Bad sewing karma

I’m working on Vogue 8827 this weekend, using a black peachskin.  And… I just don’t know, you guys.  The instructions, they are not the best.  I mean, I understand them, I just don’t think they work very well.

I did, however, have a very happy find, a new way to mark fabrics:

This is a mechanical ceramic pencil, made by Dritz.  I found it in the quilting section, where all the best marking tools can be found.  It comes with white and purple leads.  The markings are easy to make and quite fine, good for details.  They will brush away slightly, but not as completely as chalk. Water removes them with no problem.  I also use chalk markers and occasionally the fine, light blue dritz washable pen.  This is my new favorite tool!

Now, back to that pattern.

1. There are a million cutting layouts – and for view C the 60″ wide is on another page entirely.  I started out with the 45″ and ended up having to cut my belt in too many pieces, but I was lucky to fit it in at all.

2. Facings – The pattern uses a full facing for the front drapes.  It would have been helpful for me to remember to cut them right side up.  Luckily, I also managed to cut the matching front piece upside down, so they match.  But if your fabric has a definite right/wrong side you couldn’t do that, as the facings show when you wear the dress.  As it is, I may wind up with a slightly patchy dress.  Peachskin doesn’t have a big difference, but the two sides are slightly different in terms of level of sheen.

3. Facings pt 2 –  Ok, so I would have preferred no facing for the drape.  The instructions tell you to sew the facing to the front, turn and press.  Now, the pattern pretty much calls for fabrics that don’t press (jersey, challis, ponte or crepe… challis is the only one that might hold a crease).  This is a problem because the edge isn’t crisp.  One solution is to understitch, which is what I did, but be aware that the understitching will show.  You could also topstitch.  I peeked ahead and later on the pattern asks you to hand tack the facing to the fronts to finish.  Seriously?  This dress is 90 feet long (slight exaggeration) and there is no way on earth that it wouldn’t pull and show on any of the called for fabrics (unless you use a print).

4.  Closure?  What closure?  The dress is closed with inside ties and the belt.  It has no outside closure.  Yeah… I don’t know how confident you are of your belting skills, but I am not so much.  I’m going to add a snap.  The last time I made a vogue pattern that did this I ended up never wearing it.

5.Length – Well, I don’t think any tall ladies will need to add any!  You have to tape together pattern pieces to make a complete one, and the dress is long as cut.  How long?  A good six inches more than I need for floor length, and I’m not short (5’8″.)

6. Handed-ness – My dress? Is going to be backwards, as I totally failed to note how to cut the right/left fronts.  They aren’t, to be fair, labeled as such on the pieces, and somehow it didn’t occur to me that there were two fronts (there are lots of pieces to this thing – cutting took over an hour, and I was distracted listening to NPR).

At the point I realized that mistake,  I gave up and had a glass of wine, because this pattern is driving me to drink!

I still think the dress is pretty, and I do plan to finish mine.  I really wanted to sew it this weekend because I have a concert tomorrow afternoon, but I’m not going to make it.  I’ve thrown away the instructions entirely (well, thrown them on the ground!) and I’m going to wing it the rest of the way.  I think this is for the best.

I hope I’m not the only one having a frustrating sewing weekend!  I’m going to console myself with a trip to the thrift store this afternoon.