Sunday, October 4, 2009

No Jewelry Required - Vogue 8594 dress

I had a business trip to Chicago earlier this week. It was my first visit to this city and I really enjoyed it. It had big city atmosphere and activities, but it was clean, with friendly people. Granted I saw a very small section, and from watching the local news, I know that things aren’t as nice in other areas of the city. All the direct flights from Richmond to Chicago leave early in the morning, so I had some time to kill before the conference kickoff reception that evening. I had planned to do some cultural stuff and fabric shopping. I took a taxi to the Chicago Art Institute and spent 3 hours walking around the exhibits. It was really exciting to see paintings and sculptures that I had only seen before in books, in person and up close. American Gothic, Monet’s Water Lilies, Mary Cassatt’s The Child's Bath,








Van Gogh, Frederick Remington’s paintings and sculptures, so on. The rest of the afternoon I had planned on fabric shopping at Vogue Fabrics and Fishman’s Fabrics. Some of the fabric stores often mentioned as the source of the lovely fabrics used by Chicago sewing blogger Cennetta . But my guilt over the amount of fabric I have recently purchased made me reconsider. Instead, it being a beautiful day, I decided to walk up N. Michigan Ave to my hotel, about 13 blocks , stopping in the stores and parks along the way. I did some snoop shopping in the designer clothes departments of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom's for ideas to use up my fabric stash. Gorgeous garments! Paralyzing prices! Tired from all the walking, I finally reached my hotel late in the afternoon. My hotel room was on the 33rd floor of a building with a clear view of the lake, two blocks away. A strong wind was whistling against the window, and I could hear the creaks and cracks as the building flexed in the wind. It reminded me of the sounds I listened to the night that Hurricane Isabel roared through Richmond. I know the wind is not unusual in Chicago, nor I guess, is an out of town guest’s unease. Part of the bed turn down goodies included earplugs and a card stating "Pardon the Chicago wind noise… This building has been constructed to withstand high wind velocity, and like every high-rise building, it is designed to sway. Due to this factor, we do encounter creaking sounds in some of our rooms depending on wind direction and velocity. We hope that these unpredictable circumstances with not inconvenience you tonight. Should you hear the wind noise, the earplugs are provided for your sleeping comfort." Thankfully, by bedtime the wind had dies down and it was quiet.


The dress I wore the welcome reception that night was one I had made the previous weekend. Vogue 8594, a fitted dress with some interesting seaming.


I had really liked a simple brown sheath dress displayed with patterned tights and high heeled pumps on a mannequin at my local Macy’s store. I bought the tights with the idea of making the dress using this pattern. In my stash I found suitable brown fabric; a crepe type weave with multicolored threads of gold black and brown. One of the pattern illustrations, View A, showed contrasting fabric used for the triangular shaped sections on the side waist. I have a fondness for garments that combine fabric and matching leather. So I decided to see if I could find some matching leather to use for the side waist sections of my dress. I found some fake suede at JoAnne’s in a similar color, but later, digging through a box at Tandy Leather, I found 4 scraps of matching leather, just barely large enough to cut out the pattern pieces. The brown fabric, even with matching leather, was still a bit too boring for me. I don’t know why I decided to make a brown dress. I should know by now that I rarely wear clothes in earth colors like brown and dull green. I also liked the pattern view D which had "flexible trim" applied around the neckline. Finding trim that would curve around the neckline and match the brown fabric was going to be tough. And I didn’t have enough time to weave or braid my own a la Kenneth King. Instead I decided to jazz up the dress by using iron on metallic studs.


The studs were gold and silver, in various sizes, with an occasion small crystal thrown in, They were already arranged in a random pattern on a backing sheet. I cut small sections of the studs and arranged them in a 1.5 inch wide band below the neckline seam. I really enjoyed doing this.

I followed the package instructions, ironing the wrong side of the fabric with high heat to melt the adhesive on the back side of each stud. The adhesive held very well. I had to remove a few studs that I inadvertently placed too near the seam line. They came off when I reheated the glue using the iron. But they left glue residue melted into the fabric. After sewing the seam I affixed smaller individual studs over the glue spots to hide them.

I originally made a size 14 top and a size 16 bottom in this dress. A normal split of sizes for me when I use Vogue patterns. Surprisingly, the size 16 bottom was too big for me. Because of the seaming details I could not just take it in on the side seams like you would a simple skirt. If I had, the seams that started in the front and curved over the hips to the skirt back would no longer match at the side seams. Instead I had to unsew the skirt pieces and recut them to the smaller size. I highly recommend making muslin of the dress bottom if you think you might have fitting issues.




After adding the stud trim, I really liked the dress and I will wear it. And it doesn’t need any jewelry, what with all the bling at the neckline. A perfect travel dress! Alas, the patterned tights don’t look good with it. I guess I’ll have to make something else to wear with them.



34 comments:

Trudy Callan said...

I love hearing the details of your trip. It made the city come alive for me. How nice that they provided ear plugs and an explanation. That would help to ease the mind of visitors.

I love your dress. What a great idea to use the iron-on metallic studs. I'll have to steal that idea from you one of these days. You look so beautiful in it. You are a gorgeous lady. I hope I look half as nice as you when I am older.

You've made me want to go snoop shopping soon at the high-end places to get some ideas. Can't wait.

Have a great rest of the weekend.

a little sewing on the side said...

oooh la la, let me be the first to heep compliments on your creation. I love everything about it and feel encouraged to try something similar. And a pat on the back for skipping the fabric stores in Chicago! It sounds like a pretty inspiring trip, swaying hotel notwithstanding.

Lisette M said...

Just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

wow! that looks just like the pattern envelope. your fit is flawless! i'd like to make this dress but i'm intimidated by the fitting.

eword10 said...

I love this dress. It looks great on you and the studs at the neckline are a great detail. This looks very designery.

Lisa said...

You look so good! Nice dress. I like how you added the bling to the neckline.

I love Chicago. I can take the train from my hometown and be dropped off in downtown. Can't wait to go again.

Vinnie Toscadero said...

I love your dress - I have this pattern but have held off making it as I have a similar 1961 Spadea I've been working on.

Where did you find those fantastic iron on studs?

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I love all of the embellishment techniques that you added to the dress and how they evolved as you worked with it! Your garments are always so well thought out and well made! Another wonderful outfit to add to your wardrobe.

Linda said...

I have been planning to make this dress. Now I love earth tone colors, so if you get tired of your dress, send it my way.

I actually did pull this pattern out this AM and decided on the fabric I was going to use. Interestingly I like View D but had not given any thought to trim for neckline. I may have to use your idea, please be flattered. Your dress is gorgeous and looks great on you. Thanks about the warning about the skirt size.

Rachel said...

You look so elegant in that dress!!

Eileensews said...

Your dress is beautiful!

Vicki W said...

Great dress, Audrey!

Vicki said...

Love how the dress turned out. Far from boring brown. Beautiful fit too. Your Chicago story was interesting too :)

lynne said...

Such a Fabulous Dress! I would have never even LOOKED at the metallic iron-on studs in the fabric store! You wear it very well.

AllisonC said...

Fabulous dress. I am making this at the moment and having the exact same problem! Since I only have a tiny bit of fabric left I am having to redraft the triangles on the front so they will match at the sideseam. Very boring, but seeing your lovely finished dress helps a lot with my motivation!

Remnant said...

Beautiful rendition! You look lovely. Thank you for sharing your creations.

Lori said...

Fantastic dress, the studs you put on really are a wonderful touch.

gwensews said...

That dress fits you beautifully. The studs were a wonderful enhancement, and very fashion forward. Nice job.

Gail said...

Stunning. I think that you have a great sense of style. I enjoy your trip to Chicago. American art galleries are world beaters.

Eugenia said...

I love that dress. You look amazing in it, very elegant and glamorous. Those studs are the perfect touch.

Claudine said...

Beautiful dress! I love the embellishment.

Sarah said...

Your dress is beautiful- I love the stud detailing, it turned out wonderful!

Maggie said...

Really nice looking dress. The clothing line "Milly" had some dresses with the same neck treatment you did for some seriously big bucks.

Sue said...

Fabulous dress - what a great rescue to add the trim - it is truely lovely now!

Tamara said...

The dress looks fantastic! I love the embellishment. Very creative!

NGLaLALa said...

I LOVE LOVE your dress!! It's so perfecT!

Miaaa said...

I don't select this pattern but, but, but... your creation will probably invit me to change my mind and my plan(sss :-)
Thanks a lot to share the process!

Adrienne said...

STUNNING!!!!

j.kaori said...

Beautiful dress and wonderful fit. I love the detail at the neckline --- it is the perfect accent. Sounds like you had a nice time in Chicago!

Joyce in NC said...

The dress is great! Did you think about taking the Tailoring class at AllBrands. I wanted to take it and I was told it was going to be offered on Saturdays. I'm too far away to come during the week.

KimP said...

Audrey, this is my favorite dress you have ever made. It is fantastic and I love it!

Carol said...

Wow, do I love this dress! It looks fantastic on you! I actually traced this pattern off two nights ago with a view to making it from a a black and purple pinstripe I have. I will definitely muslin this dress as I have the same pattern size split in Vogue as you and I always struggle with the curve between hip and waist. I usually cut a 10 at the waist and a 12 at the hips, which seems easy, but getting the curve right is what always causes me grief. The use of the studs is really wonderful. I am never brave enough to do things like that, but I really want to try now!

katherine h said...

What a lovely dress. You were so brave to put the metallic studs on...I would have ended up with glue everywhere and ruined the dress. Really beautiful fit.

Marji said...

It is the perfect trim and the dress is lovely. So glad to hear you enjoyed Chicago. One of my fav cities ever.