Completed: Vogue 1395, Modified!

3 Jun

I reckon I have time for one last post before I leave! 😛

Plaid Silk V1395

May this dress be forever known as one of the bitchiest I’ve ever sewn. Sewing silk crepe is a challenge enough of it’s own – but throwing plaid into the mix? I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought this fabric (probably something like, “Ooh! Plaid silk crepe! My favorites! lololol”), but the fact that I not only sewed it up but actually finished the dang project is something of a miracle for me. It certainly didn’t give me an easy time.

Plaid Silk V1395

The pattern I used is Vogue 1395, which is a Rebecca Taylor design from last summer. I’ve made the pattern before in cherry printed silk crepe, and it’s one of my favorite summer dresses. It’s SUPER comfy, but still pretty cute! I knew I wanted to make a second one, but I wanted to try to figure out a way to make it without the back overlay. I love the back overlay, but it can shift over the course of the day and kind of make the arm holes hang weird. Plus, I wanted to improve on my first version (namely, the low arm holes that had to be emergency-raised and thus the seams are pretty wonky).

Plaid Silk V1395

Plaid Silk V1395

First, my pattern modifications. Remembering those awful armholes, I shortened the depth by a good 1.5″ or so. I actually wanted to shorten them more, but I was afraid I’d really fuck up the pattern, so I erred on the side of less. This gives the arm holes a much better depth (much more suited to my petite proportions), although you can still see a tiny bit of bra if I move a certain way. Ah, c’est la vie.

I kept the front bodice the same (other than the arm holes). I re-traced the back bodice and copied the shoulder width from the overlay to the shoulder area of my new back bodice (the OG back bodice in the pattern has narrow shoulders, and the overlay matches the front piece. This probably doesn’t make sense if you haven’t seen the pattern pieces). I redrew the bottom armscye to have a little curve, similar to the front (the overlay also doesn’t have that – it just goes straight, since it’s supposed to pull across to the front). Aaaaand that’s about it! Pretty easy modifications.

Plaid Silk V1395

Sewing up the actual pattern – again, with modifications, since I was omitting the overlay, as well as the skirt lining – was simple. Sewed the front and back together at the shoulders and side seams, added the bias binding for the necklines and arm holes, and then sewed the front closed. I sewed the skirt side seams, attached the skirt to the bodice, and then folded up the seam allowance and topstitched it down to create a casing for the elastic waist. The skirt has a simple rolled hem, and all the interior seams are french seams. Because of the bias binding, there’s quite a bit of topstitching on this dress, which I really like.

Sewing – and cutting, for that matter – silk crepe actually isn’t that difficult. Of course, it’s marginally harder than sewing, say, quilting cotton, but it’s not this terrible beast that you have to wrangle and beg and plead with. The spongey texture of the crepe gives the silk something to grab onto, so it doesn’t really shift much while sewing. It can be a little floaty when you’re trying to cut it, but I just make sure my table has enough space to hold the whole yardage and that helps a lot. You’ll want to use a sharp, new needle for sewing, and silk pins for pinning.

Plaid Silk V1395

What gave me the most trouble with this damn dress was the fact that it’s a plaid fabric. Cutting was a NIGHTMARE – like I said, silk crepe is sorta shifty at best, but as long as you’re staying on grain and getting the pattern pieces straight, it’s not too bad. Throw in strong horizontal lines and some plaid that has to match, and then it becomes an epic journey. I gave up on trying to match the plaid perfectly, and instead just focused on getting the lines to match across the seamlines. This was something I also had to focus on while sewing – again, a little shifting and/or growing is ok when you’re sewing a solid color or a busy print, but for these strong lines, you have to pay attention to make sure everything matches up at the seams. I pinned the shit out of things and used a walking foot while sewing, but man, thank god there are only a handful of seams in this dress. Otherwise, I might have ended up flipping a table over out of sheer rage.

Overall, though, everything matches up pretty well! The center front seam is a bit unfortunate looking with how the plaids lined up – but whatever. The back bodice does not quite match the back skirt – the lines are unbroken, but they’re the wrong lines (whoops). The elastic waist really helps to hide that, though, and at least it’s not at the front! The shoulder seams don’t match at all, but that’s the nature of the beast this pattern. Ya gotta pick your battles.

Plaid Silk V1395

Plaid Silk V1395

When I finished the dress, I was a little underwhelmed with how it looked on me – I wasn’t a fan of how the bodice bloused over the elastic (the overlay ties over it and flattens things, but since I didn’t have the overlay, I had the blousiness). Belts are usually my solution for this, but those looked strange, too. So I made a little self-fabric tie, out of my remaining scraps. The dimensions are as much as I could get away with from the scraps. I just sewed a tube with bias ends and turned it right side out.

I also didn’t like the length, so I cut it REALLY short. Go ahead, judge me 😛

Close-up shots:

Plaid Silk V1395

Plaid Silk V1395

Plaid Silk V1395

Final thoughts of this dress – love it, was totally worth the effort. The plaid matching, while not perfect, is good enough for me. I really love this silk print and I’m glad I pushed through to finish, although I don’t think I’ll be picking up any more plaid silk crepe anytime soon. Sewing this pattern made me want another of the unmodified version, though, so I made one last night – and it turned out beeeeyoutiful! You can see the Instagram peek here. Stay tuned in a couple weeks for that blog post, I guess!

I took these pictures in the woods because the sun was SUPER bright, and it’s awesome how much coverage the trees give! This is right outside my door, too. Amelia was sitting at the screen, complaining at me. The woods surrounding our house are on a bit of an incline, hence the slight bobble-head vibe I’m throwing here. Also, in case you were wondering and/or freaking out – I’m not allergic to poison ivy 🙂 haha 🙂 I don’t think any shows in these photos, but it’s aaaalll over the place back there!

Plaid Silk V1395

With all that being said, I’m taking a blog sabbatical for the next couple of weeks! My trip to Peru leaves tomorrow afternoon, and we will be gone through 6/18. I am not sure if I will have internet access while I’m away – definitely will be off for at least a week while I’m in Iquitos, because there’s no reception where I’m staying – but I’m not bringing my computer, so I can’t really answer emails. Fair warning in advance if you try to email me or holler with a question, because it’ll probably go unanswered the whole time I’m gone! I’m looking forward to spending some time unplugged and exploring another continent with my bestie, though!

See y’all in a couple of weeks!


39 Responses to “Completed: Vogue 1395, Modified!”

  1. Mary Lewis, YarnTangler June 3, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    I think you have made a lovely job of the dress and I hope you have a wonderful time in Peru x

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to this trip 😀 eee!

  2. Connie June 3, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    I love this dress and I think you did a great job matching the plaid, that was actually my first thought when I saw it.

  3. shesewsswell June 3, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Will you bring this dress on your travels?? As for the sewing silk nightmare…. I was wondering if hand basting instead of so much pinning? While it may seem like a lot more work, it may save time in the end. Regardless, my stripes match because of your tutorial and I like to think it makes the world a better place. 🙂 Enjoy your travels!!! Now I also want to know if the no caffeine has anything to do with travel…. Bon Voyage!

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      No, the dress will be staying home, along with all my other beautiful silks and sundresses 🙂 Where we are staying in Iquitos is basically in the jungle, so it’s not really a good place for this kind of clothing – and in Lima (the other place we are staying), it’s technically winter, so the high is around 70* (which for me, is WAY too cold to be wearing a sundress!). Almost my entire wardrobe is handmade, but it’s boring jeans and tshirts and shorts 🙂

      In regards to hand basting vs pinning – that might work for some people, but I find that as long as I cut my fabric correctly and use a walking foot when sewing, I don’t get a lot of shifting. Crepe has that nice spongey texture, which also helps!

  4. tinygoldenpins June 3, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    I think this fabric is worth having a hard time over. The blues just wouldn’t be that deep on anything but silk. And, weird thing, you can see the blue in your eyes even on these tiny little photos! Silk is bee-yoo-ti-ful! Nice job!

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      You’re absolutely right. This fabric really shines as a silk. And i didn’t even notice that about my eyes, how fun! 🙂

  5. Inclement June 3, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Hope you have a great time on your trip! Are you leaving your new baby (dress) behind, or taking her with you? 😀

    (Amelia dear, MOMMY WILL BE BACK. Save up all your purrs! And please be nice to people while she’s gone!)

    (Oh, and how dare poison ivy ruin such lovely woods. I would be spitting mad.)

    • Inclement June 3, 2015 at 10:11 am #

      I see SheSewsWell already asked that – oops – this is what happens when you type a comment & then forget it’s sitting there unsubmitted while you do ten other things.

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      Dress is staying behind! I answered in the first comment, but in a nutshell, it’s not really appropriate for the climate we’ll be experiencing 🙂

      Amelia has Landon (her one true love!)(no, seriously, she loooooooves her some Landon haha) all to herself while I’m gone, which I’m sure she’ll be thrilled. I wonder if she’ll even miss me at all 😉 haha

      The poison ivy doesn’t bother me, but then again – I’m not allergic to it! 😛 lol

  6. zilredloh June 3, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Have an awsome vacation! 😀 This plaid dress is amazing also. Still not sure how you managed to line up those plaids, what a feat.

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      2 hours worth of cutting, that’s how! 😛 haha!

  7. Charlotte June 3, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Love it – congrats on conquering that plaid. Now go have an amazing time in Peru!!!!

  8. feministgina June 3, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Having sewn my first silk crepe dress a couple months ago, I am really impressed that you got *anything* to match up! I found that silk crepe wasn’t that hard to sew with, but matching a pattern would have upped the difficulty level considerably. The biggest problem I had was binding my armholes because silk crepe bias strips are awful. Your binding looks so great that I want to know your secret! I’m so jealous of your Peru trip and I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

      Giiiirl, I just use the same method I always use for binding – I wrote about it in this post. We sew binding this way at Elizabeth Suzann – in some of the crankiest, slipperist silks, no less – and it’s really foolproof and looks beautiful. You should try it!

  9. Britney June 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    It’s so pretty!!! And bless you for doing so amazing with the plaid silk crepe. It looks like a dream to wear!!

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      Thank you! it is pretty dreamy – nothing like swishing around in some glorious silks to make you feel like royalty 😉

      • Britney June 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

        I don’t know why but I haven’t seen in silky fabrics in a while, and I used to only want to see those! I guess maybe cause her in Las Vegas, Nevada it’s so hot and dry that they are always super static-y
        Maybe I need to revisit silks 😉

  10. Trice June 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Just popping in from hiding… This is really cute and it looks like it is a comfy to wear. *Goes back in hiding*

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      Thank you, Trice! Also – I miss you! ♥

      • Trice June 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

        Aww, I miss you too *big hug*

  11. Lori June 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Very cute dress, sorry it was such a pain but you have a gorgeous finished garment. Have a great vacation.

  12. Michelle Rivera (@agirlastitch) June 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    The dress is amazing- I love the length- I can’t even imagine it longer it looks so good. I’ll miss you, have fun! Michelle

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      You know I love my short dresses 😛 Yay! I’ll miss you too, can’t wait to tell y’all at knitting aaaall about my adventures when I get back 😀

  13. sewbusylizzy June 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    This is the best kind of insane sewing. Crazy days taking on silk plaid but you nailed it. I saw the other one you made on IG and it’s gorgeous. Have an amazing trip!

    • LLADYBIRD June 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      It’s insane but it’s totally worth it in the end!! 😀

  14. Chie (@vivatveritas) June 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Such a cute dress! I love the fabric, though I can’t imagine how hard it was to handle silk crape and plaid combination! I tend to avoid plaid all together! Have fun in Peru:)

    • LLADYBIRD June 4, 2015 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you! It definitely tested my patience, but I guess sometimes we need a little challenge every now & again 🙂

  15. ellegeemakes June 4, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    So cute! Love the plaid – – so worth the amazing effort 🙂 I made this dress last year and also found the sleeves/armholes to be off and struggled to get it right. I thought it was just me, a bit comforting to know its not just that I have strangely positioned arms. Your beautiful dress makes me want to try this pattern again.

    • LLADYBIRD June 4, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Oh yeah, there was definitely something wack about those arm holes. The proportions were REALLY off! And no, you don’t have strangely positioned arms… it’s totally the pattern 🙂 I think you should make the adjustment and try it again, because other than that it’s a great pattern!

  16. Krystina June 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Where is the silk from? It’s so gorgeous!! And the dress is gorgeous!

  17. Melissa June 6, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    Very cute dress! The plaid matching looks pretty good in my book and I love the modifications. I have this pattern in my queue, I’ll have to keep the armhole thing in mind. Have fun on your trip!

  18. Eryn S. June 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Damn good job, there young lady! I see why you bought that fabric, it’s hypnotizing. I’d have bought it too, then took it back home and look at it like wtf was I thinking?! Enjoy your trip and most of all enjoy the time disconnected from the Internet!

  19. jantiki June 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Very Nice, You have a lot more patience than I would ever have!

  20. Cecilia June 19, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Have a great time in Peru. I totally like the dress, and the color. Thanks for sharing.


  1. Completed: Hand-Dyed Blue Silk Vogue 1395 | LLADYBIRD - July 24, 2015

    […] Vogue 1395. First, I made you up in cherries, and it was good. Then, I modified the shit out of you and made you up in silk plaid gingham, and it was good. And now, we’ve come full circle back to square one. And that’s good, […]

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