Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mama Gets Her New Dress

Long time no blogging. But there has been sewing. Vogue 8178 is done:

As mentioned in my previous post, I cut a 16 from the waist up, and an 18 from the waist down. The muslin fit just right, but the finished dress turned out rather loose. I can only assume that my fabric, a mid-weight denim with a lot of crosswise stretch, either relaxed or grew during construction. I'm hoping that once the dress goes through the washer and dryer, it will draw up a little bit. It's fine the way it is, and definitely comfy, but I wanted a more fitted dress.

Anyway. I LOVE this pattern! It's labeled "Very Easy Vogue" and it is. It's also very stylish and work appropriate. I love this high waisted style and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I also love the wide lapels. The V-neck and the wide collar really frame the face and bring attention right where I want it. I also like that you can control the depth of the V by where you turn the collar back. Even with the collar open all the way, though, I felt perfectly modest and covered up.

I mentioned in my previous post that I chose not to do a FBA. The stretch in the fabric more than compensated for it. What I did do, though, was trim a tiny bit of length off of the back. I noticed on the muslin that, even though I liked where the under bust seam hit me, when I turned to the side, the front seam was higher than the back. I did not want to lengthen the front because I was afraid of messing up the proportion of the lapels, so I decided to even out the seam by shaving 1/4" off of the bottom of the back pieces tapering to nothing at the side seams. Sort of like the opposite of a FBA. It seems to have worked just fine.

I also added 1" of length through the waist to compensate for my long body, and 2" of length below the hips as extra insurance that the dress would hit me at the right spot with plenty left to turn up for the hem. I probably could have gotten away with only 1" to 1.5".

The sleeves on the muslin were tight through the bicep so I added 3/4" to the width. I had to add it consistently all the way to the bottom of the sleeve because the construction requires an almost square sleeve. I wish I had left it as it was. I think the stretch in the fabric would have compensated and as it turned out, the sleeves feel a little big, especially at the cuff. Oh well. Live and learn.

As mentioned in the previous post, I omitted the bodice lining except for the front pieces. This allowed me to significantly cut down on bulk, especially at the waist seam. I used facings in the back which I finished with my serger. This allowed me to cover the top part of the zipper and finish the back of the dress nicely. I also used a centered zipper rather than an invisible zip because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the invisible zip work at the waist seam. A bulky seam makes the zipper hard to open and close.
I will definitely make this dress again. I'd like to try it with a contrast color for the lining. Imagine a chocolate brown linen dress with pink lapels and topstitching. Or imagine a dark skirt with a contrast color for the bodice. I think this pattern has a lot of possibilities. One thing that disappointed me about this dress was that the topstitching doesn't really show up on the dark, patterned denim. I'd like to make this again and really showcase the topstitching. I think the sleeveless dress is really cute, too, and would make a nice spring outfit.
Now that this project is done, it's on to my Halloween costume. Stay tuned for a report on my flapper dress.


angie.a said...

Now that is one cute dress! I can't believe that's denim. Looks great!!

Vicki W said...

I'm surprised that it's denim - it looks great!

marybee said...

very nice work!! i'm looking forward to the flapper dress!
last weekend i was flipping through my mil's large collection of AS&E, and came across a letter from you in it!! i recognized the princess first, and read on and put 2 and 2 together! what a small world! :)

Shannon said...


I can't believe you found us in AS&E! I had no idea my letter had even been published- it's in one of the only two recent issues I don't have. I had to order them both so I could see the Princess in one of our favorite magazines. Thank you so much for letting me know! If you hadn't told me, we'd probably never have known!

shesflipped said...

Hi Shannon~Super cute dress. It looks terrific on you! Thanks for the comment on the serger mishap. I'm a little nervous now!

marybee said...

oh, i should have noticed which issue it was in! i hope you found it!!

Audrey said...

The dress looks great on you. I have the pattern in my stash and i recently tried on an Jones New York dress with similar lines. It was very flattering on me. So I vowed to pull the pattern out and make the dress. Your post was added incentive.