Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vogue 7433 - A Vintage Inspired Dress

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 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

Construction Changes:
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 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 was invaluable to me during the last two days as I fumbled around with my new dress! *smile*


  1. Nice Dress Carolyn. Amazingly I started a dress before I went on vacation (didn't finish it so it wasn't able to make the trip with me). The dress I'm making also has a v neckline, but the pattern did not include an insert. I had seen a friend wearing a similar RTW dress and ask if I could see how the insert was put in. The way I put the insert in is very similar to what you did, except my insert is sagging a little bit even but now I see how to take that sag out by attaching it to the shoulder seam with twill tape. Thanks - you helped me again!

  2. Very pretty dress, I like your changes, you did a great job fumbling through it!

  3. Very nice! I love the color on you!

  4. Beautiful dress! Very nice on!

  5. That color looks good on you!
    And I have ipod I'm going to get one one of these days. lol

  6. Beautiful dress! That color is so flattering on you!

  7. that's an absolutely gorgeous dress, such a lovely colour and as always your embellishment with the contrasting fabric are just so right. I can't believe how much detail you put into your garments, but it certainly shows in the finished items

  8. Very nice dress and a very flattering colour. It matches your ipod, too.

  9. Beautiful dress, that color suits you. And the extra "cami" insert is a very good idea.

  10. Good work!! The dress is really pretty awesome. Keep on the good work.

  11. I love the insert. I've been wanting to make a dress with an insert as well. This dress:
    has been in my lookbook for quite some time. It's a similar concept to yours.

  12. It's beautiful! I love the color and the contrasting details. Great work!

  13. What a beautiful creation! And this reminds me that I have this same fabric in my stash! (cotton/linen blend in this same color!).

  14. The best "fumble around" dress is the one that in the end, no one can tell there was any fumbling at all! Beautiful colour, great silhouette on you, this is certainly a success!

  15. The finished product is beautiful! The color is great on you and the flair of the skirt extremely flattering.

  16. It may have taken a whole lot of fumbling around, but it's a great dress and definitely worth a TNT - make it again!!

  17. Fumble, schmumble. That is one awesome-looking dress! I love the contrast details. You have such a great knack for these things. Do you suppose if I keep reading your blog faithfully, some of it will rub off on me?

  18. Wow, it turned out great! It's not fumbling, either, it's a learning experience. Either you'll have a new technique or you'll now know what not to do.

    For future reference, the inset on the top was attached before the side seams were sewn and before the sleeves were inserted. That way the insert is caught in those seams for added stability.

  19. I love that Vogue 6012 pattern and the orange dress on you looks great!

  20. Too Cute. I will definitely try the sleeve treatment someday.

  21. I love this dress, the colors are great! Love the Bose iPod dockying system. I can hear the sounds from VA.

  22. That Vogue is one I've used a few times, because the style is so versatile. I love the idea that it grew into a dress, and a beautiful one at that! What a great color!


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