|November 2nd: She's finished! There was certainly some last minute sewing on of snaps and such, but everything was finished with a few hours to spare!|
October 27th: Padding out the shoulders and hips. Lots of fun with quilting batting and old shoulder pads from the 80s.
October 23rd: Only a few days left to get everything done - yikes!
I have been busy beading! The encrusted belt needed a buckle!
There was also a bit of tailoring.
And I decided that the design needed a pair of cuffs, and they should be beaded as well.
I also managed to puncture one of my fingertips quite badly with a needle, so I have been trying to baby the finger, but I really don't have the time!
October 20th: This is a WIP, but I thought I would share my progress so far . . .
It started with a muslin.
Thankfully, they beautiful damask pattern was not that difficult to match up. So far, the skirt has turned out really well in this regard, so I am hoping the rest does as well!
And one of my favorite parts to these really involved projects is all of the hand sewing!
The most time consuming portion, by far, is all of the beading!. It is a great stress reliever for me, but it has distracted me from the actual dress (which is probably more important to finish before the deadline, right!?).
Pattern Description: This is a reproduction of an Advance Import Adaptation design from Vintage Pattern Lending Library. The pattern features a button-front jacket dress, darted at the neck and waist and seamed at center back. Both long or 3/4 sleeves, cut in one with the bodice, are made with a gusset for ease in moving arms. The rounded peplum extends just across the front to side-back seams. The side drape in view 1 is attached at the right-side back seam. The straight skirt has a concealed slide fastener under the fly front, two short darts in the back and side-back seams (no side seams).
SUGGESTED MATERIALS: Silk Crepe, Rayon Crepe, Taffeta, Faille, Rayon Suiting, Light Wool
Pattern Sizing: 36" Bust
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it does! Although I did add quite a few embellishments, and a pair of beaded cuffs.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are confusing. VPLL does a fantastic job of preserving vintage patterns, however, they have directions cut and pasted so they fit on 8.5X11 paper. This particular set of direction often has the picture diagram on a different page than the written text - I though I was going nuts because the instructions were not making any sense to me because I was looking at a diagram that had nothing to do with the actual instructions!
That aside, this is not a project for a beginner. There are lots of vintage construction techniques that are fabulous, but can be rather challenging to put together, especially if you are unfamiliar with them. This design uses gussets - if you are interested in this vintage technique, I took quite a few pictures and made a little tutorial.
There are also a few mistakes. The drape is attached right side sandwiched on top of right side of the peplum. Some of the diagrams clearly show this, but one show the opposite (or they just forgot to draw in the hem drape.
Also, the directions have you match center seams, and notices when putting bodice to skirt. However, the bodice section must be left free in order to later attach the peplum pieces.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have been wanting to make this pattern for YEARS!
It has a very interesting method of closing at the center front. The bodice front opens with buttons all the way to the side seams. The skirt opens with a center zipper. Once the skirt is zipped up (and the waist stay is secured), the bodice gets buttoned up and hooked into the skirt. This makes is super easy to get in and out of the piece - which is incredibly helpful for doing hair and makeup when you live alone!
*Silk/Linen blend upholstery fabric from Britex
[As one of their guest bloggers, Britex has generously provided the fabric and sewing supplies for a dress I will be wearing to a formal event in October. I will be sharing some of the steps and construction techniques with you as I work on this project over the next couple of months.]
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: This pattern is a size 36" bust, which is generally one size too big. I did take in the bodice and waist a bit (along with the peplum pieces were a real bother trying to figure that one out!), but left the lower skirt alone.
The first thing I did was remove the seam at the bodice center back when I realized that I could cut the piece on the fold of the extremely wide fabric (after I chopped off the ridiculous amount of extra length on the arms).
The drape was the one thing that I did not muslin. I did take 3" off the bottom edge to match what I removed from the skirt length. Turns out there is a drafting mistake at the upper edge - it is made for a mitered corner, but no corner exists (the top is finished with a strip of fabric). Figures the one piece I did not mock up had the problem, right?!
The drape still turned out to be much longer than it appears in the illustration. Actually, I like it better this way - it reminds me of a 1920s formal gown with an asymmetrical long train.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably put this pattern away for a while, but I can see myself making another less formal version at some point.
Conclusion: I am thrilled with how this massive project turned out!
The final pictures of the styled outfit may be found here.
I also made myself a peacock feathered hat which matches back to a feathered brooch.