The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Part 2

Pattern: Vogue Patterns American Designer, Kay Unger New York #V1353….continued from part 1

There is nothing like a slightly rainy holiday weekend to give you the motivation to sew!  Things have been so busy over the last couple weeks with work, random obligations, and my actual graduation from business school that I hadn’t gotten a chance to work on my new dress.  I was grateful for the 3-day weekend to get started.

But I first want to mention that my oldie New Home machine is now in semi-retirement.  I’m sad that I won’t be using it as I’ve gotten quite attached to it, quirks and all. It will be a good thing in the end because I have far less bobbin issues with my mom’s old (my new) Husqvarna machine.

New Home sewing machine

Okay back to the dress.  The pattern seems very straight forward, instead of cutting the front bodice on the fold it had me do a little flip-around thingy instead since there were really no other pieces to cut on the fold.

Bodice patternI was able to get it pretty even.

The front bodice has darts and pleats.  I hadn’t done darts in forever, so I had to try to remember how they worked.  I had to go online for a refresher video to remind me how to sew the triangles in and press them down.  Ah yes, it was all coming back to me.  They were so easy, I may start putting darts in everything now!

The pleats along the neckline were something I hadn’t done before so I watched a few online videos (like this one) and figured it out.  I had some trouble with this research because there were a lot of references to box pleats and knife pleats and I had no idea what type this was.  I still don’t actually know, but the video I found showed me a picture of a pattern that looked like mine.  Works for me!  The pattern markings had these sort of squares, and I figured out how to fold the material over, matching the dots on the squares and pin the pleats in place.

Neckline pleats
I was surprised how well these came out on my first try.

I then basted the pleats in place, down the front, just to keep them from going anywhere while stitched them together at the neckline.

Basting….I hate it.  Oh, the tedium!  But I put my hatred aside for this project and basted everything.  With my small shoulders and rib cage, I usually have a bit of trouble fitting a bodice to my shape, so I basted all the pieces first before I stitched to make sure I had the right fit.  I think the extra work paid off, because the bodice seems to fit me pretty well.  I think this pattern is pretty well suited for me too as the pleats probably help with the fit around my small shoulders.

And next…more pleats!  I sewed the ginormous skirt pieces together and started to figure out how the skirt pleats worked.  For some reason these seemed harder than the neckline pleats.  I had tried marking the fabric, but kept having issues, so finally I just drew in the dots on the wrong side and used those to match up the folds for the pleats.  I made a couple attempts on these before they looked right, and I think they came out alright…

Bottom skirtThen I put the pieces together.  I tried a basting stitch first, to ensure a straight waistline, which I know I can get a little lazy with.  I’m pretty pleased with the result.


I will be adding a belt as the pattern suggests.  This is how far I got this weekend as the next step is the scary invisible zipper! (oooohhhh!).  Actually from what I’ve heard, it’s not that tough, so I’m excited to try it.  The real reason I had to stop is because I couldn’t find the invisible zipper foot attachment, and my mom finally told me she had stored in the machine.  So stay tuned for part 3….curses of the invisible zipper!

 Continued in part 3

4 thoughts on “The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Part 1 | Threading Lightly

  2. Pingback: The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Epilogue | Threading Lightly

  3. Pingback: The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Part 3 | Threading Lightly

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