Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vtg Simplicity 3430 - in progress #2

Ok, this is turning into one of those projects.  You know the ones.  Where everything SEEMS to be perfect and sunny and then whammo...some stupid mistake or fitting issue rears its ugly head.

How about some pictures though (taken with flash and my son's little camera, because I left my card at school!)  First, the back "fix".  I decided to go with the strip of matching fabric because as much as I loved Kristine's idea, I didn't have a coordinating color solid. 

I like it. It turned out really cute!   Wish I'd carried it all the way around front.  (I didn't think I'd like it, so I didn't do the front too.  I figured I wouldn't be the one looking at it, being in the back and all.) 

And you see that flash of color in the zip?  Yeah.  Who doesn't have a WHITE zipper on hand?  Yours truly, that's who.  I don't know if that has ever happened.  I ALWAYS keep white zippers (it's a thing.  I don't know why.)  Anywho, I had the perfect color of purple.  A color I almost never wear.  Perfect length too, so I just did a side-lapped zipper:

It doesn't really show this much when it's all zipped up.  I love that it matches the purple though, even if no one knows but me. (and you).  It was a bear to put in though.  I've been trying to follow the vintage directions exactly (or as near as possible) and I had to cull a side zip set of instructions from another pattern since this one featured a center back zip. 

Well.  The directions said to stitch the side seam, leaving an opening for the zipper.  Baste the opening, press seams open.  Here's the tricky part:  turn under left side of seam allowance and press at approximately 1/8 inch.  If you do that, there's not enough room under the "seam allowance" for that much turned seam.  Does that make sense?  Or it's really, really close. 

Then you slide the zipper underneath and topstitch on the 1/8" fold.  This was nearly impossible.  Shifty, horrendous mess.  I ended up hand-basting the whole thing and I still had to rip out twice.  It's in now though, and looks pretty.  I'll be searching for a new method of side lapped zip instructions though!

Here's the front with the skirt attached.  I didn't have enough fabric for the extra full cupcake skirt.  This is 2 full widths of 45" fabric (one for front, one for back).  It's just "regular" full, not "50's" full.

Unfortunately I can't show you a photo ON me because the dang thing is too tight!  I don't know how that happened because it was perfect to the point I was afraid it'd be too loose.  I guess I overzealously stuck to the 5/8" seam allowances. 

Now comes the fun of picking them out and stitching with 1/4" seams to see if I can wear it this spring.  Oh, and Lean Cuisines for dinner.  (Which, I was going to do anyway.  Apparently the steroid/antibiotic combo I had the joy of receiving recently added a bit of weight.  After I went to all the work of getting really sick and losing some!)  So...skinnier seams + skinnier me = pretty spring dress.

Leaving you now with this lovely photo of Priscilla and her favorite person (me), taken by my rotten 16 y/o who said really it was most important that PRISCILLA be featured in the majority of the shot.  Gee, thanks.


  1. So cute!!! The added band is nearly invisible, what a perfect fix! Can't wait to see you model it, so stick to the salads and exercise!

  2. Shame about that. I have a great dress that is equally unwearable! Depending on how tight it is, you may be able to add a channel of fabric on either side of the zip. When completed it looks like wide piping. I had to do this when making my daughter's formal dress.

  3. Oh yes, one of THOSE projects, I know them well. I'm in the midst of one such can of worms that is NOT sewing related, therefore also impeding any attempts to get back to the machine. I even have pre-treated fabric and a tested pattern waiting!

    A raised fist, I'm sure you can make this work.

  4. Love the fix and the lovely lavendar zipper. Good job! (Where's my Stella?) g

  5. Love the matching zipper--it really is the perfect shade of purple! I recently started doing hand-picked zippers because I hate zipper insertion so much! It's looking great--love the fabric. Too bad about it being too small at the moment (I hate when I do that too!)

  6. Winding Ways12:29 PM

    I like this video on how to do lapped zips.
    You and Priscilla are both darling.

  7. So pretty! That "it fits great now, but when I sew up the seams it becomes too tight" issue is one that I have had many a time. I hate that.

  8. Nothing like a pretty little dress to inspire a bit of weight loss! Perfect for spring!

  9. This dress is looking really good. I love the purple zipper- I think it's perfect!


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