Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I started this dress waaaaay back in 2014, intending to make it for the Outfit-Along hosted by Andi Satterlund and Lauren Taylor. It was a nice idea and really fun to plan, but it was clearly not meant to be a quick project. I walked away from it a few times between each of three bodice muslins out of frustration and/or to work on more seasonally appropriate projects. I ended up finishing it in the wrong season, but I just had to wear it one time anyway.

Here are the particulars:

Pattern: V8993, length A
Size: 16
Fabric: European 100% linen, beets purple, medium weight
Lining: viscose batiste 100% rayon, salmon
Thread: Coats & Clark 9367, Mexicana, aka The Most Fun Thread Ever

  • 3/4" FBA
  • dropped waist 1"
  • made waist circumference 38"
  • deepened back neckline 1"
  • deepened front neckline 3/4" at top of v
  • deepened front neckline curve 1/2"
  • took 3/4" off top of front and back shoulders
  • raised armscye 1 1/2"
  • pinched a little here and a little there (and didn't document changes well)

Pattern Notes:

  • This is a Very Easy Vogue pattern, but I didn't have an easy time fitting it at all. I think the shape of the front neckline makes it more difficult to fit.
  • I remember having trouble with the understitching (step 10), but now that I'm looking at the directions again, I'm not sure why I had trouble.

The linen dulled my rotary cutter almost instantly. It was really impressive. It was also murder on sewing needles. I changed my needle once in the middle of the project, but the new one dulled so quickly that it didn't seem worth it to change again. Occasionally the needle (yes, even a new needle) would pull one of the cross-grain fibers creating tension in the fabric, rather than punching between the fibers. It was weird, but I was able to smooth out the spots where this happened.

This was my first non-invisible zipper. It's a bit ripply...better luck next time. It's pretty even at the waist and terribly uneven at the top. I don't know how I always manage that.

I love love love the color combination on the inside of this garment!

The hook and eye got caught on my hair the whole time I wore the dress.

I sewed the lining a little bit too close to the teeth of the zipper, and it's sometimes challenging to get the zipper up and down. I might unpick that and restitch it at some point.

I zigzagged the raw edges, but the linen is fraying quite a bit.  I probably should have bias bound the seams.

The pleats line up pretty well with the princess seams.

I love the crazy thread colors that are visible in the hem. I can't wait until I can finish the sweater that I originally planned to go with this dress!

After three muslins, I still ended up with too much wearing ease in this dress. I would like it to be a little bit more fitted in the waist, although I must admit the ease makes it extremely comfortable. There is way too much ease in the upper bust/shoulder area despite my alterations. You can really see it in the armscye. I think I'm starting to realize that this is a common fitting issue that I have, and reading about narrow shoulder adjustments might be helpful for me. I also wish I had deepened the neckline even more.

I'm really glad I got to wear this once before I put it in the closet until the next bare legs season. I wore it with a RTW cream cardigan to give a presentation for the FSU Coastal & Marine Lab's Board of Trustees meeting. I felt great in it. It was soooooooo wrinkly by the time I got home. I hope it still looked nice through the presentation, though.


  1. I love how this turned out! And purple is such an amazing color on you. You're making me itch to get back to my sewing machine! I've had half a dress on my dress form for about a year now. Ahhhh the life of an academic. :) Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


    1. Thanks Kara! I'm missing my machine, too. I need to put the Christmas decorations away and start something new. And this is the first non-spam comment I've had in aaaaaaages... So THANK YOU! I know academia is demanding, but carve out a little you time too.