Sunday, 6 November 2011

Vogue 1158 - Nautical Dress

My Vogue 1158 Tracy Reese dress is finished! If you recall my earlier "making progress" post, you'll know I took this slowly - but it was worth it; I've ended up with a dress I really love.

Here's a back view - unfortunately the back view on me photo didn't work out:

the dummy doesn't really list to the side, she's on a hill

It fits very comfortably (I muslined the bodice, and adjusted the neckline and sizing to fit) and it looks very close to how I envisaged it would look. It even looks OK inside out!

inside out - front

In fact, this is pretty much the happiest I've felt about something I've sewn.

A Close Call
I told you about the bodice already here. I decided not to sew in the bias band because it looked odd in my fabric, and instead I decided on this navy piping that just happened to be in the stash. When I made that decision it was too late to sew the piping in the usual way (sandwiched between the outer and lining fabrics), so I basted it in place and then sewed a straight machine stitch. Luckily I reviewed what that looked like before going too far; it was a shocking mess - I guess because the machine was going over several layers of fabric in some places and because the fabric was trying to stretch out more than the piping (no doubt also some operator error in there too). So I unpicked the machine stitching and went with what I think is called a pick stitch. I think it's ended up looking neat.

my pick stitching

the piping on centre back

A Few Changes
As mentioned in my earlier post, after muslining the bodice I decided I needed to raise both front and back necklines to better cover my bra. It still looks like the dress pattern - note that I didn't shorten the bodice at all; I added extra height in the front scoop and in the back V and phased these in with lines that followed the original neckline shape.

I didn't attach the belt to the dress as I want the flexibility to leave it off or to fasten the little tie at the back if I want. It can always be sewn in place later.

no belt
The skirt is not supposed to be lined but my fabric was too sheer to go without. On the outer skirt I omitted the centre front seam, and I meant to omit centre back but accidentally cut it. The ribbon stripes on my fabric run on the bias, so I decided to have the stripes run straight up and down on the skirt - this achieves pretty much the drape that's intended in the pattern with a fabric whose stripes are on the straight grain.

I haven't made the self-fabric covered shoulder pads but still may do (with plain white voile) - I suspect they will help to keep the bodice structure in place for me with my narrow shoulders. If I don't make the shoulder pads I may need to sew in some of those little things that you attach around your bra straps.

If you're making this dress, the underarm patches would ordinarily go about 1-2 cm higher - I had to sew them in lower to hide some coffee stains (don't bring coffee to the sewing room!).

That's all - I love this dress! If you're thinking of making it, I definitely recommend you do!

A Reminder
There are still 2 days to enter the pattern giveaway - hop back and leave a comment if you want one of these patterns, the odds are looking brilliant!

If neither of these patterns interest you, what about 70s/80s patterns? I'm thinking of giving away a few of these soon. I may also be letting one of my vintage reissues go to a good home....


  1. Wow, it looks fantastic on you. Your fabric looks like the perfect match for this pattern, and your piping addition looks really smart. What a good fit. Can I rave a bit more? I wonder if it would look good in a striped shirting fabric? Excuse me, I am just off to search through the stash....

  2. Great dress! The piping worked out well. I like the nautical feel it has.
    No patterns for me, thanks! I already own a shameful stash.

  3. Beautiful dress - you have done a wonderful job. That striped fabric is really fun looking and works so well for this design!

  4. Hello sailor! What a great looking dress. I love the nautical colours. The piping is very impressive. Those shoes are a perfect match too. I love white dresses. They always look so cool and summery....I'm just too messy to wear them! I've just finished a Tracy Reese dress this weekend too. Must get around to photographing it.

  5. So summery! Definitely a winner! Looks like you need a sunset cocktail to go with it.

  6. It's wonderful! Your fabric choice was perfect for this design since the dress looks feminine and youthful :)

  7. Your dress is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the stripe-y fabric, (and perfectly matched up too!) and really looks great in that pattern. Your piping is beautifully applied, and is the perfect finishing touch. Just lovely!!

  8. Brilliant individual dress!!! Aesthetically pleasing with the stripes, so much better than the envelope ‘dud’. The mismatched stripes on their sample really turned me off this pattern – think they messed up on the front. But your version has changed my mind. Your patience with this one has paid off – well done!!! Maybe Vogue should be looking to you for a cover photo re-take...

  9. Thank you all! This is a rare occasion for me - a sewing project that I'm happy with.

  10. Very nice! The stripe is so pretty, and you've used it to great effect. I bet you'll wear this a lot this summer!

  11. I love your fabric, it's too cute! And you reminded me that this dress was on my To Sew List and I never made it. Oops!

    It looks fantastic on you and the piping was just the right touch.


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