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. 

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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