Sunday, 6 November 2011
Vogue 8728 reproduction 1946 dress
My third "new" dress pattern is a new favourite.
I was inspired to buy this pattern by Erin at A Dress a Day. Despite her many posts about her lovely versions of the pattern I was a little worried about the possible bustiness and underarm exposure, which she talks about here and there in relation to this frock. The pattern calls for under 3m of fabric, and I thought it was worth a try.
I made the above version of the dress in a lightweight linen, in an oxford weave of pink in one direction and dark grey in the other, from Michael's Fabrics. I received this as part of a Zegna bundle I purchased in 2009. Lightweight linen is one of the recommended fabrics on the pattern envelope. I found it perfect for the pattern, and used less than 3m, making the skirt from one x 148cm width.
I don't think the dress looks too buxom (D). I did not make a FBA, and despite leaving out the shoulder pads (and not making my usual square shoulder adjustment), I do not find the armhole too deep. I turned the "sleeve" hem in further than instructed and assure you that no underwear became visible in the process.
I had considered using silk jersey for the dress (another recommended fabric on the pattern envelope) and made a trial version using possibly the worst fabric I have ever received over the internet,
(beware of that butterfly print knit and the stripey knit, they are AWFUL)
an alleged cotton/lycra knit from Fabric.com, which was about the same weight as light silk jersey, but had no discernable recovery. I got what I paid for, at about $4 per yard. Fortunately the wovens I received in the same package, at much higher prices, are far superior fabrics.
These are the "will I bother making this dress in real fabric" photos. I started with a size 12, according to my high bust measurement, and the awful knit version is large and droopy at the bust, back and waist. I decided not to start with a knit version, but to try a size 10 for the bodice and waist in the linen, which was another trial fabric, as it is not a colour I usually wear. I threw out the remaining butterfly knit. I did not think it would even make a good cleaning rag.
Going from the no-recovery knit to the linen, my sizing changes were not entirely smooth. After going down a size I then had to let out the waist a little by sewing skinny seams and adding bias binding for zipper attachment, but otherwise the fit was very good. I will taper out to a 12 at the waist for a woven, should I make this again, but a 10 would probably be OK in a knit (one size smaller than envelope measurements suggest)
I underlined the front waist with silk organza, another inspiration from A Dress A Day.
I sewed the upper and lower bodice right sides together and topstitched rather than overlapping as in the instructions.
I used a regular zip in the side seam, hand sewn, as per the instructions. I don't think this looks terrific, I will use an invisible zip next time.
I bound the armscye/sleeve hems as suggested, before topstitching, but found that this made the hems stick out from the arms.
I rolled them under by hand and used an invisible stitch to finish.
I overcast stitched by hand to reinforce the bottoms of the armscye, and the top of the side zip opening.
I have cut out another one. I am breaking into the Liberty - I must really like this pattern.