Swing Night Success

So I’ve been making my Sew-la-do-da Blitz dress for an upcoming special occasion and that was last night. I actually finished the dress a couple of weeks ago, but have been so busy with the festival that there just hasn’t been an opportunity to put it on for a photo.

I’m pleased with the fit after adjusting the paper pattern on my dress form and it’s my best invisible zip to date. I like the length of it and the bodice  lining  makes it a pleasure to wear. I’ve already blogged about my difficulties in getting the collar right, but I have to confess to finding the pattern instructions difficult to follow at times, which slowed me up a bit. Although photos can be helpful, the black and white images with plain calico fabric used in the example only served to confuse me more than help. Also, if I make this again I’ll attach the lining to the bodice differently. I think I’d have preferred to hand stitch the lining at the centre front, I think it would help it sit better on the neck line.

However, I’m really pleased with finished dress and enjoyed wearing it while cooking potatoes for 100 guests last night. It was comfortable and easy to wear that received many positive compliments. (I even wore it to go to the Musician Pub afterwards to see my son’s band Dig Lazarus (@Dig_Lazarus) WIN the Original Bands Showcase.)

Will I make another? I’m not sure. It’s not my usual style but I did enjoy wearing it. What would you do?


One Hour Session

I managed to fit another quick session in on my Sew La-Di-Da Blitz dress today. I gave myself an hour of sewing and just managed to get the zip in during that time.

The instructions suggested getting a friend to fit and pin the dress in order to stitch the seam with a long basting stitch, press then unpick to get the crease as a guide to insert the zip. My only deviation was to use the body form instead of asking my husband to stick pins in me!

This was the second new fitting technique I’ve used on this project. First I adjusted the paper pattern after pinning it together on my dress form. I then checked the measurements on my form before pinning then sewing this dress. Even though I double and triple checked the measurements (luckily I’ve lost a bit of weight so it’s changing in the right direction!) I still wasn’t sure the fit would be right.

And so onto sewing the zip. Zips don’t frighten me, but I wouldn’t say I was anywhere near an expert level. I can get ’em in, but just don’t look too closely. Actually, this one today was my biggest successes so far. Don’t get me wrong, the waist isn’t perfectly lined up and the anchoring at the base is a little messy, but it went in first time and does up! Result.

So finally I tried it on. Not bad. If anything, it’s slightly on the large side, but not enough to start unpicking and re-sewing. My issue is a larger belly, so to take the top in would show off the weight I still need to loose. There are still the sleeves to sew and the lining to add, so not all of the excess material will be part of the final dress. Add to that it’s not really my style of dress, so I’m not sure how much wear it’s going to get after the 1940s event I’m making it for…

Onto the sleeves next. See you soon.


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So, I was back at the machine with renewed enthusiasm to try and get this collar sorted. Usually on these occasions a fresh start is all it needs, but it just wasn’t happening for me again! 

After 2 attempts to get it right yesterday I added another three to my tally today. 

I just don’t know what my problem was: they were either the wrong way round or upside down. Eventually I hit on the idea of writing ‘top’ on the pattern and all the pieces. Helpfully (or not) the top of the collar (I.e the bit highest up when sewing) is at the bottom of the pattern piece if you turn it upside down. Perhaps the overall issue was with my spacial awareness!

Whatever, that didn’t work either because I finally realised I needed to sew the bottom of the collar not the top and , hey presto, it worked. Talk about a learning curve – and I’m still not sure I could do it again. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not the first ever collar I’ve done. I had no problems with my shirt patterns previously. 

However, onwards and upwards. At least I can be getting on with the rest of the dress now. I’ll keep you posted. 


Prepping the next project. 

I’m very excited to be starting work on my Sew La-Di-Da Blitz dress pattern. With an upcoming swing band night on 16th May as part of our local arts festival I have been planning this make for a while.

I sourced the pattern online, but saved myself to make the purchase at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC recently. I’d like to tell you it saved me money, and it did in a way, but I bought two patterns as they were on a super special offer!

I’ve had the gorgeous fabric, bought at the Sewing Cafe, since I decided to make a dress for the occasion but was without the pattern. I can’t wait to get sewing!


This is also the first time I’ve tried fitting the paper pattern to my dress form and adjusting, rather than making a Muslin after watching McCall’s pattern fitting videos. There were a couple of minor adjustments to make so I’m hopeful the process works.