I Think My Dress Is Trying To Kill Me….

Seriously. Have you ever had that feeling? But I refuse to let it win!

I shared an update last week on my progress with Vogue 8648.


This is the dress I’m making with Susan Khalje’s “couture dress” class on Craftsy and am entering in the “Little White Dress” contest on PatternReview.com.

I thought I had this down. I’d been through my fittings, did my hand stitching, inserted the zipper (by hand!) – tried it on again…and NO.

The front skirt still seemed a bit droopy and I still didn’t have the fit right in the back – over my rear. For all the time and effort being put into this dress, it was not right.

Fiddling around with it what I finally realized was that by pulling the front up and under the front bodice by about an inch, the droopiness went away.

I cut away the hand stitching, re-opened the seam and stitched again with this alteration. Done!

Next, despite fiddling over my rear with letting seams out, taking seams in, I finally realized that by doing the same alteration at the waist in the back, the fit was much better. So, I cut away the hand stitching, removed the zipper, opened the seam and made the adjustment. It worked! Here is a pretty lame pic – but it’s all I have. I don’t know if you can even tell with the way I’m twisted and the top part of the back gaping open – but trust me on this one, the fit in the back is so much better! And those pulls you see in the front – not really there :).

side dress 1

This made me think. Back in the muslin stage, I had lengthened the bodice by 1″. It never occurred to me that making that adjustment would affect the skirt. Can anyone shed some light on this? Is that type of bodice alteration typical in that you need to carry it through and subtract from the skirt? Because that’s essentially what I did and it made all the difference.

So, I’m down to a mere 3 days to having this done. I am now very happy with the fit. I have re-stitched all the seams but have yet to do the hand work. I’ve started on the lining – sewing the core sections together – skirt, midriff, bodice. Next will be…

  • Doing the hand stitching (I’m getting really good at this since I’ve ripped it out so many times!)
  • Insert the zipper (Again! This will actually be the 3rd time – I forgot, the first time I inserted the zipper, I wasn’t careful about matching up the seams and had to rip it out. I re-inserted it and then, with this alteration had to rip it out again! At least I’m getting pretty good at this!)
  • Hem the dress
  • Insert the lining and do the finishing work.

I swear, this is not much further than where I was a week ago, but at least I’ve solved the fit problem. I almost threw in the towel on this one!

If all goes well:

  • Wednesday: Hand stitching, hem, zipper
  • Thursday: Finish and insert lining (this will be easier if we get the Nor’easter that’s supposed to be heading this way and I get snowed in!)
  • Friday: Finishing touches
  • Saturday: Photo shoot and submit my entry! (I have my monthly ASG meeting – hopefully they can help! If fact, it was at the last meeting I was just tracing my muslin pieces!)

I am so excited to finish this dress. I want it DONE. I want to MOVE ON. There are other things I want to sew. On the bright side, I’ve persevered to not rush through and instead, work to get this right. It’s not over yet, but getting closer!

I hope your sewing projects are going well. I suppose it’s good to challenge ourselves every so often, but I am really looking forward to a bit of simpler sewing!

Happy Sewing!



5 responses to “I Think My Dress Is Trying To Kill Me….

  1. I was wondering if I would ever finish. I did the sleeveless, full skirt version in linen. My epic saga is on my blog, http://mrstoadsews.blogspot.com/2014/02/ta-da-its-finally-finished-for-real.html, I also had to make adjustments after putting in the zipper. I really managed to throw it in a corner. Having to rip out the catch stitches and seams was every sad. I was worried about so much handling with the white fabric. It turned out great.
    One suggestion, if the skirt is cut on the bias, let it hang before hemming.
    I wish you luck and a good snow day to get finished.

  2. Great job powering through the alterations and finishing your dress, it turned out beautifully!

    In answer to your question…Yes, if you lengthened the bodice, then that would affect the position of the top of the skirt. I think of alterations as a grid. Always try to keep your horizontal balances (natural waist and hemlines) horizontal and your vertical balances (front, back and side seams) vertical. =o)

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