Finished Project: Sew For Victory

by - 10:00

So I finished my Sew For Victory project. I have mixed but mostly negative feelings about it, but more on that in a minute. First, here is what the finished article looks like:

sew for victory via lovebirds vintage

On the positive side, I managed to sew the whole thing with very little help. I did all the actual sewing by myself, and only had to ask for a few tips here and there. It's the biggest item I've ever sewed by myself, so that's something to be proud of!

As far as negatives though, I had a lot of problems with the project (more on that here), and although I was able to semi-solve the problems by following some kind suggestions from a fellow Sew For Victory participant on Flikr, who suggested that I put in a zip and use non-stretchy gathering instead of elastic, I'm still not totally happy with it. Somehow it just isn't strong enough to wear properly without breaking the thread in the gathered sections, and the bows on the arms keep slipping down. Not super practical. I have considered hemming it up a bit as I'm not too keen on the length, but it doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort when the gathering keeps breaking anyway. Plus, I actually find it kind of ugly and lumpy. So overall, I don't really think it's wearable.

One thing that didn't seem to cause too many problems though was the insertion of the zip.

sew for victory via lovebirds vintage

Not too bad for a first try! (excuse the pencil  marks, I haven't washed it yet). 

And that's about it for this project. I think it will be consigned to the back of the wardrobe unless anyone has any suggestions on how I can improve it enough for it to actually be wearable! I definitely don't want to give up on sewing but it's quite slow progress as I'm completely self taught. I will consider it a learning experience, I suppose.


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  1. I like it. I want to learn to sew so much but I don't have time :(

  2. I like it, but I can understand why you're uncomfortable in it. It looks a little Roman to me.

  3. It is lovely ! Really :)
    Well done girl.


  4. I think every sewer sews something they don't like at one time or another. I think the dress is cute and the colour lovely but I don't think it's a dress you'd pull out often. If it was me and I wasn't overly fond of it, I'd take what I learned from it and turn it into something new.

  5. I have sewn so many things I wasn't content with, and every time I have learned something useful.
    I see your issues with this dress, but it is quite cute. And even if you don't feel comfortable in it, you can still wear it at a barbecue in your garden or a sunday afternoon reading on the patio.
    So, besides all doubts you have, congrats you made it! And now you know how to insert a zipper, that is worth a lot.
    And a little advice against the lumpy-ness: Ironing will help the hem and the side seam to look much better and tidier. Sometimes sewing is more ironing than anything else.
    love, ette

  6. This might come a bit late now but i have couple suggestions you could try to makes more wearable. The shoulder straps for starters. They might be a tad too long so shortening them might help on that problem. However if that's not the case you could try moving them closer to the center on the back.
    What comes to the elastic problem, I think it breaks because the elastic is not sturdy enough. Sewing several more rows near to the original rows might help. They can be rather close to the first rows, maybe 3mm apart, to make it look like just one row from a distance. You want to make sure that when you spool the elastic on the sewing machine bobbin you stretch it as much as it stretches. I hope these tips help but feel free to ask if you want more specific tips.

    1. I did actually try putting some extra elastic in, but I still couldn't get it to work. The straps are supposed to sit down on the sides of the arms rather than on the shoulders, so I think the dress was supposed to be held up mostly by the elastic. I eventually refashioned it into a pencil skirt which worked much better!

      Thanks for your suggestions!

    2. Ah yes, I somehow missed that the skirt actually was originally this dress. Seems to work much better as a skirt.
      However if you sometime want to have another take on making similar elasticated bodice, I recommend either using sturdier elastic band, not just the sewing elastic, and just zic zac them on. Or sew sideseams on the bodice and then just sew one really long circular spiral seam (little bit like slinky) that goes around and around on the bodice, until the elastic area is as high as you want it to be.