Sunday, July 24, 2011

Keeping Cool in Hot colors - Vogue 1223

It has been so hot and humid here in central Virginia that I have forsaken outside activities in favor of sewing in air conditioned comfort.
I just finished Vogue pattern 1223. It is a mid knee length lined dress, fitted at the bust with pleated front and back skirt, a back zipper and narrow hems.
I liked the diagonal tucks on the front bodice that release into pleats on the skirt. And I thought it would be a good pattern for one of the big prints that are everywhere this summer. The tucks lines would break up the print, but you would still get the color impact. The recommended fabrics were chiffon, crepe de chine, and organza. Chiffon is my nemesis fabric, so no way on that one, I found some lovely big prints in silk charmeuse, but they were in the $25/yard range. Too much money for me to risk on a style and pattern I hadn't made before. And they were shiny. I prefer matte finish silks. So when I found a bright tropical print in woven rayon on sale at Hancock Fabrics, I bought it. If all the work resulted in a wadder, I wouldn’t feel too bad. This style was a bit hard to evaluate for fit. I ended up pinning the tucks in the front pattern pieces, pinning the 3 pieces together and holding the pattern up to my body to evaluate the fit, matching the shoulder seams to my shoulders and checking the waist location and width. No changes needed. I did make my normal length changes to the bodice back. The front pieces have to be cut out in a single layer and all those tucks have to be marked. So there is a lot of prep work before sewing can start. I cut out large pattern pieces like this on my kitchen floor. The linoleum blocks also help me square up the fabric.
I remembered seeing a picture of this dress on the model where she wasn’t swirling the skirt(maybe in the Vogue Pattern magazine) and the front hem was not even. I think this is due to the diagonal tucks and how the fabric hangs when released on the bias. This will vary with the fabric used.
I definitely had the same problem with my fabric. It is easiest to see on the mannequin. But even with my hips filling out the dress the sides were still lower than the center front. To even up the hem I used my handy dandy Dritz Chalk Hem Marker. This is a goofy looking device with a nozzle that you fix to the desired height from the ground where you want your hem to be. You stand, wearing the garment you want to mark the hem on, with the nozzle very close to the fabric. The nozzle is attached to a bulb you hold in your hand. When you squeeze the bulb, a jet of air shoots chalk through the nozzle onto your garment. As you slowly rotate and continue to give the bulb more squeezes, the hem will be marked the same distance from the ground all around your garment. You should not be looking down when you do this, like I am in the picture, because it affects the hang of the dress. I am looking down because I hadn't used this gizmo in a while and wanted to make sure the chalk hadn't run out and needed refilling.
The chalk will brush off so easily, I immediately insert pins at the chalk marks or mark them in wash out marker to make them more permanent and visible.I trimmed the bottom edge along the marks

Both the hem of the dress and the hem of the lining were done with my rolled/narrow hem foot. It made the hemming go very quickly.

I used a very light weight silk cotton woven for the lining. I had bought it to make a blouse but it was too thin for that. It worked great for a lining.


I am so pleased by how well this dress turned out, I may make it again silk.

38 comments:

Peggy's Closet said...

Beautiful dress and fabric!

Amanda S. said...

Wow! I made this dress earlier this year and hated it! Maybe because I used a solid color? Yours is stunning! Very pretty on you and full of beautiful colors.

Dressed2atee said...

I'm in Baltimore, so I know what you mean about the heat!!!!! You look beautiful in the dress, the fabric choice was spot on!!!

Aminat said...

Super cute, love the style and fabric.. You look so fab

Julie Culshaw said...

It's very pretty. Good choice of fabric for this dress.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

that looks great on you. stay cool :)

katherine h said...

Thanks for showing us this dress on you because it looks so much better when it is being worn. You show off the colours in the fabric so beautifully.

Interesting pattern. I think it would require too many fitting changes for me to try, but I love yours on you.

Bunny said...

Wow! All that color and the nude shoes, wahooey! You look great.

Debbie Cook said...

Gorgeous dress and fabric!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

You should be pleased ~ it's beautiful! And the print works wonderfully with the design.

Rachel said...

That is GORGEOUS!!! I have shied away from buying this pattern because I read a bad review of it. I am so happy that you had a good experience so I will have to add it to my list.

Marie-Noƫlle said...

Great dress. Excellent fabric choice. It would look gorgeous in silk.I love your nude shoes too.

RebeccaHoward said...

That is a really pretty dress on you. I might try it when it warms up here (Sydney). I love floral fabrics but somehow can never find a pattern that doesn't look frilly. Thanks for showing it!

Irene said...

Absolutely beautiful! Seeing your hem marker reminded me that I really should get a new one. It one of those things that don't get used all too often, but when you need it - you need it! Mine was so old that the little rubber ball disintegrated. Does that mean that I've been sewing for far too long?

kbenco said...

I have this pattern, because I love the look of the dress, but the fitting work kept scaring me off last summer. Your version is very inspiring. You look lovely in it and your fabric choice looks perfect. Maybe I will make it after all. I suspect it might take a very long time, perhaps I should start it 3 months before it warms up!

Robyn said...

I loved that pattern as soon as it came out, but didn't buy it after hearing a bad review. After seeing your version I think I'll give it a go, it looks lovely. You also solved a mystery for me. Thanks for posting the pic of your rolled/narrow hem foot - I have the same foot and wasn't quite sure what it was for.

Lisette M said...

It is beautiful! Thank you for showing us how to mark the hem; I always thought that gadget was goofy but I can see now how handy it is.

A really, really pretty dress!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the post: seeing the inspiration, the problem, the solution and the final product. And yes, the outcome was great; nice color, fit and look. Thanks.

Gail said...

Just stunning. Love the way the skirt drapes. Your chalk dust machine sounds great. If I had one I'd call it my McEnroe "I saw chalk dust" machine, but you need to be a tennis fan to get the joke.

a little sewing said...

That dress turned out beautifully and it looks wonderful on you. Great find on the floral rayon!
I always wondered how that nifty hem-chalk-marker thing would work. Obviously, it works very well!
Beautiful work.

Mary Nanna said...

That dress is so gorgeous and you look great in it. Me, I wouldn't be able to resist the urge to have an excuse for a wonky hem and would have blamed the pattern with impunity. Still when you have a gadget like that it might be hard to resist the call.

cyberdaze said...

That is fab! Love the pink lining. It looks like such a fun dress to wear. And I'd always wondered about those hem marker gadgets.

senaSews said...

Wow, what a beautiful dress. So nice and fun for summer time. Perfect match of fabric and pattern.

Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood said...

forget the gizmo; color me impressed by the rolled hem foot! I cant use mine right!!!
You look great in this!!!

gwensews said...

That's very pretty. I love the print--so vibrant. That dress will go anywhere and will be noticed.

Shannon said...

So pretty! You look simply stunning!

Claire S. said...

Beautiful !!!

meli88a said...

Wow. There aren't many times that I think, "I want the EXACT dress on the pattern envelope," but I agree with you in your fabric choice -- lovely lovely dress! It looks great on you.

Emily said...

Lovely and so wonderful to have such a glamorous dress in gorgeous colours. Its been said already but you look stunning.

Pin Queen said...

What a lovely dress. It hangs beautifully on you and worth every effort. Super fabric for this style too.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Beautiful! It looks like it must have wonderful flow when you walk. I really need to get that chalk marker. Living alone, it is very hard to get even hems!

Summer Flies said...

Oh lovely Audrey ... I thought at the beginning that you were going to say that it was a dud! I'm glad it worked out as it looks fabulous and they style is really flattering as well as the bright colours. You have a lovely sense of style.

Gabrielle said...

That looks gorgeous on you - both the colours and the style! I have this pattern but hadn't been able to really envisage it, so it's great to be able to see it made up and working well!

jacquie said...

What a pretty dress! I love that hem marker too, I've never heard of that but what an ingenious idea.

lynne b said...

Oh, Audrey! That is such a lovely dress! I think the fabric choice is just perfect for this pattern, and it's such a flattering style.
And the hem marker...do they still make them? How clever!

Powderpuff said...

Absolutely stunning dress, so colourful the style definately suits the large print.

Cennetta said...

Lovely summer dress. It's always a pleasure coming to your blog.

Linda said...

Wow! You should make it again, great fitting and looking dress.