Tuesday, September 13, 2011
When I saw Vogue 8633 it was love at first sight. I bought the pattern last March and was in a feverish hunt for the right fabric for months. I finally found at PR Weekend Montreal, this stretch yellow pique from Goodman for $5/meter. So if I found the fabric in June of last year, why did it take me until almost the end of the next summer to make it? Who knows. So many projects, so little time!
I started with my usual litany of adjustments. First, the swayback adjustment. I split it between the midriff piece and the skirt. During construction I ended up shortening the bodice back as well, as it was dipping low at the center. I was somewhat surprised by this, as the bodice back is well above natural waist and my swayback starts immediately below natural waist. But I got a great fit so I won't question it.
The small bust adjustment gave me a little pause. On a standard darted bodice the adjustment is quite easy: narrow the dart. Here there are two vertical darts as well as two neck darts to create shaping. The neck darts and the second vertical dart are quite small, so I decided just to narrow the large vertical dart. I got a good fit at the bust here, so I appear to have made the right decision.
I also did my usual Broad Back Adjustment.
To make sure that the cut on collar stands up properly, I interfaced the upper edge of the fashion fabric in addition to interfacing the facing. I finished the edges of the facing using the interfacing stitch-and-flip method. I am addicted to this!
This pattern can be made with a little cut-on cap sleeve or with a full sleeve. However, the set-in sleeve is set into the dropped cap sleeve. I am just not a fan of the dropped shoulder. I considered actually being methodical and tracing a regular armscye onto the Vogue pattern. But it seemed to hard. So when the bodice was constructed I marked my shoulder line and cut off the cut-on sleeve extension. The I used the sleeve from Butterick 5321 and set it in. Disaster! Huge diagonal wrinkles radiated from the armscye toward the bust. They were awful.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to deal with it, and ended up taking out the sleeve and making a diagonal dart from the armscye toward the bust to try to take up the fabric that was wrinkling. The end result is not perfect, but it is much better than it was without the dart. I don't know if the wrinkling came from my haphazard creation of a set-in sleeve armscye or if it was a fit issue with the pattern as drafted. It's not something I recall encountering before.
Perhaps related (or not), the neckline and shoulders fall to the back on me. If I made this again I would probably need to figure out how to rotate that shoulder seam a little forward. It does not sit squarely on top of my shoulder; it's about 1/4 inch behind the shoulder line. I don't know if that would help the back neckline stay against the neck rather than pulling back or not.
I also had to hand-stitch the neckline slit closed about 1.25 inches higher than marked. This is quite low as drafted.
I used a mix of linings on this project. I left the bodice unlined and just used the facing, for breathability. However, I see this dress transitioning into Fall so I wanted a slippery lining in the midriff and skirt so it won't stick to tights. For the midriff, I used a stretchy nylon, to preserve maximum stretch at the most fitted part of the dress. For the skirt I used a stretch poly I purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club last year for $5.25/yd.
Because I am short, I always have to shorten dresses and skirts by a lot, especially in the Big 4. I took out about 1.5 inches of length in cutting this dress. Imagine my surprise when it turned out a little short! Well, not short, but the raw lower edge was about the length I wanted the final product to be. I finished the hem with a facing, and sewed it to the hem edge with a teeny seam allowance. I then used a machine blind stitch to turn up the facing.
This dress was a long time in the making, both in contemplation and in actual sewing time. It was on the machine for about three weeks, mostly because I was busy during that time but also because the shoulders/armscye/sleeve gave me so much trouble. It was one of those pieces that has to go in the magic closet for a while so I stopped thinking only about those diagonal wrinkles, the misplaced shoulder, and the lack of balance of the dark yellow flowers on each side.
However, once it did its time, I was thrilled when it re-emerged. It's a very flattering dress for me and I love the sunny yellow color. I envisioned it as a work dress on dress-up days when I am meeting with outside counsel, but unfortunately the cut-on collar does not play well with a jacket. So I'll just wear it on days when I need a little pick-me-up.
The pattern is supposedly drafted for knits, but I had no trouble fitting it (in my usual size) in a stretchy woven. I don't think I would need to size up even for a non-stretch woven.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here