on you.

  6. Your fabric is very pretty. I can't wait to see it finished. No worries about the straps if you're not going to see them, I say. I almost used this pattern to make the 7 costumes I made last summer. Now I'm so glad they picked a different pattern.

  7. Debbie - thanks so much for your support and the plug. I'm getting excited about going and its so inspiring to know the team effort it takes to get us there.

    I like this dress you are working on. The fabric is really pretty and I enjoy reading about your fit "trials" as I seem to always be battling that. I guess that's why so many people like to sew for kids - little to no fitting!

  8. Hang in there with the dress. It looks like you are making good progress even though it's been frustrating. Also, thanks for the heads up on Nancy's upcoming trip.

  9. I love the fabric. It may be well worth the frustration to have a beautiful finished dress.

  10. Diane from Sydney8:27 AM, May 10, 2011

    I'm sure it will look great when you finish. Have sent Nancy a donation. Cheers


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