Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Vogue: V1344 Rebecca Taylor pattern

I ordered three Lisette patterns and basically worked my way through all of them as a learning exercise.  The only thing left to do is the Passport jacket, and I didn't feel quite ready to do a jacket yet. (It'll be next, after some long underwear for my boyfriend.)

I visited the States in June and randomly ordered some Vogue patterns ahead of time to ship to my parents house, along with some lovely blue raw silk on Etsy.  Not exactly sure what I'll do with that yet, but everything in New Zealand is expensive!  I hadn't discovered Mood fabrics yet...but unfortunately their shipping abroad is extortionate so I can only drool for now.

The first Vogue dress on my list is V1344, and in my mind I had it paired with a to-die-for Liberty silk.  In order to gear up for such a project I decided to use my second Spotlight purchase to make a wearable muslin.  My local fabric shop finally came through as well with some interesting green silk chiffon to use as lining.  In this project for the first time I attempted to line a dress and work with silk so those skills could prepare me for potentially doing an expensive version of this dress.

Hah!  Not sure that's happening, I'm still on the fence.

My first problem was getting used to the Vogue pattern style, which had dotted lines all over the place and seemed really confusing.  I traced the pattern, also a first, since I have no faith in my ability to figure out my size.  I'm not sure how tracing can be considered reliable...It seems like I'm now two degrees away from the original pattern (tracing it, cutting out the tracing). Naturally upon cutting it looked very small - I cut a size 10 because the Lisette patterns scared me with their unpredictable ease.  Going by my measurements I would have cut a 12.  (34, 27, 36)

I was soooooo right about the nastiness of working with this chiffon, not to mention my tracing skills leave a lot to be desired.  But my first complaint was with the Vogue instructions, who put a bunch of shoulder pleats in without explaining how they could possibly match up front and back.  And why put shoulder pleats in the lining?  The result of the lining pleats is that on one side of the neck, the lining is really visible because the pleat at the shoulder pulls it out.  I did each step pretty slowly and meticulously considering my terrible cutting job.  After dealing with the pleats when it came time to sew the lining into the bodice I discovered that my lining really didn't fit at all.  It was about 5 inches short of reaching the armholes.  So I basted big chunks on (it's lining, right, it doesn't matter what it looks like?) so that I could reach the armholes.

It wasn't too bad after that until I got to the mysterious task where Vogue vaguely says to put the elastic into the seam allowance at the waist.  Whaaaaat??  This is a 4 layer seam allowance!  And the elastic is not that small....So I did it, and sewed it shut, tried it on, and then sewed it again on the elastic at all the spots that had frayed open.  That seems like a really dumb way to put in a waist elastic.  If I did this dress again (note again: that is in doubt) I would increase that seam allowance to 1" so there would be room for this step.

In the end it did fit - in fact it was too big...and too late for me to overlap the front more so it totally fails a leaning over test.  If I do this pattern again I would probably cut the size 8, or cut a 10 but with bigger seam allowances (I'm not at the point where I'm ready to tackle too many more subtle changes than that.)

But considering the new patterns I've ordered: Deer and Doe, Sewaholics, Aimecommemarie, and By Hand London...there are a lot of things on my to-do list before I come back to this.  I probably won't use the nice Liberty silk for it either, as it's a fine georgette that won't look good unless it has a dark lining, and probably best in something with smoother lines.  

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