Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer of the Dress - No. 8

I originally titled this post "Border Prints" but then I realized that this is like the 8th dress I have made this summer, I thought this title was more appropriate.

For this dress I am revisiting Vogue 9220 and using one of the border prints in my collection to make it. Personally, I love border prints. Whenever I find an interesting one in a color and print that I like, I buy it. No hesitations, no questions, just slap down that credit card for as many yards as I can afford! Border prints usually linger in my fabric collection longer than most other fabrics because it always needs the perfect pattern to showcase its beauty.

I found this embroidered rayon/linen blend at Fashion Fabrics Club last spring. FFC had it in several colorways but I really liked this sage and a navy version. The fabric is 60" wide with an embroidered garden print at the selvege. I purchased 4 yards of this fabric and put it away to wait for inspiration to strike.

After carting around the latest Sew Stylish magazine last week, there was one idea that keep coming back to me...the blouse with the tie. I loved the fact that the Editors took the bodice top and made it into a blouse and then made several modifications to the blouse neckline. You would think that this would inspire me to make a blouse (and I probably will make that blouse when the pattern arrives in the mail) but mostly I kept seeing Vogue 9220 with the ties at the neckline. I went through various sleeve modifications in my mind and had not settled on a definitive sleeve treatment by the time I sat down to work on this dress. I did cut out sleeves but as you can see I never used them.

I made several changes to the pattern to get this dress:

1. Since the neckline is pretty deep, I omitted the center back zipper. Okay, I did try "The Ladybug dress" on first to make sure the dress would go over my head without a problem! *smile*

2. The entire dress is cut on the cross grain and the pattern pieces were carefully laid out to take full advantage of the embroidered border print.

3. I added the tie by using a pattern piece from Vogue 8118 which I made last summer. However, I made two changes to the tie pattern piece...first, I lengthened the pattern piece by three inches. And then I folded the pattern piece in half and after pinning it down to the fabric added another inch to the width. This did not make it as wide as the original pattern piece but it wasn't as thin as it would have been just folded in half. So why did I even bother to change the tie piece? Because I wasn't happy with the tie on the original blouse. It is a little large and floppy at the neckline when I wear the blouse and I didn't want to duplicate that with this dress.

4. The tie was attached to the back neckline of the dress matching center seams. The part of the seam that wasn't encased in the tie was pressed, clipped and top stitched.

5. Originally I was going to add sleeves to the dress but when I tried it on I really liked it sleeveless. I own a lacy lilac cardigan sweater that I made several years ago that coordinates with the dress so I will wear that with it when the air conditioning is overwhelming.
6. The hem is not hand or machine stitched. I did a sample on a scrap but the hand stitching and the machine stitching affected the border print so I steamed in some Stitch Witchery (industrial strength!) for the hem. It actually makes the hem stiffer and weights it.

So this is my nod to pattern modification as inspired by the Fall 2007 issue of Sew Stylish!


  1. Lovely! Very fresh and great use of the pattern and the border print.

  2. Border prints always look far more RTW to me. You dress is a great way to round out the summer.

    And I went back to Joann's yesterday looking for this Sew Stylish. It was not to be found. I'll check B&N this week I suppose.

    I'll have to try the Stitch Witchery trick!

  3. Looks fantastic on you! Love that print!

  4. Now that ties at the neck are back in vogue, I have been wanting to create something with them. Your beautiful dress may be just the inspiration I need to creat a tie-neck garment of my own!

    P.S. It's nice to see you found your sewing mojo again and put it to good use. Keep 'em comin'!

  5. Delurking to say that I LOVE it!

    You are so talented and it is a pleasure to see what you create.

  6. love the dress. gotta learn how to sew!!!

  7. Ooh la la! Looks fabulous! A good border print is always something special.

  8. Beautiful dress! I love, love, love that fabric! It's very stylish and looks really polished!

  9. I love the dress. It is so styling and making it sleeveless sets of the summery feel of the fabric too. I am also a border print fanatic. The problem is that someone else is always getting to them before me. Now I wonder who that could be? ;)

  10. Beautiful and feminine! The treat of the border print is perfect - the dress showcases it and doesn't put it in the background. I love the way the border shows up on the ties ends, too.

  11. Beautiful fabric and a great dress!

  12. I really like the effect this border print makes with this dress! It is beautifully understated. It looks like it will be a great addition to your business wardrobe.


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