Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vogue 1397 - Tracy Reese dress on the bias

This recent project doesn't fall into any of the neat mental categories that my sewing usually does. It started life as an experiment, morphed into a possible wearable muslin and now is edging toward the "maybe I will wear it" category.

Interestingly I have almost no striped clothes in my wardrobe. The only items I have are a t-shirt and a dress made from the same piece of fabric. So why I decided to do a blog post for Craftsy on sewing with stripes is a bit of a mystery, perhaps deep down I wanted to make some striped things (I do have 3 different striped knit fabrics in the stash that I keep eyeing). This recent interest in stripes and then having just watched the Craftsy class Inside Vogue Patterns: Tracy Reese V1397 sent me zig-zagging down the bias stripe path. I do love bias stripes or garments where the designer has really thought about the placement of stripes to create an effect. And there are so many possibilities. As result I have a post today on the Craftsy blog about sewing bias with stripes so if you are interested in some how-to's check that out.

Now remember - this started out as an experiment so don't expect much. And if you scroll down you can see how it looks when worn.

V1397 Front view top and skirt bias stripes

Here is the pattern envelope. Which shows a dress.  Yep, another dress exactly what I don't need. I was mostly interested in playing around with the chevron effect so I changed it to a skirt which actually worked beautifully. It is meant to be fitted at the waist so I just added a waistband, the fit was very good using a size 12. 
Vogue1397 pattern env

Once I had the skirt finished I had all kinds of fabric leftover, and was starting to think more kindly about it. Might even wear it. But with what? I rummaged through all kinds of blue chambray cotton, then some pink or red, possibly a blouse, or knit top? But nothing matched the color and I happened to see this idea of a two-piece outfit with a waist length top and decided to try it. I actually made the top in horizontal stripes thinking it would be an interesting contrast but it was hideous. Number two is the version you see here. I used my favorite sheath dress pattern (New Look 6643), added a center front seam and angled away! 

V1397 bias stripe top and skirt as worn

The skirt pattern matching gave me quite a thrill - it came out so well. The top is a happy accident, in the sense that the seamed stripes match fine, that I knew as I cut it out. But it is the placement of the blue stripes that I really did not think about when I cut it out, yet it did land nicely with the stripes continuing the spacing from the top to bottom. Sometimes you just get lucky! 

The back view. I made a slight mistake on the center back of the top, neglecting to account for where the overlap would hit when the buttons were done so the pattern was off. In the end I made a change to one side, which brought the edge to the actual center, allowed the chevrons to match again, and put snaps there so there  are no buttons or zipper at all.  
V1397 back of top and skirt 2 bias stripe

And a look at the back on me. Not on my skinny long-torso-ed dress form. So the top is a bit longer. The skirt hem is left raw which is very liberating! That is what is specified in the pattern, although I was thinking, hmm, that is weird and I am not gonna do it. But I did, and it looks good (won't ravel, on the bias).

V1397 Bias stripe top and skirt back view as worn

Two seersucker items in a row - how about that? Must be summer... OK, now I will tell you the scoop on this fabric and you can let me know if it is crazy, weird, or fun. I bought it at this home-dec fabric shop because I needed around 5 yards to experiment with and I didn't feel like breaking the bank on a maybe project. But $ 3.00/yard seemed about right. And it is a cotton, kind of a medium weight. would also work for a jacket. Not really my color, but it is growing on me. You can see the color better in this picture. 

Back of top bias stripe

V1397 bias stripe skirt front

I am only showing you the last dorky photo so you can see the panels and the chevron effect :) Also there are pockets in the front seams (instead of the side seams) which is kind of nice. I was going to leave them off but in the scheme of things doing the pockets took no time at all so I talked my lazy self into doing them. Bonus sneek peek in this photo of a work in progress, a new to me indy pattern company, any guesses?

waistband bias stripe

bias stripe skirt view V1397

No, I am not taking up square dancing in my back yard. Although have you ever been to a square dance? I did go to one in college which actually was a blast. (theme parties were very big - there is not time to list the number of theme events I went to but there was a lot of speed sewing. Toga party, anyone? although that takes the least sewing, yay!) 

Before I forget, after this was all finished I saw this dress from the recent couture collections. Ok I am not a Parisian model but diagonal stripes are a thing. This one is fantastic. Perhaps I need a petticoat.

G Valli fall 2014

So I am done with stripes for the time being...I think. I do have some stripe-adjacent fabrics in the queue which should if things go as planned will be sewn up soon. 

Up next, something simple. After all it's summer, time to take it easy or so the thermometer has been telling me.
So this one - wearable or not? let me know. 

Happy sewing, Beth 


  1. Oh, very wearable. It looks great on. The fabric looks really nice and the colours on the close up look really nice.
    I hope you do wear it, the chevrons look very interesting (in a good way!).

  2. I think it looks fabulous, and YES, you should wear it!

  3. I like it. The chevrons are perfect! But, I do think it's funny that you essentially ended up with something that looks like a dress, which you were trying to avoid when you started!

  4. That is such a fun outfit! ! I hope you wear it. It looks very nice on you. Your garments are always perfection but it really shows here. The theme party I remember best from college was our "Like a Virgin" party. We all wore white dresses. I sewed mine.

  5. Cute look on you the stripe placements. Perfect for summer.

  6. It's really cute! And totally wearable. In fact, I think it's quite on trend with the whole split dress/midriff showing being popular now. Except yours is actually wearable because really, who can pull off showing a midriff?! Not me!

  7. oh, most certainly wearable! just lovely!

  8. Yes, I'm always up for a petticoat with a full skirt. I love your striped project.

    I grew up on a ranch, so had lots of square dancing during my youth, though I never owned a proper square dancing dress (talk about petticoats). My daughter thinks it's hilarious to hear about the barn dances.

  9. I really think it looks nice on you, the chevron is so current and you did a great job with placement.

  10. Wear it! It looks so summery. Love it.

  11. I love this. The pattern, the print, its wonderful on you!!

  12. I love this dress, it looks lovely on you!

  13. Yes, yes, it is definitely wearable. Such a perfect fabric and style for summer!

  14. Definitely wearable! Wonderful for summer.

  15. That's really amazing! You made the dress all by yourself!
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  16. Love it! Perfect for summer :)

  17. Very wearable. Such a great job with the stripes and matching.
    Met my husband through a square dance team from our county 4-H in upstate NY, getting ready to compete at the NY State Fair, and later dancing at the World's Fair in NY on our county's day. Good memories. We didn't have true square dance dresses--just each sewed dresses with fitted tops and full skirts (and wore crinolines, but not as many as for 'real' square dancing). Enjoy your outfit.

  18. Really nicely done stripes. I like the effect of a skirt with a top. Very summer.

  19. Beth, Great looking summer dress! It fits you to a "T".

  20. This turned out fabulous! I really like the matching top. So even if you were not sure where the project might lead from the beginning, you definitely made yourself a great outfit - and I bet you will find and/or make another matching top to go back to the skirt . . . because chevrons like that need to be worn! That top would look great paired with some shorts, too!

  21. This turned out great! I loved the skirt on you, and the matching top is just perfect. Great job!

  22. Great job! I love seeing your makes, you match up and line up things so well. Also, I read a book of vintage sewing patterns and found a thing called a two-piece dress -- at the time, they only wore those pieces together (I'm assuming), so your two piece here reminds me of that.

  23. It works great on you! It's a little different from the silhouette you usually like, but I think it looks really good.

  24. Beautiful! Can I ask where you purchased your material from?

    1. I bought the fabric at a home decorating fabric discount store called Home Fabrics.

  25. Um, this is FABULOUS. Seriously inspirational work!!

  26. This is fantastic! So pretty and summery, and perfectly executed! Inspiring!