Saturday, 15 March 2014

A dress with a bit of history - V1316 Vogue

I absolutely fell in love with Rebecca Taylor's dress for Vogue. I'd been searching for a special dress to reuse some suiting I had. My brother in law died very suddenly and very unexpectedly last year, and I'd kept quite a few of his suits and shirts, thinking it would be good to keep something of him and make use of it. This dress meant I could use four fabrics from his wardrobe, which I was so pleased to be able to do. I added a little bit of white linen I had and got going. I chose these three suit trousers for the main colours, deciding to use the linen for the bands as I wanted to use the suiting for the main, larger pieces of the dress.

He also had a cream pair which I decided to use for the large back panel. The dress was a challenge but also immensely fun to put together. I think there are 20 pieces and I was aware I had to be careful to match seams so the bands didn't look too out. I've gone wrong a little here and there, but hey, that's fine.

I made some changes. I cut and sewed a muslin, as I didn't want to waste the fabric. Thank goodness I did, as it was too tight. I'm a bit unlucky as I fall between the 8 and 14. The pattern comes in sizes 4-12 and 14-20 and I wasn't going to buy two patterns, so I opted for the small sizing. That meant I had to grade up at the hips, and it wasn't easy as I'm still on a steep learning curve in terms of my dressmaking. So a couple of the back pattern pieces were thrown out. At the back, at the bottom, the bands should fall above the hem, and they meet the hem. I don't think it matters.

I was pleased with how the invisible zip insertion went - I've struggled with zips.

I chose a vibrant red lining, as I loved the cheerful contrast. One thing on which I agree with Carolyn's make of this, is that it definitely screams out for pockets. (I love her version, made out of cord trousers.) I didn't have a clue how to do this though Carolyn gives pointers. I know how to put pockets in a side seam, as I routinely do that, but not adding them to a curved princess seam, so I stumbled through this. I used a pattern piece from another dress, using the same material from a bit of the trousers as I used for the dress, and fudged it.

 One lies beautifully flat, the other is a bit of a bumpy result. But I managed to add them. Yay!

I've popped my scissors in the good pocket (yes, they've been chewed by our over eager young dog, who will chew anything and everything given the chance!).

I also raised the neckline a little - quite a few people who have made this have commented on the low neckline, and I have to agree. It's too low. I didn't want to wear a camisole underneath. I went slightly wrong, but it's kind of okay.

Here's the neckline on:

Sorry, that one's a little blurred!
Altogether, I'm thrilled with it.

I think my brother in law would be impressed as well. He was always very supportive and interested in my sewing, once he realized what I was doing with my sewing that is!

So it's a special dress. In memory of someone much missed.