A Little Floral Number (Vogue 8904)

vogue 8904

I should know better than to sew a dress the day of a party. You could write a mathematical proof showing that impulse sewing directly increases your level of stress. But sometimes (who am I kidding, A LOT of the time) your fabric speaks to you.

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You have a serger now it says. I’m a thick, sturdy knit it says. You’ve already sewn this pattern twice it says. And so I listened. I listened and that meant I was sewing on a neckband and finishing sleeves and the hem barely 90 minutes before folks walked through the door for my birthday party.

It wasn’t all so haphazard, though. If I’ve learned anything in three-ish years of sewing, it’s that a little planning goes a long way when it comes to the finished product—and your sanity. Here are some tips for a speedy sew:

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Cut out multiple projects at once. I don’t know how I had the patience to cut out several different projects in one evening, but I did and this ponte double-knit floral dress was one of ’em. If only I’d gotten to sewing it before the morning of the party…

Pick a pattern you’ve already used. I knew this dress would fit without much fuss, as I’ve used Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8904 pattern four times now. A long sleeveless dress with panels, short sleeveless dress with panels, long sleeveless V-neck hack for Cruella, and now the short version with sleeves and no panels. (I’d link to it but the Vogue site gives a 404 error when you click through—it might be out of print…?!?!)

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Choose a fast sewing method. Sorry French seams and Hong Kong finishes! We’ll meet again some leisurely day. I used my SUPER FAST WONDERFUL serger for most of the construction of this dress and used the sewing machine to anchor the neckband and sew the hems.

Don’t rush the finishing touches. Listen, I know that my hems look better when I use a walking foot. I know it. But I let my pre-hosting jitters cloud my brain into 1). using a regular foot and 2). not busting out the twin needle. I used a ballpoint needle (I’m not INSANE, y’alls) and a zigzag stitch, and my bottom hem turned out a wee bit wavy for my liking. Note to self: Take the extra 3 minutes to attach the walking foot and thread the twin needle. Le sigh.

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Do you have any tips for speedy sewing? I’m all ears. And happy SPRING everybody! I’m embracing it with plenty of pretty florals and rosé wine. Actually, I drank rosé most of the winter, too. The gods of booze snobbery will have to pry my rosé out of my cold, dead hands.

5 thoughts on “A Little Floral Number (Vogue 8904)

  1. Happy birthday 🙂 It looks lovely, great fabric! Sewing with knits and a serger is always a good recipe for a speedy sew. I only got into sewing knits last year after 11 years of sewing (and handknitting) and I couldn’t believe it! My best tip for speedy sewing would be to have your supplies very organised, then you can grab what you need really quickly. No hunting around in the stash for ages. Or even…group everything you need for the project into a bag in advance: pattern, fabric, thread, notions etc.

    Like

  2. Happy birthday 🙂 It looks lovely, great fabric! Sewing with knits and a serger is always a good recipe for a speedy sew. I only got into sewing knits last year after 11 years of sewing (and handknitting) and I couldn’t believe it! My best tip for speedy sewing would be to have your supplies very organised, then you can grab what you need really quickly. No hunting around in the stash for ages. Or even…group everything you need for the project into a bag in advance: pattern, fabric, thread, notions etc.

    Like

    • That’s such a good idea! I’m always running out of black thread when I need it most. And WOW are you a talented knitter. My friend taught me how to knit this winter but I’m afraid my to-be cowl is sitting unfinished next to my fabric stash. Maybe I’ll finish it before next winter…

      Like

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