What was I thinking?

So I said I’d make my sister a dress for her birthday. I did this last year and I think it was a success. It was the first time I’d ever made anything for someone else so we picked a knit dress pattern that has lots of good reviews online and I’d already made up once before for myself.

So this year I offered to do it again. My sister had expressed a liking for Vogue 2218 the previous year so when I saw it in an out of print pattern sale last summer I snapped it up. This is a bit more challenging. It’s a two piece woven dress: a pencil skirt with darts and sleeveless princess seamed top. The cover photo has it made up in a windowpane check suiting which looks very elegant. I found fabric with a faint blue windowpane check. I made a muslin and we fitted it over Christmas. I made all the adjustments on the pattern. Nothing left to do but a little bit of sewing, right?

Clearly it’s been too long since I last sewed anything with a pattern that needed matching. I’d forgotten just what it involves! It’s also been a loooong time since I inserted a zip. I even had to look up how to finish a bodice with a back zip and a lining. And what possessed me to suggest a pattern with not one but two invisible zips and two hems? My sewing skills have had a bit of an unexpected workout over this one.

I can’t show the finished outfit because my sister hasn’t got it yet, but here are a few progress shots.

I love the way this wool fabric takes chalk. Marking was never so easy. The grey strips on the edges are interfacing. The fabric’s very unstable so I fused interfacing to all the seamlines to give myself a chance to match the stripes.

Marking darts on skirt

As well as the blue windowpane check there’s another set of more subtle stripes to be matched. This photo was taken with flash so they stand out a lot more than they do in natural light. Cutting this fabric out accurately required lots of daylight!

Skirt darts

I managed to match up the check across the zips and most of the seams.

Zip with matched stripes

And I even managed to get fairly square corners at the ends of the zips.

Top of skirt zip

But my next project is so going to be a knit dress.

20 thoughts on “What was I thinking?

  1. I feel your pain, there is nothing I hate more than matching up checks and stripes. And when an invisible zip is involved it’s doubly agonising. You did an amazing job though! Can’t imagine sewing anything so involved for one of my sisters…

  2. Wow – gorgeous job! And, great choice on the fabric – very sophisticated! Do you need another sister?!??

  3. Oh, you are a much better sister than I am! LOL

    Aside – Blogger is giving me all kinds of problems with comments today (mysterious disappearances). But yes! Sew frosting with me!

  4. I love plaids but the challenge of matching them is not trivial. You’ve done a splendid job. Interfacing the seam edges-now that’s a smart idea.

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