Thursday 30 May 2013

My first strapless dress, mermaid-style :) Vogue 8766

I decided a week ago that I was going to make this dress for the Natural Fibers Contest on Though this pattern is labeled as "Easy", it took quite a few hours for me to finish it.  I'm sure this is due to my inexperience sewing this type of dress. I usually sew with polyester/spandex, but I know I need to expand my sewing horizons :) This fabric is 100% cotton (I'm pretty certain its quilting cotton, I got it from the clearance section at Fabricville).

A couple weeks ago, I was checking out project photos on PR for this pattern, V8766, and one reviewer referred to it (in view B) as a good "mermaid dress"( here). That immediately caught my attention because my wedding dress was a mermaid style. I went out to Fabricville and bought the pattern and found a nice quilting cotton (both women who made view B, used quilting cotton, so I was gung-ho to find some!) Here is the other review. I wish I would've decided to do the contest right away, because I would've had more time to sew it and do a proper blog post and review on PR. Oh well! :) My review on PR can be found here.

My "Mermaid-style" wedding dress :) <3

**These two photos wearing the cardigan were taken June 9 after our evening service @ church. It was more appropriate I think :)
I prefer these black strappy shoes also. I bought them at Payless Shoes a couple of years ago and they seem to go with everything!

Fabric is like a cat-magnet. They just can't seem to resist cozying up to it :)

Caper making herself at home, must be the pretty floral print :)

Boris on my sewing basket :)
Trying to steal the spotlight :)

I had to get Dan to take photos of me this morning before he had to work, as this was the only time we could take some outdoors (I was just not photogenic indoors last night!). I took this one inside to show the fabric better.

Close-up of the ruffle. I was a bit unsure about how it would look, but I LOVE it! I find it give a bit of a Mexican flare. :)

Inside of the dress. I basted the lining inside, then stitched-in-the-ditch on the outside through the bodice and skirt seam. I slip-stitched the lining to the zipper.

Yes, I know this photo is sideways, my computer was having issues...

This is how long the ruffle piece is before gathering. I tried to gather it the "proper" way (by using 3 rows of basting stitches) but was finding it difficult. Enter my good friend Google :) The page I found, showed how to gather by sewing zigzag stitches over a length of emery floss (I used twine). This technique made my life SO much easier!


         This is what I had my sewing machine set at. 4 being the zigzag stitch. :) In retrospect, I think I could've had the stitch a bit tighter, but it worked fine :)

Sewing over the twine. Oh! I must mention, I used my "N" foot. It has a groove in the middle that made it really easy to guide the twine. I was able to sew the entire length of the ruffle without piercing the twine (which would not be good :)

 All pinned up before basting. I found it very helpful to pin through the twine to further secure the gathers.

I know its not the easiest to see, but trust me, the gathering turned out really well! The ruffle is my favorite feature of this dress, and I want another dress with it! :)


  1. I love your dress! I have never used this method of gathering, but I'm going to remember it and try it. I am laughing at your cats, they love to be in the midst of things, don't they? My dogs come and sit in the room with me while I am sewing, too:)

  2. Thanks Angela :) I really like this method of gathering with the twine. It made it so easy! Pets do like to be underfoot, don't they? :)

  3. Your dress is pretty. I like the ruffle! Do you pull out the twine or does it stay in? This gathering method looks easy.

  4. Hey, thanks so much Maria :) I was going to pull out the twine, but I pierced it by mistake while sewing, so I just left it in. It was my first time using this method and I'll definitely be using it again :) It was so easy! You could try it with emery floss, and then you wouldn't have to worry about how it looks if you had to leave it in :) Would look a lot better on the inside!

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