Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Smugglers Daughter Dress or Vogue 8972

About two months ago, I eagerly started this dress.  I made all of the pattern alterations which were quite extensive and detailed them in this post and this one. Then there was the post on how to use a border print and how I cut out the border print for this dress, all of which has turned this into an epic sew. I've used three different fabrics for the dress.  Three different fabrics to make the lining. Some silk organza, a picked zipper application and lots of hand basting...to end up with this...



The Beginning~
I was gifted this fabric by the Smuggler's Daughter and some is still available on the site. I wanted to make something special with it. I probably should have gone a little less epic but it was worth the journey, even if I had to take a short break to regain my inspiration.

Fabric and Notions ~
The starting pattern is Vogue 8972



Fabric:
The Smugglers Daughter border print
Gray medium weight linen from the fabric collection
Black medium weight linen from the fabric collection

Notions:
22" black zipper
Lt. Green piping
White cotton batiste for lining
Gray cotton batiste for lining
Dark Steel Gray bemberg lining

Pattern Alterations and Construction Details~
All of the pattern alterations were documented in the posts mentioned above. However, the construction of this garment is quite detailed probably because I chose to make the dress way more difficult than it needed to be. Let me give you a few details...
  • The black linen skirt front and back had black silk organza basted to each piece...that's seven pieces in total.
  • I tried to use the cotton border print in such a way that it would enhance the pattern of the fabric. I carried it over into the sleeves to give it the greatest impact.
  • The back zipper is black but it was hand stitched in. I knew I didn't want to deal with matching an invisible zipper in two places on the back.  So I hand stitched it using a regular zipper.
  • There are a lot of pieces...to the bodice and the skirt...a lot of cutting...a lot of seam finishing...a lot of sewing them together.
  • The lining has white cotton batiste for the bodice and gray cotton batiste for the center panel then dark steel gray bemberg lining for the skirt.
  • The lining top is seamed but the skirt lining pieces were cut based upon the finished fashion fabric pieces.
  • I added piping to the neckline.  I wanted to capture some of the green blocks that are in the top piece.
  • I did have some challenges with getting the side bodice and the center front to match. I don't know if it happened during the pattern alterations but I cheated and used a little ease stitching to get them to work together.
  • This added a little gathering in the bust area that the fabric's pattern hides.
  • That was a little discouraging and helped with me putting the dress down for a minute.
  • I basted the sides together prior to machine stitching to insure the sides matched.
  • The sleeves went in so easily! Since that was near the end of the dress' construction, it was really great that they weren't a challenging insertion.
  • The sleeve hem is topstitched using a double needle.
  • The hem on the lining and on the dress are doubled and stitched.  The lining is machine stitched and the dress is hand hemmed.
  • Being anal about thread, I changed the thread for each piece sewn on both the sewing machine and the serger.
  • I omitted the topstitching that the pattern suggests.
  • There was a lot of handsewing in this dress - to match side seams, to insert the sleeves, to add the piping,  to attach the lining to the zipper tape, hemming the dress...a lot!
  • Finally, I used a lot of steam to press this dress.  At one point I had to send Lena, precious grand baby number 2, upstairs because there were clouds and clouds of steam fog!
Construction Photos ~


Back bodice sewn to waist insert

Front bodice sewn to waist insert


Sides basted to insure they matched when sewn

Checking the basted back prior to adding the zipper

Dress shell finished

Lining for the dress

Adding the piping to the dress neckline

More pictures of me wearing the dress ~




Conclusion ~
This dress was a lot of work.  I put it down for a minute because it got to be overwhelming. Even now I'm on the fence about the dress. My daughter and I did two photo shoots to catch the dress just right. (As an aside, lighting in the house, in the evening, doesn't even begin to compare to outside shots anymore!)  I loved wearing the dress during the first photo shoot but hated the pictures. During the second one, I realized that the dress is a little too big. I was never going to make it as tight as the pattern depicts it but I went back in and took in the side seams 1/2" on either side in the waistline area.

See I'm trying to expand beyond the simple sheath silhouette that I love to wear. This dress was suppose to help me step outside my comfort zone. I'm not sure if it accomplished it's goal.  I keep thinking back to the fit and wearing ease of the Milly dress, this one just doesn't have that. However, I would like to try it in a ponte knit for fall, I'm thinking it will fall better than the linens I used for this one...we'll see!

...as always more later!





48 comments:

  1. Maybe the long journey to the finished product has taken some lister off the finished project for you, but I think it is beautiful! And, as always, it is so flattering and pretty on you.

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  2. Love this dress. I'm glad you saw it through to done. I think the curved waist inset really sets it apart. Hope some time in the magic closet changes your opinion of the dress. g

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  3. Very creative use of fabric - I just love your sensibilities about mixing fabrics! The last two posts have really shown your design abilities. The curved waist is a wonderful design element. As usual, very flattering!

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  4. It's beautiful! I too love the inset waist

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  5. I love the sleeves and the front view of this dress. But comfort means so much and I hope you will be happier with the kn@it version, though this dress is very pretty!!!!!

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  6. It's a beautiful dress. The fabrics choice and the colors coordinated perfectly. The curved waist design on the dress is a beautiful and flattering design on you. Beautiful dress.

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  7. Fabulous! and the shoes are perfect.
    Kathy

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  8. Your dress is beautiful. I really, really like it. The back has a really nice, flattering shape on you and I think the linen is gorgeous. I really like it, I hope you enjoy wearing it.

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  9. It's a lovely dress! I agree that it needs to come in at the waist - it will be even more flattering then. Good on you for stepping outside your comfort zone. I don't think we do that often enough.

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  10. I looked at the pics and thought, BEAUTIFUL! I got to the last pics and thought...It's a little too big for her...and then read your thoughts. Yay! Well, for me to be gaining a sewing eye!

    Looooove the fabric combinations. So much. And you've inspired me to try some piping. I'm going to add it to the waistband (I know, adventurous) of my pants.

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  11. CAROLYN. your dress, your hair, you're killing me!

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  12. Carolyn, your dress is beautiful! I really love these colors on you, and your pics are gorgeous!

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  13. It looks wonderful, Carolyn. I am very inspired to being my shirt with that Elliot Berman fabric!

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    1. Peter - I can't wait to see how you use this fabric for your shirt! I'm sure it's going to be awesome!

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  14. So pretty! I love the fabrics, the sleeves, the waist, the neckline - you look gorgeous. And too big is not too hard to fix (I hope).

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    1. Nope it isn't...I did it as soon as I took off the dress...but by then it was too dark to take more pictures. If I hadn't fixed it then, I would have put it in the closet and forgot about it. Maybe I can get another picture of it later.

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  15. You are so creative!! I would never have even looked at this pattern and seen its potential. I love the finished project and look forward to seeing the knit version.

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  16. I really, really like this! You always amaze me with your ability to think outside the box and make unusual, creative garments that are office appropriate. Outstanding work!

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  17. Such a beautiful dress. Well worth the effort. So very elegant!

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  18. It looks great! I really love the way you used the different fabrics together. I've got this pattern in my stash and am planning a ponte version in the fall too.

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  19. I really like what you have done with this dress. I'm also happy to see you accenting your waist! You have a classic hour glass figure, don't be afraid to work those curves!

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  20. You look fabulous in this dress !!

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  21. This dress is an absolute stunner. You look like a million dollars! I'm inspired by the level of work you did. Perfection.

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  22. Sometimes when we go outside our comfort zone it takes awhile to get used to the look. Kind of like my hair! But, it looks wonderful, yes maybe a bit big, which you've fixed, but the whole concept and the combination of fabrics is wonderful. It looks great on you.

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  23. OH, and the workmanship is gorgeous.

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  24. I think this dress looks fabulous on you and such pretty fabrics and the combination is perfect. I think a necklace would look good with the dress, too

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  25. This is an awesome dress, Carolyn. The curved waistband is quite flattering on you. I do agree that taking it in a bit will make it even more awesome. :)

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  26. Gorgeous dress and great use of the different fabrics.

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  27. Beautiful combination of fabrics! I feel like the epic-ness was worth it and with your minor fitting tweak it will be perfect. Maybe it's just a little post-project blues that's making you feel a bit so-so about it? I know I get the blahs after a big sew.

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  28. I love it love it love it! Love the waist detail and think it is very flattering on you- glad you took it in a bit! :)

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  29. I love the dress - gorgeous!

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  30. I really like this. I think the waist detail really makes it flattering!

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  31. Beautiful Carolyn! And the work you put into it! Wow. Very impressive. You inspire me. I hope taking in the sides makes you love this dress.

    I am wondering, have you considered hemming the sleeves to match the length of the border print of the dress? By no means am I an expert on these things, and of course we all have our personal preferences about these things, but when I look at the dress it seems it would look more balanced like that. it would also help highlight the color blocking. Although, that could be my sense of balance speaking more than anything else. Lol

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  32. The proportions you chose for the three fabrics are very flattering. I would keep the measurements of those divisions written down somewhere for future projects. Very pretty dress!

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  33. As I looked at the pictures ( I always do that first before reading) I thought this dress was more fitted that your normal style. I think it is incredibly flattering.

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  34. I've been a lurker for a while on your blog ... but this dress pushed me over the comment edge. L-O-V-E it!!! I think it is one of best you've sewn. The silhouette is flattering without going too far astray from your comfort zone. Love the mix of colors, textures, seam lines. Everything. Great job! I am a big fan of yours ... your blog is always the #1 read for me. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  35. I think this is one of the most flattering dresses I've seen in a long time. The curvy shpaed seams are brilliant!

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  36. Great colorblocking, and I really love the way the midriff comes to a point in the back!

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  37. I love this dress on you! The color blocking with the border print, waist piece and skirt is very elegant, and the waist inset gives a beautiful waistline!

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  38. I'm late to this party, but I really love this dress on you. You look really young and fashion forward in this dress! Seriously killer.

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