Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy ! Vogue 8944 Color-Blocked dress with pattern fitting details

Happy! just like that song that is stuck in my head.  A great song and a dress that I am so happy with. Sometimes the fabric, color, and style combine to make something that I really feel great about. I have already worn this once and I know it will get a lot of outings. Even though it is quite memorable.

Pink black dress front2

Both fabrics are wool crepe. I love wool crepe! While it doesn't stretch it has a lot of body, tailors beautifully and the colors available are fantastic. Don't be afraid to use it for any season. Here is a older post showing a dress I made ages ago in wool crepe that I often wear in the summer.
The pink fabric is something I purchased at a sewing guild sale, maybe paid $ 3 for two yards. It had a smattering of small holes but they were near the edge so I could cut around them.  The black is a leftover piece from this dress and the pink lining I bought ages ago at a garage sale. (also used the pink lining for this jacket) and I still have more. Score! Perhaps my delight in this dress is influenced by the fact that I spent so little. But between us sewers - you know that is half the fun sometimes.

If you think this simple dress was just a cut and sew...Nope.  A very expert sewer recently remarked that the simplest things often take the most adjustment because they need to fit perfectly and I agree. Not to discourage you, the adjustments were not monumental, just a lot for a simple design.

Here is the photo from the Vogue website when the pattern came out, and the pattern envelope.

V8944V8944 pattern env
I am not crazy about the fit on the model. or it could be the way she is standing, but perhaps this dress is exhibiting my nemesis - excess back bodice length. 
Here is a look at it on my dress form. I chose not to add a third color because a) I didn't have any other small pieces of wool crepe that complemented and b) a sewing group I belong to was having the end of the year lunch with the theme of "two" or "twice". So I figured fabric twice used, in two colors. 

pink black dress side front

Ok, let's talk about fitting. Based on my experience with another Vogue pattern last year (V1353), I thought that the front might not fit exactly as I wanted it to right out of the envelope. That seaming could be problemmatic so I did make a muslin of the bodice portion. Maybe I am shrinking in height but lately everything seems too long in the neck and shoulders, or too wide and gaping. For dresses with a fitted neckline I should probably start with a size 8 or 10 pattern and then alter the body for circumference but I am too lazy and either way I would be doing a lot of fitting so I will stick with a 12 to start and go from there. 
Here is the back bodice piece from my finished muslin so you can see the majority of alterations I did to this pattern. The front has the equivalent changes (reshape armhole, pull up at shoulders, raise underarm, take in at sides)

bodice back

So kind of a lot for a dress with just 4 pattern pieces. Here is the bodice upper front piece, most of the changes mirror the back bodice piece, but I did give more room across that center horizontal seam, sewing at 3/8" tapering to the normal 5/8" at the side. That gave a bit more length across the front bodice although I did raise the skirt waist there just a little bit. I could probably take it in another 1 inch at the waist, but it felt fine when I wore it the other day so I will skip that. A very fitted waist can look good standing up but after sitting a bit there are too many creases for my liking.

upper front

My main pet peeve with patterns that have a sleeveless and sleeved version is that the armhole is so clunky in the sleeveless version. I always reshape it, usually moving it in as I did here. Even though I pulled it up at the shoulders note that I raised the underarm by 1/2".  Kind of a good item to do as a general rule, if it makes the armhole too high them you can lop it off but it is often needed.  By the way, no changes in the skirt. 
Lest you think I never have a boo boo I have one thing I need to fix. I was so careful with the zipper so that the color portions meet perfectly at the center but the alignment is off by just a few millimeters. And it will make me crazy. So I wore it on Monday but now I will take that portion apart and fix it.  Here is the lining, which I always make a smidge bigger than the dress (about one inch) just or comfort and movement. So it looks a bit droopy. I had to do the color block on the lining as well since it might show just a tiny bit on the edge if I had done all black or all pink. 

pink black back of dresspink black lining

More sewing happiness.  This is one of my favorite colors.

Pink and black dress

Happy Mother's day weekend and sewing happiness to all,  

Beth


Today's SunnyGal garden photo - it has to be this one. I get mixed up on my rose names, and this one is possibly called Lipstick which seems like a great name. Luscious.

Lipstick rose Apr 2014

24 comments:

  1. Stunning dress! I think you and I must have identical bodies because I nearly always have to fiddle about with any bodice patterns but it's worth it for a great fit and you've nailed it with this one. Colour block combo is fab too. I'm going to try and find this pattern if you don't mind me copying!

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  2. It looks great, I must try wool crepe sometimes. How do you do the fitting? Can you do it yourself or do you have to have help?

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  3. Super fit and dynamic colors. Isn't is amazing what alterations can do for a basic pattern to make it fit sooo much better! So much thought has gone into the dress and lining and it shows!!!

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  4. A lovely stylish dress that fits you perfectly. Thank you for the detailed adjustments.

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  5. Very pretty! I'm a fan of all-season wool myself, both crepe and jersey.

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  6. It's beautiful! The simplicity and the elegance of it are wonderful on you.

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  7. Great job Beth! I think I recognize those alterations! :) Kate

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  8. Your alterations and patience in making a muslin first totally paid off! It's a beautifully fitted dress and the colors are perfect.

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  9. Simple elegance - and the basics are just stunning when well executed. Your comment that you make the lining a touch bigger was interesting. I've always been nervous about linings, but this is the summer I plan to grit my teeth and get over that. It has seemed to me that since going around the human body forms a tube of cloth, that two layers of cloth would by necessity need the outer layer to be a slight bit bigger than the inner layer. Therefore, if the inner lining was cut the same size as the outer fashion fabric you would already have some built-in ease. From what you wrote, that isn't true enough - you always build in extra ease in the lining? I had no idea. Ok then. It doesn't start sticking out from places if there is extra like that? I suppose I sound a bit of a simpleton, but that just surprised me and I'm trying to learn about linings so I figured I'd ask an expert! If only I could come to class with you, but it simply can't happen right now.

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  10. Simply superb! I can see why this beautiful dress makes you so happy! I always think of wool crepe a being a fall/winter fabric, but as its natural and breathable and fairly light , I can see its use for warmer weather.

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  11. Wow! This looks so great on you! How lovely!

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  12. Gorgeous dress. Crepe has such beautiful drape for that pattern. Beautiful!

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  13. this dress look great on you! simple shapes done well are almost always the best. and i love the idea of adding extra ease to the lining--i have more than once been thwarted by a lining with no "give" making a dress uncomfortable. is this something you add at the side seams only?

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  14. This is absolutely gorgeous! I will remember to check for these fitting items because this dress is on my to sew list!

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  15. Beautiful dress, I like the two colors.

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  16. Beautiful dress -- great color on you and I love wool crepe too! For sleeveless styles, I also take out extra ease at the armhole/side seam for a cleaner fit.

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  17. Such a pretty dress on you - and it fits so well! I'd love to see this in a sheath dress - bet it would be beautiful. Love your color combo :) Enjoy!

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  18. Great dress, I really like the placement of the colourblocking and the colours look good together too.

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  19. Lovely dress on you. Congrats! and what a beautiful garden!

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  20. Happy I am not the only on raising armholes! thanks for sharing the details. The dress is great

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  21. What a gorgeous dress Beth! and you look amazing in this colour. And you match that lovely rose perfectly!

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  22. Love this dress on you Beth! The color is beautiful and I love all of the details including the back view! Great work and you wear it well too!

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