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Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 10: Wiksten, part two

Bonjour on this cool evening. I’ve been having some refreshments of tea and fruit after a much needed nap. Our crew woke up early to make the drive-thru, flu clinic line early. The girls and I needed to get innoculated as the husband had already gotten his at work.

Thank you for all of your comments on the last post. I am definitely enjoying the process of Wiksten. I’m glad I chose it as my first dress pattern and that I’ve been pacing myself.

As Promised

This is the back yoke again, but with its topstitching:

It can be very hard to photograph this chambray. I had all the blinds shut yesterday afternoon and no flash, but still a close up of the topstitching came out like this:

This is what my projects pages are looking like now that I’ve been jotting down this journey:

And here is what my inner seams look like:

For those of you who do not sew, see that seam that looks like mountains? That is the zig zag stitch. The two pieces of chambray were pressed together and then sewn with this stitch which will prevent the raw edges of fabric from fraying.

The row underneath is traditional, straight stitching. This bottom row has been sewn 3/8″ away from the raw edges of the fabric which is known as seam allowance. Seam allowance can vary in patterns.

If you look here, this is what a serged seam looks like. You can find them in your clothing on the inside. I hope to have a serger some day. This machine gives raw fabric edges and the insides of a sewn garment a professional look.

Recent Sewing


Last night I sat down to tackle hemming the sleeves. Oh boy was this not fun. The reason why is because I found it tricky. These sleeves of the short dress are not symmetrical cylinders; they’re actually kind of slanted.

The first round I tried to hem 3/8″ all around, starting at each perpendicular seam, but it was hard to keep everything even. I flew through the sewing of each sleeve and of course wasn’t satisfied with my work, so I ripped out the stitches. One sleeve took me at least 20 minutes to get the threads out! I have watched sewists use the seam ripper like it was cutting through butta. That doesn’t happen for me I’m afraid.

In the end this is how each sleeve came out. I don’t know if I did it right, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome.


At one point I had forgotten that I was going to have side slits in my dress. I ripped back to the markings and followed the pattern’s instructions on how to construct them.

This side came out easily. The front slit of the other side I fixed twice:

  1. My seam allowance was off so when I tacked it down at 1/4″, some of the straight stitching didn’t catch the fabric in places.
  2. With round two, I sewed closer to the fold, but wasn’t satisfied with how it looked even though technically, no one would really notice.

Last night I ripped out the seam again, ironed the fabric, and then ironed the seam allowance with my cardstock hem gauge. Think of a rectangular, piece of paper that has drawn lines in Sharpie along a long side. Each line represents a different height – for example, 1/4″ or 1/2″. I would place this measurement tool on top of my fabric. The raw edge would then fold over the hem gauge so I could iron the needed amount. Now my side slit looks just like the other three parts.

Note to Self: I think I will invest in more professional tool because it will always be needed in garment sewing.

Okie doke. That’s the sewing update for now. Thanks for poppin in. TTYS.

12 thoughts on “Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 10: Wiksten, part two”

  1. Wow……that is a lot of work you have done. Good thing you are keeping a journal. Have you thought of investing in a dress form? I had one when I was making garment and it was wonderful.

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  2. I’m truly enjoying reading about your sewing adventure, you are doing great! Next time you could try to use flat felled seams on the chambray, they give the inside of the garment very professional look and are perfect for this type of fabric.


  3. Oh Stefanie, You sound like me ……I make mistakes and that is how I learn. You are amazing to keep going with all the redo s . I guess we do need the correct tools as my snarky jewelry teacher said.to me.


  4. I love all the detail and tailoring you’re doing. I can’t sew at all but my grandmother was quite a seamstress and I remember how excited she was when she got a serger years ago. At the time I was underwhelmed but I can see the point of it now!

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