Sewing Trials and Tribulations-Part 1

I began working on the Vogue dress two weekends ago. This recent past weekend, I spent over 5 hours on this dress. For a pattern that I made before, I have had a hard time with this one. My difficulty with it is that I have made more sewing mistakes than I probably should admit here. But since this is a sewing diary, I thought I would write about my trials and tribulations with what should be an easy dress to make.

Marking the darts on the dress fabric the previous weekend proved to be a difficult task due to the weight and slippery fabric. I did accomplish it but was time consuming. The lining fabric was easier to do. Since the dress has a lining, I feel like I am making two dresses. As I sewed the darts in the dress unit I did so with the lining unit.

The dress has front and back small yoke pieces; you cut four fronts and four backs using them for the dress and lining. These yoke pieces were the biggest issue for me with this dress. I also did not make notes on how these pieces fit from my previous sewing of this dress and unfortunately I did not look at the instructions/drawings when I began to sew these yokes onto the front and back bodice pieces. The yoke pieces also do not have any notations as to shoulder or arm edges. I sewed the back yokes to the back lining pieces first. To my dismay they did not go all the way from neckline to side seam. I thought I could not have cut them out in the wrong size. I then thought perhaps I am to ease the back bodice to the yoke. This was not so as there was no way that anyone could ease that amount of difference together, though I will admit I did try this. I pulled out the pattern pieces to make sure that I had not cut incorrectly. I didn't. Thus I decided I needed to read the instructions; nothing there to indicate that the yokes fit only between neckline and end just past the dart. However upon closer inspection of the drawings it was apparent that they did just end right past the dart. Upon realizing that, I completed sewing the yokes to front and back bodice pieces for the lining unit as well as the dress unit.

Using a tip from Pattern Review, which is, to make the lining first so you can make fitting adjustments to it before tackling the garment. I found this to be a good tip to use. I sewed the front and back shoulders together for the lining. I then basted the side and back seams for fitting the dress. The bust area was a little snug but to loose in the upper chest part. So I took a deeper seam in the upper dart and reduced the rest of the dart at the full bust area stopping just below the bust and right above waist area. I also used 3/8 seam allowance under the arm through the bust area, increasing to 5/8 from waist to hemline. This worked well. Of note, when I made this dress previously I did a FBA and I also increased the back width. With that dress increasing the back width was a mistake and thus after making that dress, I removed all of the back width adjustment I had added to the back pattern piece. Thus this dress was a little snugger because of that and the fabric is different also, more clingy. Now with all these adjustments, I had a nice fitting lining. I then actually sewed the bust basted adjustments noted above and then removed the side and back seam basting, noting what seam allowances I needed to sew when I was ready to sew the side and back seams.

I then replicated the same bust adjustments to the dress fabric. I then proceeded to attach the dress unit to the lining unit at the neckline and was going to do the same at the armholes as I like this technique for lining a sleeveless dress. When I got ready to pin the necklines together they did not fit. The dress unit's neckline was much bigger than the lining. I was just dumbfounded and flummoxed! I expressed a few explicatives. I decided I needed to walk away from this at that point. I kept thinking how I had spent a considerable amount of time with this dress so far, I had to redo the sewing of the yokes and spent considerable time fitting the darn thing. I decided to take a shower and call it quits for the day. I even vowed to take up quilting and to do more embroidering with my machine than garment sewing. But the final thing I did was take a photo of my dress. Here are two views:

Stay tuned for part two.


  1. Sometimes you progress faster by walking away! It'll come back to you, I'm sure.


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