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April 27, 2011

1940's Swing Dress sew-along - progress 1

Hello! I'm back! I hope everyone enjoyed Sophia's (aka iro iro) crochet color tutorial. As I've written before, I'm not terribly good at crocheting or knitting, but I definitely want to try her collar pattern. I'm in awe of all her petite crochet animals, such as this tiny owl and elephant... so cute!

I'm slowly getting back to normal self again. The delivery was tougher than I thought, and I've been experiencing massive hormonal changes, which are quite overwhelming. But I will save the thought for another time.

While I experience the change in my life, I think it is crucial for me to spend some time, even if it is five minutes, to do things for myself, something that I really enjoy. As for me, it's sewing! So I've been finally working on Casey's 1940's Swing Dress sew-along. I know I'm way behind this sew-along, but better late than never, right?!

I print out the pattern, and instead of cutting my size from the glued pattern sheet, I decided to trace my size as the instruction recommended. By the way, it was a bit frustrating to glue these pattern pieces together, since there was no grid line:(

I traced size 10,  which was my pre-pregnancy size...I'm hoping that this dress will motivate me to go back to my pre-pregnancy

After tracing the pattern, I made some adjustments:

One of the adjustments was to shorten the skirt length by 9". It was pretty easy, I just needed to take 9" at "shorten or lengthen here" line.

I also decided to go without the sleeves. Although the sleeves on this dress are lovely, I think I would wear the dress more often without sleeves, for nursing purpose, so I can slip on and off the shoulder easily. I also like to wear a cardigan with a dress, so sleeves can be bothersome with a cardigan on. Next time I make this dress, I would like to modify the sleeves to butterfly sleeves or bat sleeves..what do you think?

As recommended at Casey's sew-along post, I used infusible interface for the midsection belt and then underline it to give more structure and stabilization. The fabric I used for the dress is very light chiffon like polyester fabric.

I was terribly confused by the instructions on how to sew shoulder part! Did anyone else have the same experience? I feel like the patterns and instructions can be much simpler somehow. I tried the shoulder part three times, sewing and de-stitching the mistakes over and over. I finally made it (pic above), but if you'd ask me to do it again, I probably won't be able to repeat the same...This will be another adjustment to the patterns I will make for the future.

I was also confused by the instruction 1, about a dart in bodice back. I just could not get it. I wasn't sure where the dart was supposed to start and end. So I completely ignored the instruction.
And guess what happened?! The bodice back and skirt back did not match up. The bodice back was longer than skit back where they were supposed to meet.

 So I used a short-cut, and gathered the bodice back so the line matches with skirt back. I kind of like the end result, since the front bodice has a gathered detail, I think back can use one as well:)

Here it is..almost done! I still need to instal a zipper on the side and hem the dress. I think mine looks more like a Grecian dress than a 1940's swing dress. I really can't wait to wear this!


Cindy said...

I'm thinking butterfly sleeves and I wish I could sew! I fiddle around with the idea when I'm not busy with school but that's rare these days : /

Ai said...

nice dress chie:-D the pleatings make it all perfectly pretty. so girly

Sacha said...

Butterfly sleeves would definitely look pretty with this pattern.

And I can never get my head around crochet since I always forget how many stitches I've done. I'll always stuck to knitting but the collar tutorial is definitely tempting...

Lorena O'Neal said...

Looks so pretty! I love the fabric choice. and i'm glad you found time to sew for yourself!

Hambergoosa said...

love it, and I'm so excited for you. Don't worry about the hormones, I remember that one day Brett asked me a question and I just started crying, I had no idea why but I couldn't help it. Enjoy your baby girl and the time for yourself, I'm learning to do the same, it just took me 2 1/2 years to learn that!

Paunnet said...

Ooh, this looks so good!
I'm sorry for the troubles with the pattern, but in a way I'm glad I wasn't the only one with those issues. I think the digital pattern is awful, maybe that's why some pieces don't match. Also, they should really make the instructions clerer. I sewed the shoulder part without having a clue of what I was doing as well...
Great job, anyway!

vivatveritas said...


I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one with the problems! I agree with u on your opinion on digital patterns. It's hard to be accurate with them especially if there is no grid lines!