BuJo, Me-Made Wardrobe, Sewing, Sewing Journal, Shop Wiksten, WIP Dress

Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 9: Wiksten, part one

It’s 7:02 pm PST. Today whizzed by. I had to wait for the kids to finish school so we could take care of some things. By the time the three of us got home and I had made our OMAD for the day, it was past 4 pm. Laundry was taken care of and now it’s evening. Yay for Hump Day being almost over!

Sewing Journal

For the past, couple of days my focus has switched to sewing to ease the tendonitis. I decided to start on one of the patterns I had ordered from the copy shop. However, when I soon found out I was running into challenges and problem-shooting, I then figured I needed to jot everything down. Hence, journaling started up again:

I looked at different examples via Pinterest and IG. I dug out my bujo stencils and picked out shapes that I felt would best fit whatever 411 needed to be recorded. These are the labels:

  • Date
  • For Whom
  • Pattern
  • Measurements
  • Sketch (my perfectionist self wars with this box)
  • Size(s) Used
  • Supplies
  • Swatch (2″x2″)
  • Fabric Deets
  • Machine Settings
  • Daily Goals
  • Challenges & Solutions

I have been dilligent in recording information on these two pages. I’ll show it all in the next post.


Wiksten Shift is what I’ve been slowly working upon. I’ve been pacing myself which is making me enjoy the process of putting it together more.

Day One: Pattern

I cut out the pattern. It runs from a size 0 all the way to a size 22. I am thankful I had Google’d Wiksten first because I found lots of reviews on sewing blogs. This is a boxy and roomy dress. I love how Shop Wiksten showed this piece on women of different ethnicities and sizes; this helped me get a sense of how it sits on a person.

According to the pattern, my measurements (bicep, bust, hip) came out in different sizes. The general concensus from blogs was to go down two sizes. I didn’t measure myself recently and for some reason thought I was around a size 8 so I cut out a size 4.

Day Two: Iron, Lay Out, Cut

This second day I ironed the chambray fabric, bought online on fabric.com – a site I had heard about long ago from fellow sewists.

  • Telio 4.8 oz Denim Chambray
  • Medium Blue
  • 3 yards

The pattern pieces were laid out on the wrong side of the fabric – selvedge to selvedge – and were cut out:

Day Three: First Challenge


I don’t have a serger. I tried using the zig zag stitch on this fabric. Chambray, as you know is lightweight. I ran into the problem of the stitch making the edges bunch up.


I ended up spending time trying out different stitch lengths, stitch widths, and even tension for my machine’s zig zag stitch. I basically had no luck, but when I happened to try the stitch on two pieces of the chambray, it was stable!

I then thought of how to finish the raw seams and Google’d it. One video tutorial used the zig zag stitch on both sides of an open seam or on the seam closed. When I told my mom about this, she suggested I zig zag stitched instead of straight stitch when sewing the pieces together. This was the plan.

Day Four: Finally Starting

Here I got the pockets on. They’re not 100% perfect but they’ll do; my perfectionist self is letting the little imperfections slide by.

I ran into Day Three’s challenge again because you need to serge or zig zag stitch three sides of each pocket, all raw edges, before folding them inwards. So I forged on by finding a tension, stitch length, and stitch width that worked the best to seal those edges in. The fabric curled a bit but when I ironed them out, they were fine. Whew!

Day Five: The Back

I was scared of gathering. I know, I know, super chicken butt stupid.


When I had a run at the Cleo Skirt by Made by Rae last year, the waistband was difficult for me. I did not do a good job on it and of course it didn’t help that I was zooming along at downhill speed to make the skirt.

In spite of this past experience, I pulled up my big girl panties and gave it a go:

  • I slowly stitched on a 5 (the longest my machine does) stitch length the first gathering line, making sure I was sewing the specified seam allowance.
  • Ditto for the second gathering line.
  • When it came to sewing the straight stitch in-between the above lines, it was snail pace again – slowly guiding the fabric and making sure I was in-between them the best I could.

Success! I was happy with how it came out. When I had to topstitch (picture taken before this part) on the front of the back yoke, I used a 3.5 stitch length.


I have learned in the past from topstitching zipper pouches to use a longer stitch length. It comes out cleaner and nicer.

In my next sewing post I’ll try to remember to show the topstitching.

Okay, it’s now 8:09 pm. I’m off to proofread this post before publishing. Thank you for dropping by. TTYS!

15 thoughts on “Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 9: Wiksten, part one”

  1. I enjoyed reading your sewing progress and seeing the pictures of your dress. It’s going to be so cute! Chambray is a great choice, I’d think. I look forward to seeing whatever sewing notes you share. I love the idea of notebooks. I’m so bad at it myself, but I love seeing other’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. As a former teacher is important to me to try to be helpful for other future, beginner sewists as I myself search for helpful blogs on these projects.


  2. I really like the material you chose for your shift. I think you are doing a fine job on it. What a wonderful idea to make a sewing journal of the journey you are taking. It will really help for future project too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most of this was like a foreign language to me but I love seeing how you have the pattern laid out with the fabric. I can’t wait to see the finished product.


    1. 😂 I understand. Seam allowance is the distance you sew away from the edges of the fabric. The pattern’s SA is 3/8″. Tension has to do with how tight the top thread and hmthe bobbin bottom thread come out. This depends upon the material you’re sewing with. The length and the width of your stitches can be adjusted as well. If you look on the inside of your shirt, you will most likely see the edges of fabric wrapped in thread. They have probably been serged. A serger finishes off the edges so there is no unraveling of the raw fabric. I don’t have this machine so using the zig zag stitch on mine is another way to finish off edges.


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