Monday, 11 May 2015

Vogue 1408 jersey dress

So in keeping with my fast-fashion muslin making of late, I decided to overlook the fabric recommendations and make this seamy dress out of a single layer of jersey.  I reckoned it would be a distressed look and easy and would give me an idea of whether it was worth buying some expensive stretchy wool stuff to make a more serious iteration.  The pattern calls for "medium stretch" fabrics.  Plus a "medium stretch" lining - could get expensive... 

I cut a size 10 but didn't prewash my fabric (hm, does fabric shrink in an irregular way?? This could become interesting.)  I assumed it would be a bit too big because my fabric is stretchier than a thick ponte, but I don't love the pattern enough to trace it so I wanted to make the same size as I would in a less stretchy material.  The fabric is a soft viscose jersey from the market in Berlin, and cost something like 5 Euro.  At the end I had to take in about 1cm at the shoulders, and 1cm at each side seam.

I found attaching all the pieces to be very easy, although of course I was not stabilising the edges of every piece like the Vogue instructions advises.  I did one row of topstitching on all the seams, not two.  Unlike the other Vogue top of late, 1247, the jersey means that most seams can be convinced to match without a lot of effort, especially with my high-stretch jersey.  Without trying at all, every single seam matches perfectly except one.  My 2 meters was enough for this dress, but I didn't have a lot left over.  I don't make dresses with wide skirts very often and I think it's because I'm weirdly stingy about how much fabric they require.  I did forget that jersey is heavy!  I realised early on that the dress needed the support from the arm and neck bindings.  I just barely had enough fabric left over to cut some strips which I sewed into loops, folded over, and sewed it on like making a Renfrew.  I cut each of them short enough to have some stretch, especially along the neck as I wanted it to stabilise all this fabric.  I was happy with the result.  Hemming was terrible.  My new Pfaff sewing machine seems to be bad when it comes to knits, and especially when it comes to using the stretchiness of knits to advantage - the IDT pulls the knit fabric against the direction of sewing, and creates huge bubbles.  So, ugly hem.  Not too obvious. 

By avoiding the lining and the zipper and the extra staystitching, this was a pretty quick but still interesting jersey project with a nice set of lines.  It took some effort and I think it looks cool!  I also reckon you could do some pretty neat colour blocking with all of the pieces.  It has been a reminder to me that more effort is sometimes worth it.

As for fit, I think this size would fit me better in a less stretchy fabric.  I do feel like the body is too long - the skirt starts at my butt.  With so many pieces and no shorten-here lines, I wouldn't be tempted to shorten the torso length, so overall I recommend this pattern for longer torsos. 

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