Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sewing Again!

It's been such a long time since I've posted. Such a long time since I've sewn. Of course, I've missed sewing, and I've missed blogging about my sewing, and I've missed your comments. But I'm back again, at least for the moment.

The impetus to get me sewing again is that my almost-15-year-old daughter is going to be a bridesmaid in a January wedding, and I get to sew her dress. Oh the happiness of sewing again!

Today, aforementioned daughter helped me clean up my sewing room, and then I cut out the muslin for her dress. The pattern is Simplicity 2692. I am making View B---sleeveless, and with or without the sash (hasn't been decided yet). The dress has gathers at both the front and back shoulder for a Grecian-style dress. The fabric for the finished dress is a beautiful blue satin.

For the mock-up, I used a piece of calico from my stash. It doesn't have the same drape as the satin will have, but for fitting purposes, it suits just fine.

The neckline is too low for Ellen, and so I raised it following the detailed instructions at Gorgeous Things' blog. The picture here shows my new cutting line after I raised the neckline two inches.

The new neckline is better. Here, the seam allowances are turned under at the neckline, but not at the armholes.

From this next picture I see that I need to take in the side seams directly under the arm but keep them the same width where they meet the midriff band.

The pattern calls for a side seam zipper. I have never put a zipper into a side seam, so now I must make a decision. Should I take the easy way out and put the zipper down the center back? Or should I learn something new and place the zipper in the side seam? Are there any advantages or reasons why a side zipper is preferable? If you can give some insight on this, I'd like to hear about it.

By the way, Jessica is making a dress for another bridesmaid in the same wedding. The bride-to-be has allowed each bridesmaid to choose the design elements of the pattern she likes best...sleeves or no sleeves, long or short skirt, sash or no sash. I hope Jessica posts about her progress; it will be fun to see how these two dresses turn out. Jessica has much more experience sewing formal wear, and I am a little apprehensive about the satin. I may be calling you, Jess, to help with Ellen's dress. :-)

Happy sewing,


  1. Welcome back! Your mock up is looking good so far! I'll bet your daughter is super excited to be getting such a lovely dress. On the zipper I can think of two reasons why I like a side zipper. First, it's easier to zip it up by yourself. Second, it practically disappears, especially if it is an invisible zipper.

  2. I made a dress with a side seam zipper for one of my daughters and she said it was terribly uncomfortable, so I'd suggest shifting that zipper to the center back.

  3. Side zippers do not show in the back and your bridesmaid will not have that zip flap in the back.

    Take the neckline down 1/2 inch. I know you do not want her neckline to be immodest. I agree. This mock up is too high for the design and looks like momma is afraid for her daughter to look provocative and went too far the other way.

  4. I have a similar dress with a side zipper. Its a invisible zipper, starts under the arm and goes down. Its not uncomfortable at all and lets the back be nice looking.

  5. This will be pretty! Do the side zipper. It's not hard and will keep back perfectly smooth. If this zipper comes all the way to the arm hole (which I think it must with this style), it is no different than sewing in a back zipper.

  6. Side zippers are really easy, and it will make a nice look for photos, especially when she's standing at the altar. Like RuthieK says, I set side zips so the zipper is at the bottom when it's closed. That keeps it from pressing against the underarm area. Just start it about an inch or less below the armscye.

  7. I convert all my back zipper dresses to side zippers - but that is because I have arthritis, and a chronic rotator cuff injury! However I have never found them to be uncomfortable, and I do like the look of a nice, smooth back.
    Looks like a beautiful pattern, and so considerate of the bride to be to let the attendants customize thier dresses to suit their own bodies and styles.

  8. I think it looks very nice, the neckline included. I would recommend the side zipper also.

  9. I have to vote for the side zip as well, particularly the invisible side zip. It really gives a cleaner look to the back of the dress, especially in satin that shows every ripple or pucker.

  10. I have made this pattern twice. B for myself and C for a prom dress. I put a side zipper in C and the girl said that she had to mess up her hair when she put it on and it was hard to get on and off. I say if she is going to be in a wedding and have 'special hair' to go with the back zip.

  11. Hi Ruth, Welcome back - it is good to see you blogging again! I'd say do the zipper in the centre back. It makes it easier to make additional adjustments if needed. (Very hard to run-in or let-out the side seams if there is a zipper in place).

  12. Glad you have picked sewing up again. It is a fun and practical hobby.