work in progress: vogue 1174

17 Jun

sooo i have no idea who cynthia steffe is, but apparently she is a big-shot designer who sells her digs @ nordstrom’s for like $345:
and then sells the rights to vogue for pattern-making!
vogue 1174- fortunately, the took a hint with that michael kors styling disaster and this one actually looks really nice.

i have been working on this pattern since monday and i’m pretty close to being finished. i don’t even know why i have been making this pattern – i look awful in strapless dresses. at any rate, there are several techniques here that i wanted to try out – boning, inner foundation (like, a lightweight corset), piping, etc – so here i am. the pattern is not nearly as advanced as i expected it to be, although i am about to start working on the inner guts (aka the foundation and boning) tonight, so i may end up changing my mind 😉 at any rate, the instructions are fairly straight-forward. the only problem i’ve been having is with the fitting. even with a muslin, the fitting has been a total bear 😦

the pattern calls for brocade or damask. i did go to the fabric store and i did diligently search for something suitable, but in my opinion brocade = ~asian inspired~ shiny prints; and damask = curtains. i like the fabrics they used on both the pattern envelope and the RTW version, but of course they don’t sell anything like that to real people.

at any rate, i ended up getting some nice cotton sateen in a similar weight, and now i am making a sailor-inspired dress.

i know i said this pattern is fairly enough and straight-forward, but HOLY HELL i have never ripped out so many seams as i have with this pattern! i don’t even think it is vogue’s fault, minus the fact that there are twenty-seven pieces to the dress. i think i am just incompetent and i should not drink wine while i am sewing. for every 3 seams i sew, one gets ripped out.

an example:
i finished the bodice front and i was super proud of myself.
then i realized i forgot to put in the piping at the midriff.

i had to rip ALL those seams and re-insert. thank god i hadn’t dropped in the lining yet.
the piping was really easy to insert… the hardest part is getting your stitches close enough so that everything lies flush with the seams (but not sewn unevenly). i don’t have a piping foot, which kind of sucks, but i figured out that i can use my invisible zipper foot with very satisfactory results.

speaking of the lining, i’m not really sure why, but i keep getting pattern instructions that tell me to stick in the lining and then hand slipstitch it to the zipper. i think that looks kind of unfinished – although i will be the first to admit that my slipstitching looks like crap anyway. i have been inserting the lining in a way that it is machine-stitched to the zipper from the inside, so no stitching is visible from the outside. i’ve had a few people ask me how i do it, and it is kind of hard to explain but i took a few pictures last night (sorry they are so dark, it was pretty late :\):


what you want to do is pin your lining to the zipper tape/seam allowance wrong sides together. you will end up with the lining on the outside of the dress, wrong side out.

then sew it together using a regular zipper foot, making sure to catch only the seam allowance. i sew with my foot against the edge of the teeth; it leaves about 1/8″ or so space between the stitching and the teeth so that the lining doesn’t catch when i’m trying to zip the thing up.
then you flip it right side out…
et voila!

so here is where i am at right now:
i have a dress shell
(the stiff pleats won’t be like that in the finished dress – they are basted closed for now)

with lining – and yes, i used rayon 😉

i started sewing the foundation last night; hopefully i will be able to finish that tonight! doesn’t it look weird? it is horsehair interfacing.
after the foundation, there is top facing, boning, the waist stay, and standing hemming/hook and eye. then i will be done!

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