Casey's sdsa #3: The Real Deal

After chronically lagging behind on Casey’s fantastic 1940s style swing dress sew-along, I’ve miraculously managed to finish it just one day after the due date. I say ‘miraculously’, but it had a lot to do with Casey extending the finish date and perhaps a few late-night sewing marathons on my part!

Anyway, here she is, my midnight-blue beauty on a rare, but gloriously sunny day!

I’m ecstatic with the fit of the shoulders and of the bodice in general. Being just 5ft 3”, short-waisted and relatively buxom, this has always been a problem for me - but Casey’s expert guidance really helped. However, I don’t think that the style of the bottom half suits my body as it seems to really emphasise the width of my hips. This is more an issue with my body shape than the actual dress pattern though I think.

Making this dress involved a lot of firsts for me - some successful and others really not so much.

Successful firsts:
Things that didn't go too well:
  • Zips are my nemesis and I really need to get over my mental block if I want to become a good seamstress. If you look closely at my swing dress, you can see that I totally botched my zip. Casey’s method for creating a 1940s style zip closure is brilliant, yet I couldn’t manage it. I think my difficulties had a lot to do with using crepe fabric and also the belt tie piece really got in the way. So maybe I’ll practice it on some cotton/lighter fabric and without a belt tie in the way.
  • Hemming is also not my strong point, so don’t look too closely please.
  • Using a double-sided crepe made it extremely hard to make any markings on the shiny side, which was the wrong side of my fabric…very frustrating to say the least!

Things I'd do differently:
  • At the muslin stage I discovered that the belt ties were too short to make a bow, so for the real thing I lengthened them. They are now way too long though so I have to tie them all around the midriff and secure with a knot at the back. Next time I would make them shorter, or probably omit them altogether.
  • I think I would cut out a 14 for the bottom, like I did for the top. For this version I cut out a 16 bottom and suprisingly I think it's a little slack.
  • Perhaps I would have a play around with the midriff and maybe make it a touch smaller.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of my very first ever sew-along – it was great to have Casey’s expert input, to follow other people’s progress and to see everyone’s final and stunning swing dresses. I’ve also learned some invaluable skills that I put into practice and that are transferable to other projects. Casey also posted a couple of tutorials that I didn’t get to apply to this dress, but that I’d love to apply to other projects in the future: drafting and inserting pockets and making lovely belts.


  1. Marie it's absolutely beautiful, well done. I agree, Casey's sewalong was a fantastic learning experience. The dress is a lovely fit and looks great on you, hope you're suitably proud of yourself. x

  2. Its very pretty. I love all the different fabrics and looks everyone got.

    Just keep working on those zippers, you'll get it.

    Looks pretty on you.

  3. Beautiful! I'm glad you got it done pretty much to the deadline in the end...and it's such a good fit. You should be really pleased with yourself, it's awesome! (And zips are my nemeses too! The sandwich method i told you about is easy peasy, but sadly not appropriate for a dress) x

  4. Marie, It's so pretty! You did a fantastic job with sewing this dress. You did a lot to the dress, isn't it great to learn all these new things as you sew. I learned a lot too, thanks Marie for all your encouragement, you are the tops and your dress is just wonderful!

  5. Oh my, this is so gorgeous! Such a classic style, perfect fit, and you look stunning.

  6. What a perfectly tailored dress, and you look wonderful in it! Definitely one to be proud of!

  7. Gosh, thank you all for such amazing comments. You're all very kind! Tilly and Andrea, the words 'stunning' and 'wonderful' have made my day ;o)

    I'm really enjoying browsing all the other swing dresses out there!

  8. Very pretty! I so want to finish mine now!

  9. so when do you start the professional modelling career?

  10. this dress is lovely, nice choice of colour too.

  11. Oh wow!!! Your dress turned out stunning--please give yourself a pat on the back (you deserve it! :). I love how it looks--beautiful!

    ♥ Casey

  12. Thanks again all!

    Isis - can't wait to see yours, I'm sure it'll be lovely!

    Casey - thanks so much for such an excellent's to many more ;o)

    Ian - erm, when the cows come home! Lol!

  13. i love blue clothing these days and i must say yours look lovely on you! :)

  14. It's lovely! No matter what struggles you may have faced, it was definitely worth it. It looks very flattering on you, and I like the fabric choice. Yay, for all of the "firsts" during the process. Learning new things is fun. :)