A Literal Elephant in the Room

5:43 PM

What is the elephant in the room? This dress, clearly. It's a whole herd of them!

Another elephant in the room is the resistance a sewist can feel to sewing. When does your life-giving hobby begin to feel like a terrible burden? Sometimes. Sometimes when I am expected to do something, no matter how much I want to, I procrastinate, put off, ignore. And sometimes when I'm sewing it feels like I'm "off", like everything I make is a disaster.

That level of perfectionism and performance anxiety almost kept me from completing this dress. Despite the fact that I loved this pattern (Vogue 9201) and this super-cute lightweight cotton (who can resist marching elephants?) and that Fabricville offered me this choice as my next blogger project and thus I felt the obligation to get it made up, I felt a lot of resistance to actually getting to work. But, taking the advice for this feeling of resistance in another field, writing, I finally tackled this dress "bird by bird"... or perhaps elephant by elephant.

There were some issues with making it: I had to unpick and redo all the bodice buttonholes at least once; I basted up a sleeve and then realized it was too long so had to trim both sleeve pieces at the shoulder and resew them; and when I got to the side zip I realized I didn't have any 14" navy invisible zips, and there were none to be found anywhere at all in town. So I switched it to an enclosed lapped zip (using the instructions in my trusty Readers Digest Guide to Sewing), and that ended up working very nicely in the end. There is also a fair bit of hand stitching on this pattern so it did take a bit longer to finish.

Thankfully, I made a bodice muslin -- I had to shorten it in bodice and skirt, and make a swayback adjustment -- finally the muslin fit, and I cut my fabric... whew. I seem to have got the fitting right on this one. This Vogue pattern is a good one, though, with lots of techniques but a straightforward construction process, and I learned tons making it up. It has nice details that make it a satisfying project, and fun to wear now that it's done.

Anyway, to see more and get the deets, check out my blog for Fabricville about this challenging project!

And now, onward and upward with Christmas sewing :)

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  1. Picking out buttonholes...you must be the most patient person in the entire world!!! Worth the effort as the dress is so cute 😊

    1. Thank you! I was convinced that this dress was not going to defeat me :)

  2. A very smart dress - no wonder you wanted to get the buttonholes right. Absolute pain picking out buttonholes.

    1. Thanks! I'm pleased with it now it's done but I have to say there may have been a few curses heard during the buttonhole fiasco ;)

  3. Lol, I laughed when I read your title. Very cute dress Melanie! Congrats on being featured on the Fabricville blog!:)

    1. Thank you Rikki! This dress is a fun one to share :)


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