Saturday, 20 February 2016

Weekend Chambray (Vogue 8993)

So... after about a month of indecision, I've decided to Just. Wear. It.

"It" being this dress, of course, which I've had ironed and ready to go for all that time, and which looks much better than I expected - if a little old fashioned - in these photos my daughter took for me the other evening.

Here's the dress: Vogue 8993, view B, in full length mode:

View B is midi length - which is to say mid-way between knee and ankle. The pattern envelope gives the finished garment's back length from the base of the neck to the skirt hem for view B as 126 cm (49.5") in the size 14.  I'm about 5'8" tall and when I held the pattern tissue against myself the skirt looked to be the length I wanted, so I didn't adjust it at all.

View A is the same dress, lopped to just below knee length; a couple of inches longer than this:

which I suspect makes for a more attractive garment from behind!

Speaking of which, isn't this back view plain? Even twirling didn't help!  I feel like the back needs some of those front skirt pleats, though I guess that would mean using substantially more fabric...

Hmm, perhaps that plainness wouldn't be noticeable in a busy print... but as you can see, I used a very plain blue fabric, a stretch chambray fabric from The Fabric Store.

On the positive side, with a plain fabric you can see the seam lines clearly, and marvel at the alignment of princess seams and skirt pleats or darts. That is, I can marvel - that alignment took a bit of effort!

I'm very happy with the way the front bodice fits in the upper chest - I haven't added any darts but I did make some adjustments to the fit as I went.  The collar wasn't tricky to sew, though I had to adjust mine after fitting the upper bodice, but I found it tricky to sew the lined v-neck neatly.  My tendency is to be too cautious and not sew close enough to the point; I had to do this part of the dress in a couple of passes to get my stitches right up to the point.

However, I can see I've got wrinkles at the sides of the bodice and some extra fabric under the bust too.  It may be that the bodice is a bit long, but Vogue pattern bodices are usually the right length on me; more likely is that when sewing the lining to the outer at the waist seam I've accidentally made the lining a bit short.

And those armholes, described as "cut in" on the pattern envelope, are also "cut down" (not mentioned on the pattern envelope).  I'm sure it's the style, but I don't particularly like low cut underarms!

When I was fitting the bodice I noticed I had excess fabric in the upper back, probably relating to bad posture, so I pin fit darts from the neckline to take out the fullness. The bodice is fully lined in cotton voile, and on the lining I've used pleats instead of darts in the upper back as I wanted to give the non-stretch lining some ease given that the dress outer fabric is a stretch woven.

You can see in that photo above that I used long strips of interfacing on the seamline before sewing in my invisible zip - they help so much when your fabric has a bit of stretch!

The dress has pockets in the side seams, with the pocket bags sewn into the waist seam to anchor them and reduce stretching out where the side seam would otherwise take all the tension from pocket use,    

And there's heaps of room for striding about, given those deep front pleats and the "A" shape of the skirt:

I love these shoes! They're just from Nine West, not expensive. I bought them late last year thinking they'd go with something else I was making (not finished yet, but it's a similar length), and I really like them with this dress. I've barely worn them yet, which is why they look so unblemished!

Overall. this dress seems nicer on than I expected based on trying it on as I sewed it.  I love the neckline, and I really like the length and width of the skirt. I'm not ready to make the "yay or nay" call just yet though, because I'm not 100% sure, and when I'm not sure I often make the wrong call (like with this Inari dress that I said I liked, and which I now dislike intensely, and these mustard pants that I thought were a terrible fit, but which fit me much better than my RTW pants).

Pattern: Vogue 8993, view B

Size: size 12 bodice, size 14 skirt, both taken in

Fabric: Stretch chambray from The Fabric Store, and coordinating blue cotton voile to line the bodice.  Interfacing from Tessuti fabrics.

Modifications: None other than adding darts in the upper back for fit. Oh and using an invisible rather than a regular zip.

Future changes:  Next time around I would raise the armhole and make the bodice looser.  I might also raise the skirt to about knee length, and fabric yardage permitting I think I'd add a couple of deep pleats in the back. And I might add belt loops. as I think this style of dress would suit a narrow belt.

This next photo is just silly, I know! Taking photos while you joke around with someone is so much more fun than just using the remote :).

Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

- Gabrielle xx

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