Sunday, 25 April 2021

Slow going

This pretty much sums it up

Take a more-complex-than-anticipated project, add a sewjo which has apparently decided to go on holiday without me, and top off with still not entirely fixed dominant hand and you get - not much, really.

Last week I had a top part of a dress and a skirt part of a dress, and 'all' I needed to do was join them. Doing so has left me with a new admiration of the people who design sewing patterns, and in particular the ones who work out the order of construction and write the instruction sheets so that it all makes sense. Time and again I found myself hitting the following problem:
--I couldn't do A until B was completed,
----I couldn't do B until C was completed, and
------I couldn't do C until A was completed.

For example, I can't decide on the waist tie lengths until I see how they look on the completed dress, and I can't complete the dress without including the waist ties.

Waist tie options - long or short?

There was also the problem that I had decided to omit the bound buttonhole which the tie comes through, and replace it with an opening in the side seam. Then I realised that this left the bodice back unattached to anything. I didn't think that a couple of stitches to secure it would be strong enough, so ended up joining the two sides with a short length of narrow tape, attached to the seam allowances to make it invisible.

The new opening for the waist tie

I am at least pleased that the way the skirt fastens worked out as planned.

The dress unfastened

Step 1 - fasten the waist stay

Step 2 - pull the tie through the opening

Step 3 - do up the zip

Part of the reason why this dress has taken so long is that early on I formed the suspicion that it wouldn't work, so eagerly grabbed any excuse to work on something else. When I tried it on, I was pleasantly surprised by the fit and general appearance, but somehow I'm still struggling to get myself into my workroom and crack on with it. I just keep telling myself that the end is now in sight!


  1. Like Dorie says...Keep on swimming, keep on swimming...

    1. Thank you! I did actually make some progress today.

  2. Ooh, I love the hook and bar fastener on the ribbon. That's a clever idea, it would have never occurred to me. This will come in very handy one day, I'm sure. Thank you for the wonderful photos!

    1. Thank you Gisella, you're welsome. A waist stay of sturdy ribbon (I used curved petersham) was a common feature of 1950s dresses - it supported the weight of those full skirts at the waist rather than have everything hanging from the shoulders and potentially distorting the bodice.