Monday, February 7, 2011

Swing dress progress!

When I started sewing, little did I know there would be so many details. It's important to be meticulous about them. As I was sewing my swing dress, I tried something a little different today. I used my gauge. Bought it years ago thinking, I need this, but threw it into a drawer and it hasn't seen the light of day since. I am finding a gauge is great for keeping me on course while ironing a seam allowance up or putting a hem in. In the past, I tried to eyeball a seam allowance and found I make them too big and a bit out of the lines. This belt needed to be shaped with much care because it's top-stitched and the very shape of it is going to stand out on this swing dress. Working with the belt, I used my gauge to get an exact 1/2inch seam allowance, once I did that, I was able to eyeball the other half CHECKING my work as I went. It worked splendidly. I am loving my gauge! Our house also received  a new iron for Christmas. Our old one is from 1986, my husband received it as a gift before we were married, so I inherited it 20 years ago.  I can't say enough about having a good iron. It's a Rowenta. It really streams well and is a step up from my old iron.
I used interfacing on the belt, as Casey suggested, It really makes a difference.
I needed to iron this before the picture!

The gathers in the swing dress were hard to placed correctly, they needed to be shaped in the right direction. So, I did the standard two row of stitches and fiddled with them a lot. I am hopeful this dress will work out well. I will be posting about it once more when it's finished, for now that's what I have been working on. Lots of adjustments to be made but hopefully it will be a keeper.

Have a happy vintage day!



  1. It is looking very nice Gina! I use my gauge for everything. It is a very handy tool to have close by for when you are sewing and for when you are pressing.

    I like the color you chose...very bright and cheerful :-)

    Grace & Peace to you today,


  2. That looks great - I've been fiddling around with my muslin today, so I can really appreciate why you need to be so accurate here and use your guage. The construction with topstitching, instead of a normal seam, is quite new to me. I love your fabric and can't wait to see your finished dress.

  3. Wow, this looks fantastic...I'm so behind with mine!

  4. Your dress is looking great so far. Being meticulous really pays off in making something wearable that you can brag about. So looking forward to seeing your final dress.

  5. Good idea about the quage, I have one of those here somewhere! Your dress looks really nice.

  6. Thanks everyone, the swing dress has been fun and a little time consuming. I've ripped it out a few times due to lack of experience but feel like I am getting a lot of experience now. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's dresses! Keep posting on flicker!

  7. Gina,

    I am hoping that your love for sewing will inspire me not to "fear" my sewing machine and attempt to learn this lovely hobby myself. :)

    At any rate, I love what you have done with your dress thus far. The red is quite vibrant, and I like it. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. :)

    -Lady Rose

  8. Lady Rose you can do this. Fear no more, maybe ask a friend to work with you on one project, a simple dress or a blouse. You will soon see it's not too hard. I love being able to make a dress that fits! And to my surprise most have been under 15.00 dollars. You can spend more but I look for 1/2 price sales. Thanks for your kind note.

  9. Your swing dress looks great! I'm still adjusting my muslin- it was too long and loose at one point, but I think I've over compensated the second time around!

  10. Hi Seersucker Sally, I know what you are talking about here. I had to take two inches off and I am not short waisted but love having this dress fit higher because it more flattering to the sit on the higher waist line. You will get it right. Keep pinning it and hopefully you will land on something!