September Sewing Tips: Vogue 8979 Edition

Hi Readers, Just for my fellow sewing enthusiasts, I’m turning Sewing Month 2014 into a Sewing Tip Month on this blog.   Read on to see my progress with Vogue 8979, and then the tips related to the project.

photo 1Vogue Pattern mag

After searching high and low for someone who had made this pattern, I found that Vogue Patterns and myself were the only two entities who were willing to give this a try –  publicly. The image on the right is a page from Vogue Patterns magazine; my thanks to them for giving me a photographic reference. Illustrations can go only so far….

Warning: this project is still a WIP – Work In Progress. Unfortunately, a smaller portion of my day is now allotted to sewing.

While I work on view A, a recurring thought is:  V8979 is marked Easy/Facile. I don’t think so. There are too many details in the design and execution of this for seamstresses looking for “easy” patterns. My question to the pattern company: what are the guidelines for designating a pattern “Easy/Facile”?

Now the sewing tips:

Sewing Tip #1

Deep shades of batik usually bleed.

color bleed

Fabric: I’m using a rayon batik purchased years ago. It has a great hand, but the “oxblood” color bleeds terribly, even after a couple of washings & dryings. Tip: Wash & dry a dark hued batik several times, or forever hold your peace. Any ideas for making it colorfast? Anyone used the vinegar technique? Type your thoughts in the comment section, please!

Sewing Tip #2 

Extend a cutting surface

Add cutting surface

To solve the issue of fabric or a large pattern piece going beyond your cutting mat, pull out that wide plastic ruler and lay it down flush with the side of the cutting mat. Using a rotary cutter on the ruler is NOT advised, but you can use pins and scissor. As you can see, I put my cutting mat on the carpet, and placed a transparent ruler next to it, just in the area where the fabric was going “overboard”. It increased the surface very nicely.

Sewing Tip #3

Separate singles from doubles.

Cut 1 pieces

All except two of the 7 pattern pieces are marked “Cut 1”, therefore they’re to be cut on a single fabric layer; the suggested layout on the guide sheet tells us that patterns which are “Cut 2” are on the same single layer but cut twice. No thanks.  Pattern pieces marked “Cut 2”, step aside! I would rather cut two of the same pieces on doubled fabric in one pass. Pictured above are the single layer pieces.

Sewing Tip #4

Cut your fabric with paper underneath.


Use paper underneath to cut out drapey and flimsy fabric. Any paper, even newspaper. Newsprint can come off on fabric, but if this is a muslin, no worries about newsprint. Educator Connie Crawford insists on this one, and rightly so. She says you need to sharpen your fabric scissors once in a while anyway.

Sewing Tips #5

Use carbon tracing paper and tracing wheel.

Marking with carbon Marked

The more markings there are on a pattern, as in this one, the better off you are using tracing carbon and tracing wheel to transfer to the fabric piece. Not a quick process, but you’ll thank yourself later.

Sewing Tip #6

Why use paper pattern for rectangular pieces?

Straight pieces

Pattern pieces in linear shapes such as squares or rectangles, can be cut easily without pinning the tissue to fabric. Measure the pattern piece and cut to the same measurements directly in fabric. Transparent rulers rule here!  If any markings need to be transferred, put the tissue on the piece and mark. For example. I did not need a pattern for the bias armhole facing; it’s a bias strip and I just cut a bias strip to the measurement of the pattern. Ditto with the little right back neckband. The picture shows that I did not do a great job of cutting cleanly and neatly, but there you have it.

I’m writing a review of the completed Vogue 8979 in my next post!  And more tips….

So let’s have some thoughts and ideas in the comment section.  The previous “tip post” had a small but great conversation going with my commenter buddies adding their own tips. We want more!


5 thoughts on “September Sewing Tips: Vogue 8979 Edition

  1. Samina, I just overdyed several pairs of my black pants a few days ago, and the dye instructions declared that salt is a good fixative if the fabric is cotton. It worked in my case. Is your batik a rayon? Still a natural fiber, so the salt might work for you too.


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