Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vogue 2401 progress or Why I don't sew under pressure

When you were a child, did your mother feed you words of wisdom? You know, "a penny saved is a penny earned", "don't cross your eyes or they'll stay that way", or my favorite "I can tell you're lying because its written on your forehead"!

My mother did. She was filled with wise sayings. Some she heard from my grandparents and others she made up. At least I'm pretty sure she made them up because no one else seems to have ever heard of them (like the lie written on your forehead saying).

One of her favorites was "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get". I heard that one often as I was always in a hurry. In a hurry to go somewhere, in a hurry to start a new project, in a hurry to finish a project, etc. When she would see me struggling to complete a task in a hurry and watch me become frustrated when things didn't go smoothly invariably I would hear "tsk, tsk, the hurrier I go, the behinder I get." And then she would help me out .

I sure could use her help with sewing Vogue 2401 (the 50's style dress). Oh wait, she doesn't know how to sew. Shoot, I'm on my own. And I'll tell you, this is a classic case of "the hurrier I go, the behinder I get."

I knew going into the project that my sewing time was extremely limited and the deadline short, but I forged ahead anyway. Big mistake.

The beginning seemed promising. I managed to trace the pattern and cut and sew a muslin of the bodice. From the muslin I made my corrections to the pattern, found fabric in the stash that would work and proceeded to begin.

First of all, according to the pattern envelope, I was short almost a yard of fabric. I didn't have time, or money, to purchase a new piece of fabric, so I had to (altogether now Project Runway fans) "make it work".

Fortunately, the layout given was a single layer layout. I laid the fabric out on the floor and began placing pattern pieces on it to see how short I would be. But, every piece fit!

I was so excited I began cutting before realizing that I forgot something. Look closely at the photo and see if you can figure it out. Yep, I forgot to press the fabric that has been folded in my stash for a few years. At least I had only cut two pieces before I noticed the wrinkles.

The fabric is a cotton blend, a red with a black thread woven through it, and a hint of lycra. Not what the pattern calls for, but suitable for the look. After cutting out and holding the skirt pieces in place, I knew that the skirt wouldn't have enough body for the design and needed an underlining. Think, think, think....what could I use? Aha, a piece of leftover drapery sheer that is the right color, weight and yardage. Not as elegant as silk organza, but good enough for my purposes.

I remembered reading a wonderful underling and seam finish tip on PatternReview and planned to do that. But, I was in a hurry and forgot to cut the underlining with larger seam allowances that was needed to use this finish. Okay, fine, it's not the end of the world. The inside just won't look as pretty as I was envisioning.

Next I began working on the bodice. Here's where I came across another error that was caused by my being in a hurry. The dart is a very short dart and I needed to increase the fullness for my bust. I meant to split the fullness into two darts, but I forgot when I was cutting out the pattern pieces.

I cut the bodice out, sewed the short, deep dart and ended up with a nice pointy bubble at the tip of the dart. Aaaagh! Can you feel my pain here? To make matters worse, I'm struggling with getting a nice smooth seam at the underarm point (top arrow).

I'm calling it quits. Not on the dress, but on trying to complete it my tomorrow evening. Its not worth the aggravation. I want to enjoy wearing this dress and if I struggle to create it, I know won't enjoy wearing it. I'm taking the pressure off myself and will wear a nice little black dress I found earlier this year at Nordstrom's Rack.

On a much happier note. Today is our ninth wedding anniversary. He had to work tonight so I haven't seen him since early this morning (wah!) but I had a beautiful bouquet of roses waiting for me when I woke up this morning.

And I still have our anniversary dinner to look forward to.
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  1. Thanks for sharing your mom's quote with us - it definitely applies when sewing - I think we've all been there!

  2. I like that saying!!!

    And it's so true. I sometimes fall into the same trap. I'm so focused on getting done, done, done, and yet I know that if I hurry I will forget things and take too many shortcuts.

    It's better to take a deep breath, take a step back, and take the time to think through what you're doing. It actually saves time in the end.




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