Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shades of Gray

Oops, I forgot to mention....Several commenters asked about the fabric I used to make my bright blue pants shown in the previous post.  Sorry about that. I always want to know about the fabric used too.  It was a lighter weight 20 rayon, 80 poly gabardine purchased at Hancock Fabrics. The perfect weight for summer pants. It doesn't wrinkle and was easy to sew.

Last Saturday we returned from a lovely week at the beach. I believe it was this week of  sewing deprivation that caused me to rush headstrong into fall sewing the minute I got back. As I was going through the week’s accumulation of mail, I found my package of new Vogue patterns. I really needed to start the laundry loads of dirty beach towels and sheets, and restock the refrigerator with essentials,  but I took just a minute to look at the patterns in the package. This pattern was one of them. 

Add caption
It appears to be an exact copy of the original Rebecca Taylor dress which was made from wool flannels and retailed for about $400.  I loved the subtle color blocking in shades of grey and brown and all the neat seaming.  Looking at the back of the envelope, I read that men’s suiting fabric were recommended, and that four different colors were needed. Note the colors shown in the line drawing are the opposite of the colors shown in the finished dress.  That's a bit odd.

 I have always been attracted to the idea of using menswear fabrics for unexpected purposes, like  the ultra sexy dresses  in the picture below and as upholstery fabrics for chairs and sofa's.
 I remembered a menswear fabric bundle I had purchased from Fabric Mart some 15 years ago. Fabric bundles are such fun; like sewing surprise packages. This one had worsted type wools in shadow stripes, subtle plaids and pinstripes in black, navy, camel, and brown.   At the time I received the bundle, I was really disappointed to find most of the fabrics were in 1 yard lengths. But for this dress, that length were perfect. Surprisingly, I knew exactly where in my stash these pieces were to be found. So I dashed downstairs to my climate controlled fabric vault, aka The Basement. There were four lengths of fabric in the same hues shown in the pattern picture.
  On a roll,  I decide to cut out the pattern pieces, pin them together and check them against my sloper to see if there are major fitting issues that needed to be resolved.  The front V was a bit low, but still decent. I would need to raise the front shoulder seam, lengthen the back  in the  armhole area, and shape the upper back, all typical changes for me. Pinning the pattern together also let me check the accuracy of the drafting, which was excellent.

pattern compared to sloper

  The dress was a bit short. I decide to add additional length at the hem. The thought of lengthening the skirt through the curved seams, and redrawing them was too much to contemplate. Since I had the fabric and pattern pieces handy I decided to do ahead with the cutting out.  DH came by to say he was going to bed as I started the  dress assembly. The best part! I waved goodnight. This dress was so much fun to put together that I stayed up way past my bedtime  to do it that night. I stopped when I couldn’t find a suitable zipper in my supplies.

There are lots of curved edges on the pattern pieces. Surprisingly there are no instructions to stay stitch or interface any of the pieces except for the side front hip piece.  I interfaced the zipper seam and the front and back yokes. I made sure I cut the pattern pieces accurately and handled the cut pieces carefully during assembly.  I did not have any seam matching issues. I did have slight stretching in some places, it was easily eased back into place.  I added 2.5 inches to length of the dress, which turned out not to have been enough. I would have preferred the hem of the dress to have  hit just below my knees.

Closeup of Fabrics
Front View


Putting in the lining seemed to take forever. Not because it was particularly difficult but because I want to finish so badly. Oh and I had to go back to work.  When I pirouetted in my finished dress for  DH, I proudly told him all the fabrics were from my stash. He mumbled something like ‘I’ll bet that really made a dent!" to which I replied "Small steps, honey. Rome was not conquered in a day!" I will have to wait for cooler weather to wear this dress. I was miserably hot while DH and I looked for a suitable locations to take pictures.

Vogue 1316
Back Vogue 1316

56 comments:

wendy said...

Wow, it looks fabulous! I've been wondering what this would look like really made up. :) Yours looks wonderful!

orange dream said...

Wooow! It looks like an exact duplicate! You look beautiful (as usual). I can't believe you managed to make this so quickly after the patterns came out. I was very curious about this dress and I think everyone sort of is. Good to know it is stylish and well drafted! ;)

Birdie said...

That is just stunning! What lovely work, and it's terribly flattering.

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful! I love that the fabrics all came from your stash! I'll bet you will be responsible for a few purchases of that pattern in the next few days!

Brenda

Marla said...

Very nice. Isn't it awesome to stash bust while coming out with such a great dress. I think the length look good on you.

thecuriouskiwi said...

Wow I love your version of this dress, the hem length is perfect and flattering. I completely missed this pattern in the preview but then that's my usual, I have to go back and look again after I see some awesome version in my blog list ;) I have added this pattern to my wishlist for when the next great sale pops up. They say Wellingtonians wear too much black but I think this is a great way to wear tones of black and grey and look fab! :) I can't wait to see if a colourful version pops up somewhere online...

Beverly said...

I love your dress; great choice of fabrics. It looks really good on you.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Okay first the dress is stunning! I love your version of this pattern. I'm smiling as I type this because I have one of those menswear bundles left in my collection too. I bought 2 at the time and used one for a patchwork pencil skirt & the other one is still waiting for it's turn to shine. Although I don't think it's gonna match the wonderfulness that you've accomplished in this dress! Great job!

Rebecca said...

You really made a great dress!

poppykettle said...

I love how your dress is a bit unexpected like that - great combo of unusual shades and I really like the design elements of the pattern. It looks great!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

very sophisticated look, fantastic. and wow you are fast to sew up a new Vogue. PS. love your shoes, look great with this dress.

Vicki said...

Love it! I have lots of small lengths too. Hmmmm....

kbenco said...

The dress is amazing. You look terrific in it, and your fabric combination is beautifully subtle and interesting. Wow.
Much better than laundry and fridge filling ;)

katherine h said...

Sounds like you had a great time making this dress. The fun side of sewing! Great to have all the fabrics on hand when you wanted them...this is why we have a stash. The final result looks fabulous. For some reason, I had assumed that this dress was made in jerseys. Lots of people have been eyeing off this pattern and I'm sure they will all be pleased to see that yours turned out so well.

Catherine Daze said...

Can't believe you made this up so fast. It looks sharp!

janessewandtell said...

Fabulous! I thought this pattern had potential when I saw it on the web site and seeing your finished version really makes me want to go out and make one for myself.

Carol said...

This is stunning. I wasn't that interested in this pattern until I saw yours!

Maria (viola33) said...

Wow what's an interesting dress!

Alice said...

What a wonderful dress, and it looks great on you (and you look great in it!)

It's reassuring to know that it isn't just me that might not notice the walls off my house crumbling around me whilst I finish off my sewing.

velosewer said...

You look fabulous. How stylish are you and so well put together.

Sewingelle said...

This is a wonderful dress. So much nicer than the model version, where the fit doesn't seem quite right. Well done!

Mae said...

Yours looks better than the pattern illustration. Lucky you to have such a good stash that you could immediately grab the perfect fabric.

Linda T said...

Wow, fabulous!

Summer Flies said...

Wow! It looks amazing and I love your DH comment "bet that made a dent". Did you hear me laugh! You really amaze me with your speed and determination. It looks just great on. I love your sewing!

Lisette M said...

Stunning Audrey! I too bought this pattern since I have Michael's bundles to use up.

Jilly Be said...

So flattering on you! And pooh on your DH's comment - you get major kudos from me for making that from stash! ;)

GodsgirlT said...

Oh my...this is perfect! Love the craft"woman"ship of this dress. Looks very well made and upscale. Great use of fabric too!!! The pattern version doesn't impress me nearly as much as yours does! Nice work!

Lynneb said...

Audrey, I am speechless! THAT is a fabulous dress. Amazing fit and flattery.

gwensews said...

That is one classy dress. You wear the gray tones so well, and your color blocking is with neutral tone/on/tone is so elegant. Nice work.

meli88a said...

Wow! Great dress!

Gail said...

Very interesting combination of fabrics. Resisting buying more patterns at present, but this one is surely tempting.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

You made this in one night? I bow down! Love love love this. So sophisticated but not in any way stuffy or boring.

lakaribane said...

J'ADORE!!!!

Trish said...

Beautiful dress! Looks great on you.....er, I mean, you look great in it!

melissa said...

Absolutely gorgeous! This was the only pattern I liked from the newest collection and I'm SO impressed you've made it already! I'm also a great lover of grey, and I'd wear this dress in a heartbeat. It looks wonderful on you!

senaSews said...

Wow, fantastic dress. Can't believe you made it this fast. It looks amazing!

Tia Dia said...

Love this! And lmao re: your husbands comments. Good comeback, Audrey! I've had my mind's eye on this dress, but when I think about doing an FBA with all those pieces (combined with what's in my queue).... Your fabric choices are perfect for this. As always, fabulous job (and great shoes)!

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful dress!!!

Linda said...

Wow! What a great use of menswear fabric. Your dress looks great on you. You are well ahead of the game for fall sewing. I think the heat is going to continue until October and then we will probably get hit with super cold not cool weather.

Mary Nanna said...

I love this dress - so stylish, modern and stash busting - does it get any better?

I am hoping to get one last little bit of winter sewing done - the blossom is all out here, the season, when it turns, will turn quickly. You however, it is fair to say, are very well prepared for the coming weather.

Sigrid said...

Another WOW, I loved the look of the pattern but was in a 'I have so many patterns already' mood and didn't buy any new Vogue patterns recently. This one is on top of my wish list now. You made a stunning dress that looks so good on you. Love your shoes too.

theperfectnose said...

Oh my goodness that is so elegant and super contemporary. Your version totally beats the one on the pattern envelope!

Diana said...

Absolutely gorgeous dress and I love your choice of fabrics. The length seems to me to be perfect on you. You look great in tht dress.

KimP said...

I can't believe the awesomeness of this dress!!!!!

ElleC said...

The dress is perfection. I love the fabric choices and everything about it. I liked the look of the pattern, but you really sold me, I love the pattern now. You must be so pleased, if I made this I would break my arm patting myself on the back. 8-D

pdiddly said...

after 45 comments there isn't much I can say other than to agree that the dress is stunning, and I too felt I couldn't buy any more patterns but could now be really tempted with this one.

I read out your stash busting comment to my other half who thought it was really funny (me too).

Zoe said...

That dress is INCREDIBLE!!! Awesome work xxx

Angela said...

Beautiful! I have been wanting to see this dress made up because I ordered this pattern right away when I saw it. It looks great and now I cannot wait to make it! Do you think it would work with heavier fabrics or is it best with men's suiting fabric?

Angela said...

It is so great to see that dress made up. I ordered that pattern as soon as I saw it. I can't wait to make it now. Do you think it would sew up nice in a heavier wool or just the men's suiting?

Rosy said...

Wow! I love this dress, the hem length is perfect, it will look great in cooler weather with tights. You did a great job with all those fabrics your stash!

AllisonC said...

Wow amazing dress! This is one of my favourites from the recent releases and I wasn't sure I would have the patience to cope with all the pattern pieces and fiddly cutting out, but your dress is certainly motivating. Great job!

Lisa said...

Wow , just wow on all levels.

a little sewing said...

Audrey this dress is sensational on you! and the length is really perfect. Your shoes, oh I want to sneak to your house and steal them out of your closet, oops, just kidding.
Where did you get those stylish but reasonably heeled shoes?

Beautiful dress - perfect on you!

Lizzy B. said...

This dress is incredible! I love menswear fabrics, and they looks so great in this number. I'm so inspired for fall!

ConnieB said...

Thanks for the very complete review! I started this one last night, and also decided to lengthen at the hem. Did you serge finish the seams?
A beautiful dress and it looks great on you!

Anonymous said...

So pretty, most flattering for you.
Mary in Thailand