Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Part 3, constructing the Vintage Dress from a Vogue Re-issued pattern

Remember this?
cardi 12.19

now, what does that Vittadini cardigan have to do with construction of a Vintage Dress?
I'll tell you.
I knit that sweater for a friend who is part of my sewing circle of friends (not a sewing circle as they existed in the 50's, but rather my sphere of friends....yada yada you know). Anyway, she is a professional dressmaker. We agreed that since it is nearly impossible to pay someone for handknitting something that took over 100 hours, that she would pay me X amount And make a dress for me. However, I helped with the dress, so I feel fully qualified to write a review on the construction.
The Pattern
Vogue 2569
Re-issues of a Pattern Lines older patterns has become quite popular. They are, however, grading the patterns up to todays block. If that block works for you, then you are in luck. And it does, with some minor alterations, generally work for me from Vogue.
It is still a very wise thing to muslin these.
I did the alterations on this pattern - adding through the hips again (you know, it wouldn't hurt me to get on a bike and start a running program and lose some of these hips). We discovered in the muslin process though, that this armscye opening didn't work for me. It is cut very high, the curve looking more like a HotPatterns crotch curve than a traditional armscye curve as we know it.
I ended up redrawing the curve with a French curve ruler. Works much better on me.
It took 2.5 yds of a 60" wide wool crepe that has been in my stash for several years. Helen chose to underline with china silk. In the final analysis, I respect Helen's opinion and work, but I'm sticking to my silk organza. I think washed silk organza (washing to take out some of the crispness) might have been a better choice. This dress, per the pattern, is underlined and not lined, and we decided to keep it that way.
The Dress

Picture 045

Helen did not love putting this together. In fact, she claims I've put her off Vintage patterns for life.
  • Except for the side seams, the seams are all lapped and topstitched.
  • I talked her into forgoing the use of the serger in favor of stitching then pinking the seams, same as the last two vintage dresses I've reviewed here.
  • The directions call for shoulder pads. Maybe the women weren't competitive swimmers back when this was designed, and didn't have these big square shoulders I have, but there isn't room in there for a shoulder pad. However, looking at the way the sleeve top is collapsing, I think I'm going to stitch some sleeve heads in there.
  • There is a side opening zipper (a back opening just would have ruined the lines of the garment), and then the neckline is held together with a brooch - I'm still deciding if I have one that is appropriate or if I need to go shopping ;)all in all, it makes this The hardest garment to get into and out of. Bar none. I don't dare do my hair until this dress is On.
  • Those aren't badly stitched darts in the bodice, but actually are tiny tucks.
  • I've been spending quality time at the ironing board pressing this baby, and still am having difficulty getting that midriff section to lay flat above the skirt pleat. I think it may have to do with the shape of the wool on the underlining. It may never press totally flat.
  • the sleeves are shaped with some really pretty elbow tucks - again, not darts.
Overall I'm pleased with this dress. Before wearing it I still have a little bit of work to do pressing and with the sleeve heads.

Last fall I became enamoured of all the woolen dresses that were shown on the runways. I'm hooked. I've got lots of wool downstairs in my stash (did you see those bolts behind the dress form?) and will be looking for more perfect matches between wool and patterns.

And I've loved my little foray into Vintage Sewing. But right now it's time to come back to the present and get finishing some more of those UFO's and work on my SWAP sewing


Isabelle said...

Hi Marji, I found your blog through your latest review on That's a fantastic dress you just made! Well worth the hard work.

I love your black dress too - that Evadress pattern had caught my attention earlier. Wow, you do look great in those vintage dresses!
Bonjour de Paris. :)

Henriette said...

How cute is that? Love it, and the brooch just add the final touch!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful red dress! Your Power Color!

Becky said...

That is an awesome dress. Those vintage styles are not the easiest to fit, but you do them proud.

toya said...

another beautiful dress, your closet most be to die for, I love red and this is just lovely on you

Mary Beth said...

Gee, the dress is great on you! Wow!

Crystal said...

Oh wow! I'd been thinking about getting this pattern, but didn't because I couldn't tell how it would look on a real person (a big problem I always have with drawings), but now I am definitely getting it, because that looks amazing on you! Amazing! I really envy yours and Helen's madd skillz! :-D

Crystal said...

To bother you again, thanks for the comments on my blog! I'll look into that bamboo yarn you mentioned. Your Calla is looking very nice, and I love the color!

About the pink wrap sweater I'm doing, what is the CF you referred to? I'm not familar with that abbreviation. I think the picot edging around the fronts is a great idea. Should I do anything to the bottom, or do you think it's ok as is?

The shawl collar I have in mind for an entirely different sweater. Glad to hear your opinion on it, I think I may go ahead with my idea to try it after I've finished up a couple of wips. But I knit so slowly, who knows when that may be!

Summerset said...

Nice - I do love a red dress!

I have this pattern, and have made it up, too. I had to alter it a bit for the embellishment I did. Mine was black with aqua piping/buttons. I have some of the same issues with it that you do - esp. the part of getting it on/off!

Tany said...

I've just read your PR review! You did a wonderful job!

Linda said...

Wow! Another beautiful vintage dress. And another stunning creation. It looks beautiful on you. And I remember the sweater too. Another stunning creation.

Donyale said...


I was going to hit you up to knit me a Vittardini (as you would)....but my sewing is pretty bad. Would you take my first born as payment?

Just jokes.

Take my second instead. ;)

Jennifer said...

You look fantastic in that beautiful dress! Love it.

Michellers said...

Marji, this is my favorite dress so far for you--it looks really really fabulous and fitted on your curvy self and the color is perfect!

Love, Michellers

Brigitte said...

Marji, the dress is beautiful! And a perfect shade of red for you. Hmmm, so what shoes will you wear with it?!

That's your fabric stash?!! Oh wow...

Lorraine said...

Marji- I agree with Brigitte- I just hope you have the right shade of red shoes.

If not, a little shoe shopping may be in order. What a hardship.

Carrie K said...

Brigitte is right - what shoes?

Wow, that's gorgeous. Put her off Vintage patterns for life? lol.

Lynn C said...

Marji, that dress is gorgeous and you look mah-vo-lous in it! Love the cut, the color, everything. Definitely worth the hard work.

Lynne said...

THAT is a fantastic dress! Oh, baby! Nicely done, Marji and a perfectly sexy fit!