Woohoo! A finished project to share.
Let me introduce you to the dress I’ve dubbed the I-wish-I-could-afford-Cue dress, aka, Vogue 8723. It’s a fully lined, sleeveless, fitted bodice with bust and waist darts, a high neckline, gathered full skirt and centre back zipper. It’s a Very Easy Vogue and has custom-fit cup sizes. Winner! Oh, and it has pockets. Double winner!
Here it is!
Being such a simple pattern, I wanted to have a go at matching checks. Now I’ve done it – and I must admit I like the finished product – I will always remember how much of a biiiitch it was to do! After I finished fecking with the muslin I spent almost half a day just matching the bloody checks before cutting the fabric out. I’m sure I won’t be as hesitant next time, although I suspect this is the kind of thing you really have to check, double check, triple check, etc. I think I did an OK job for the most part. I matched the centre back seams and one side of the skirt perfectly, the other side not so perfect but good enough, and I didn’t even know where to start with bodice darts so they were unexpectedly OK. The staps are… well… don’t look at the straps.
Pattern alterations and design changes
I made two muslins for this dress (first one here, second not blogged). After sewing the first muslin I determined I needed to take a couple of cm out of the neckline (it gaped quite a bit) so I used this tutorial and it worked a treat! I had quite a bit of gaping so I used the method where you transfer the tuck to the bust dart.
The dress is a straight size 10 with the C cup bodice. I chose it based on the finished pattern measurements, which were exactly to my measurements bust and waist wise (36.5-27.5). There is no ease in this dress. I generally like them that way but there’s a bit of a fabric pinch thing going on around the armscye. I’m sure that’s a sign of an ill-fitted dress, but whenever I sew a size 12 bodice it is ooodles too big for my back and waist (by my standards anyway). Note to self: research underarm skin hanging over armsyce and how to alter pattern … lovely!
I also shortened the bodice by 1.5cm in the pattern altering stage, but when I was sewing the dress up (despite my painstaking check-matching) the checks didn’t line up any more! So I may have shaved a it more off then, too. It probably is a teeeeensy bit too short, which is odd because I have a short waist so I didn’t think I would have that problem, but oh well! I think the 1.5cm would have been enough. You can see where it sits on me in these pics without the belt.
I also lowered the neckline about 6cm and then lengthened the straps. It probably doesn’t look that obvious but I REALLY needed to lower the neckline. Anything too high really overwhelms my frame because I have so much boob. They are really getting quite tiresome (the boobs, not the neckline), and I think they make me look about 5kg bigger than I’d like to be… maybe that’s because I’m about 7kg bigger than I’d like to be. Hahem.
The aforementioned check-matching issues were easily the biggest pain in the bum of making this dress. Everything else was wonderfully straight forward and definitely suited to a beginner.
I lined the bodice with a polka dot white cotton I had in the stash. I paid $2.50 for two metres of the stuff at a retro fabric sale. I love the lining as much as I love the shell fabric!
Sewing with checks was a pain when matching them, but it made it easy to cut out straight lines and to hem the dress! These checks were EXACTLY 1.5cm horizontally so I used them as a guide when cutting and sewing. So it wasn’t all bad!
And that’s it! Now I have to decide what my next project is. I am thinking maybe another pencil skirt, or perhaps an attempt at Gertie’s shirtwaist dress – but one that fits me! I am also considering another ponte Elisalex dress, but a stripey one with short sleeves. Hmmm. Not to mention, I’m still on a mission to find the perfect yellow fabric to replicate this yellow dress (as I blogged about yesterday).
So many options! How’s a girl to find time to sew it all?