Sewing advice plea: Should I call time on this vintage pledge project?

Butterick 5747

The interesting waistband first drew me to this pattern – but there began my woes with Butterick 5747…

I’ve been working on one of my projects for A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Pattern Pledge recently (a 1960s pattern, Butterick 5747), but have hit a serious snag. I’ve made the bodice, skirt and waistband but the problem is joining them all together.

The first hitch was figuring out how to make the little tab things on each side. The instructions were quite confusing and called for the back parts of the waistband to be sewn to the front, then pushing the tab through the join from the wrong side to the right. This worked fine in the end (albeit a bit puckered, as you can see in the photos below), but meant that the seam allowance at the tabs for joining the waistband to bodice and skirt was used up and tucked inside the tabs.

Here, the tab is facing forward towards the dress centre, as per pattern cover – but see the puckering at the tab base? ARGH!

Terrible Tabs

So joining the skirt to the waistband was really fiddly at the tab joins: it took several attempts to make sure that there wasn’t a gap in the waistband-skirt connection. Joining the bodice, though, has been really frustrating. The front sides need to be gathered and squeezed in along the bodice’s V shape to fit into the acutely pointy part of the waistband – and it’s just not happening!

Here’s a couple of shots of the bodice and skirt parts:

Skirt front Bodice front

So, I’m loathe to abandon the bodice, but right now I mostly just want to stick a short zip into the back of the skirt section, hem it, and say it’s done. Dilemma! Do you think I should just cut my losses and finish this up as a skirt? Can I do something with the bodice? OR should I take a bit more of a break from it and re-approach the waistband and bodice with fresh eyes? Has this worked for you on troublesome sews?

Any and all advice is very welcome!!

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Wrapping up: Final sewing project of 2013

Happy New Year!

I photographed this project – a knitting needle case for my mother – a couple of weeks ago in preparation for a post, but I’ve been holding off putting it on the blog until I was sure it had been received at Christmas!

Needle Case

I opted for a cute bunny print cotton as the contrast interior and a grey polycotton as the main colour. I somehow managed to not photograph the ribbon to tie the closed case up with (ahem, see my New Year’s resolution below…). The pattern is Butterick B5006. I bought it with the intention of making myself a good cat-proof knitting bag, but instead have used the knitting needle case part a few times for gifts (the last one I made up was for my sister and involved this fun Michael Miller alien print as the contrast to a complimentary blue main fabric).

Last project 2013

Skills learned: I’ve worked with this pattern before, but I used a thicker wadding this time around so I think the ‘skill’ I worked on most here was manipulating a much chunkier project than usual.

Recommend pattern? The only segment of the pattern I’ve used so far is this needle-case but it certainly does the job for that. Had I not had one on hand, though, I could have drafted my own version.

Next steps…

I have been really enjoying catching up on my blog reading over the past few days and seeing reviews of various sewing and knitting projects of 2013. It’s also been really interesting to read up on bloggers’ plans for the coming year.

I’ve never been great for New Year’s resolutions, so all I’ll say on that front is that I hope to continue building my sewing skills with new and exciting projects in 2014 – and that I maintain this blog while I’m at it! I started the blog with the sole aim of using it as encouragement to push my sewing education and I really think it is helping to keep me focused. I completed several pieces this year, which is more than I had expected to do, and some of these are now in regular rotation in my wardrobe. Although sewing has fast become my favourite hobby and pastime, my sewing budget remains pretty tight so it’s important that whatever I sew is actually useful to me in an everyday sense. (This lesson was learned very early on – the first dress I ever made was a lovely and well-fitting purple party dress which I have never worn!)

One area of the blog I specifically aim to develop this year concerns the photos of finished projects for the blog. With that in mind, I’ll soon be posting a couple of pieces that I finished up late in 2013 but haven’t written about here yet.

Hope your 2014 is off to a good start! 🙂