Vogue 1586: the third time is the charm


I know that some people think that after sewing for as long as I have (I'm not going to go into how many years that is!), that I probably don't have much to learn.  LOL!  If that was the case, I would have been bored with sewing years ago.  I recently heard a woman on TV describing her husband, saying that he was better than perfect, because if he was perfect, he would always stay the same, but since he's not perfect, he becomes better every day.  I feel the same way about my sewing.  Luckily, every new project is a new challenge, and some more challenging than others.  There are the technically challenging things, like welt pockets and buttonholes which still elude me, and then there are the design challenging things, like picking the right fabric to go with the right style for the right body.  With this project, the latter was the challenge.

This is Vogue 1586, a recent release by Tracy Reese.  Isn't it beautiful on the model?  I really wasn't sure what fabric that they used for this version, as the fabric recommendations say "jacquard, crepe and matte jersey".   So, in reading that, I thought, well pretty much anything goes! 
My first version was from a stretch cotton poplin, and I cut out the size that matched my measurements.  I don't have pictures because it was a total disaster, both fit and fabric match.  The thing that you can't see unless you look very closely at the photo, is that the collar is a single layer and is narrow-hemmed.   This means that you need to choose a fabric that will lay back nicely when folded, look good from both sides, and look good narrow-hemmed.  The poplin was too stiff to fold back nicely, and it looked awful narrow hemmed.  The tie looked gigantic, and the overall size was okay, but the armholes were way too low and showed a lot of my bra.



No problem. I would choose a more drapable fabric for the next one, and found a striped polyester stretch woven.  In my head the stripes would look good placed on the bias in the side skirt piece, that you can see here in the line drawing.
Well, that worked out better in my head than in real life.  The stripes ended up being a hot mess where the pleats were. 


I knew that this fabric didn't look good on both sides, so I eliminated the fold over part of the collar, but you can still see the wrong side on the ties.  And, for fitting, I tried to solve the too-low armholes by hiking up the shoulders, which you can see the bust dart ending up far too high. Just a disaster all around.  I scrapped the dress, and came within inches of throwing the whole pattern away. 


So, what I learned at this point- I needed a fabric with drape, a fabric that was either a solid or a tone on tone print if I wanted the design lines to show up, and I needed to start with a smaller size and do a full bust adjustment, not just hike up the shoulders.  So, in my next Fabric Mart order, I got a heavyweight cotton gauze.  It had a great drape, interesting texture that looked the same on both sides.  But darn it, I only had 2-1/2 yards, and fabric requirement was 3-1/8. 


I decided to try to lay it out single layer, and it all fit, except for the ties. So, I reduced the width of the ties in half, and I had room to lengthen them, so that's what I did!


I did a full bust adjustment, lowered the dart point, and a sway back adjustment. 
I could have shortened the overall length.  If you are shorter than me (5'9"), you probably will want to shorten it!  And if you shorten it, you can probably get by with way less fabric than they are recommending too!

There is a side invisible zipper, and unfortunately, it's on the left where the extra bulk is because of the ties, which are pleated.  It makes it a little difficult to unzip.  If you don't mind the awkwardness of having a zipper on the right side, consider moving the zipper to the other side.


You can see the cool texture of the gauze here.  It was originally white, but I dyed it a pearl gray using RIT dye.


Will I make this pattern again?  Not in the near future, because there are so many other styles that I want to try.  But, I did enjoy the challenge and love my end result!

Have you ever had a pattern that took a few tries to get the right fabric match?

Happy Sewing!

Ann

16 comments

  1. It's such a good thing you persevered. I probably would've chucked it! That gauze is LOVELY! The texture is really pretty and I love the pearl grey color.

    On the failed version, is that fabric opaque?? I bought it in a different colorway for cool summer pants. :)

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    1. Yes, it is opaque- you must have got the white and black one! It's a nice fabric- I still have some left.

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  2. How would it have worked out by just raising the armhole (redrawing) after the first version? I have to do that often with sleeveless patterns. Very pretty final version.

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    1. I thought about that, but it would have needed a dart at the armhole to keep it snug to the body. Plus the bodice dart would still need to be changed, so I opted to do the FBA. A pain, but a good result.

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  3. Hi Ann, I love your style and really enjoy reading your blogs. It's good to know that I'm not the only that doesn't get the best results from my first try. You have encouraged me to persevere with patterns I really like. Keep up the great work. I've received so much inspiration from you. You are a beautiful and amazing woman who happens to be an excellent seamstress also! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jeanette! I'm so glad to hear that you find my blog helpful! I've taught lots of people how to sew and I realized early on that many have unrealistic expectations of sewing the perfect dress straight from the pattern, and then they get frustrated when that doesn't happen. So, I try to show my process which is sometimes a winding road to get a finished garment that I love.

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  4. I couldn't agree with you more - getting that fabric right is so key and it IS challenging especially when the pattern lists such a variety of fabrics from knit to jacquard! I like the tie narrower on your version and that gauze is a lovely dove colour after your dying.

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen! I had to look up jacquard after this experience, as my prior thought about jacquard were that it was kind of like upholstery or drapery material- a thicker woven fabric. Apparently, anything with a raised design can be called a jacquard, so that suggested fabric doesn't narrow it down at all!

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  5. This is phenomenal. I love the dove grey color, the texture, the change in the ties. It is a perfect summer dress on you. I have the pattern, and after seeing your PR review and this blog, I feel that it is a do-able project for me. I will need to add 3 lines to shorten/petite the pattern, and perhaps petite the collar and ties. I am 5'1" Thank you so much for sharing what you learned about choosing the perfect fabric. Your dresses are really beautiful, even the striped one you included as an example of what not to do! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I can't wait to see your version!

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  6. I saw the striped dress and thought, Wow I really like that! Then I scrolled down to #3 and it's even better! The "plain" fabric accentuates the details of the design. And I, too, think your thinner tie is better than the original design. I totally agree with you about choice of fabric for a pattern. Sometimes it's the Biggest Challenge to hit the true sweet spot. And you did it!

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    1. Thanks, Karla! I like the thinner tie too! Especially when you consider that the wider one would end up making the left side seam allowances even bulkier to make the invisible zipper harder to work.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. This dress is on my list to make soon. Your grey version is lovely and looks great on you.

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