In my quest to use more "new" patterns and not just TNT ones, as well as to incorporate vintage details into my garments, I have begun yet another adventure with a pattern. There have been so many twists and turns with this dress, that I have nicknamed it, "The Fumble Around Dress." If there was something that could have been done easily and straight to the point, I managed to avoid it and take the long way around...so without further ado...
"The Fumble Around Dress"
During my vintage pattern forays I noticed this silhouette in several different pattern lines.
Continuing in my quest to add vintage details to my current patterns I knew this Vogue pattern could work as a base to achieve the look.
A cotton/linen blend purchased from Cloth World approximately 15 years ago (I am really digging deep into the collection lately!) and a 1/2 yard of cotton sateen purchased from Metro Textiles was used for the insert and sleeve trim.
Vogue 7433 - a very loose fitting pullover top, has a collar, slightly extended shoulders, front neck slit and above elbow or long sleeves. This is an OOP Very Easy Vogue Pattern circa 2001. I started with a size 24.
22" zipper, 1/2" shoulder pads
1. The first and most important was to convert this from a tunic length top to a dress. I did this by adding 13" to the front and back pieces.
2. I also cut the front and back pieces from the waistline to the hemline and inserted 1 7/8 inches to the pattern. I did this because I thought that the finished measurements of the dress would make it too tight. Of course, I ended up taking almost all of it out of the seams after the first try on...can we say fumble number 1, 2 & 3 ~ since on subsequent fittings I continued to take almost every inch added into the dress out of it!
3. The most important change was to add a center back seam and a zipper to the dress. I didn't want to pull the dress over my head so it was necessary to add a closure that would allow me to step into the dress.
4. This addition meant that not only did I have to alter the collar piece but I also had to alter the facing piece. Both pattern pieces were split in half, seam allowances added and then added to the dress.
5. To correct the extended shoulders issue, I added and sewed down 2" wide darts in both the front and back pieces. Not only did this solve the too large shoulder concerns but it added a "vintage detail" to the dress.
6. I made my normal adjustment to the sleeves - enlarging the bicep area. Then I went onto to make the fugliest sleeve possible by adding a piping insert into the sleeve and a band beneath it:
Fugly, fugly, fugly when added to the dress...so the sleeve had to be ripped out and re-worked!
7. The most challenging change to the dress was adding the v-insert. The pattern originally had you make a tank top to wear under the dress. I didn't want that and initially was just going to make a v-insert and tack it to the dress. Then I saw the insert that Summerset made in her daughter's Hannah Montana dress and I was off and fumbling around!
I started by cutting out just the front half of the tank top that is included in the pattern...after working on a couple of options and tacking the insert down and ripping it out...I finally ended up with what is in the dress now and pictured above. However, it took a great deal of fumbling around to get it to lay flat in the dress.
8. There are alot of little construction details to this dress - all of the topstitching on the collar, the handwork on the inside to hold the insert to the dress and all of the finishing details that make the inside of the dress look as clean as possible.
My finished dress does have a slight a-line flair to it...probably from all of the inches I inserted...but I do like the way the fabric falls and the dress moves so I won't complain. The silhouette is slimming yet a little different from my TNT dress pattern and all of its variations...also the dress is in a great, bright color which makes it new and trendy since color is "in" for summer. It also has some of the details that has attracted me to vintage patterns and it will work in my corporate workplace on a hot, humid day when a suit isn't necessary.
However, it took me two long days to complete a simple basic dress because I definitely fumbled my way through the construction process. So the next time you are looking at one of my creations and wondering how I did it? In this instance...I fumbled my way through!
Finally, I am borrowing Summerset's Parting Shot:
My new Bose iPod docking system...it was invaluable to me during the last two days as I fumbled around with my new dress! *smile*