Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vogue 8575

I have been dying to make this dress for a couple of months now, and the timing was finally right, i.e., no more wedding activities. Plus, it is so darn hot here in Atlanta, that a flowy, knit dress is just the right thing. I think I've mentioned before that I haven't done much sewing with knits in my entire sewing career, so I just want to share some observations I made while making this dress.

I used a needle specifically for knits, the Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint 80/12.

Sometimes I used a straight stitch, and sometimes the stretch stitch (#9 on my Bernina 440). For the majority of the seams, I used the walking foot. That seemed to work the best, and I think the stretch stitch should probably have been used for any seam with stress (i.e., most of them).
 That picture is of the walking foot, in case you're unfamiliar with it.

I only made one alteration to the pattern, and that was to add 1-1/2" down the center of the front and back skirt piece. In other words, the pieces were cut on the fold, so I just moved the entire piece 3/4" away from the folded edge. I just wanted a bit more gathering for tummy camouflage. Since I made the sleeveless version, I discovered later that I hated the way they had you hem the armscyes, which was just to turn it in and make a narrow hem. Mine looked floppy and homemade, and since the back was too wide there anyway, I used the bias tape method, just guesstimating where I wanted the top of the shoulder to be. Not terribly precise, but it worked for me.

After stitching each seam, I serged the edge for finishing. I think it makes it look more like RTW:

Finally, I had the devil of the time with the hem. Any hints for hemming jersey? I tried serging the single layer edge first, and that was a disaster, and luckily I stopped after only about 10". I ended up then trying to press down 1/4" to finish the raw edge, and pressing is pretty impossible. Next I just eyeballed the 1/4" and stitched it down. Then I folded it up 5/8" for the final hem, and pinned extensively. Still, it looked like it would shift all over the place when I pulled out the pins as I stitched.

I remembered reading this post recently by fellow sewing blogger, Carolyn, and pulled out what was probably a vintage roll of stitch witchery, inserted it between the folded up hem and the dress and pressed. Yay for stability! I then used a twin needle (any tips for using those?) to achieve the RTW cover stitch type hem.
The top row has some skipped stitches, and I'm thinking when I threaded it I should have threaded both spools at the same time. Lazy me just threaded the second one on top of the first. Any thoughts on that? Of course, no one will know but me (about the skipped stitches, that is)!

This dress is SO comfortable. I need to make another one, maybe with short sleeves, and that may be all you see me in the rest of the summer!


  1. Really cute and I love that print.

  2. That's a great dress for summer. I see you're a Bernina girl. Me too!

  3. Love it!!!! It registered 99 on our car's outside temp yesterday!

  4. Yeah, I'm glad the stitch witchery worked for you! As for the skipped stitches, definitely thread both needles at the same time and I find if I slow in one continuous thread that I can avoid this!

    The dress is very pretty on you!

  5. I love the dress! The style and the pattern and the fabby. :)

  6. I love the print. So DVF. And you are so right: No one will notice the dropped stitches but you.

  7. Stitch Witchery! Great tip. I'm wearing a spandex/rayon mix (I think? Can't see the tag right now...) maxi dress right now and I need to hem it badly. I was trying to figure out how on earth I was going to get the hem right.

    So where did you find the jersey fabric? At Joann's?

  8. Hiya - you can use solvy too if you can't find stictch witchery. Just need to dampen the fabric-solvy sandwich (ie hem folded with solvy already in there) then press dry to get it to stick nicely. Thanks to Pam at for that tip.

    Dress looks lovely on you - Echo

  9. That looks like a great dress for summer - so cool and comfy you could live in it!

  10. Looks great! Wonderful for hot summer weather.



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