Sunday, 10 December 2017

Vogue 8945 with Lace Sleeves

Back when the weather was still cold, I stumbled upon a remnant of purple lace at Tessuti fabrics. Below I've got a close up of the fabric drying on the line alongside the coordinating stretch viscose I paired it with, and you can see the pretty patterns in the lace, but what you can't see is the straight edged selvedges on the lace.

The lace remnant was too small for a dress, large enough for a small top perhaps, but the perfect amount for a pair of bell sleeves with the selvedges in place of sleeve hems, woohoo! Aren't those selvedges cool!! 

Vogue 8945 is a semi-fitted dress with two views: view A (this one) with bell sleeves, and view B with layered sleeve flounces.  I made view B of this dress for Melbourne frocktails a few years ago (see dress post here, and post for the related cape here), and I'd been keen to give view A with its simpler bell sleeves a go ever since.  V8945 is a good pattern for a statement sleeve - the dress itself is very plain, so the sleeves really get to star.

Speaking of sleeves that star, I entered these very sleeves in Helen and Diane's sleevefest2017  competition back in August (before I'd tried the dress on though!) and won a prize courtesy of Ryliss Bod - I won a copy of The Minott Method Total Pattern Fit. Have you heard of it? I hadn't, but it's basically a very comprehensive fitting manual.  I've skimmed through the book (so time poor these days!) and it also has fitting tips in the form of handy wrinkle diagrams telling you what the various wrinkles mean - I will definitely be using those diagrams. 

Hmm. And unfortunately, although this dress is one I adored on the hanger, on taking these photos I discovered it was a sausage casing dress. Isn't photography a killjoy! And it turns out the prize is very apt for a dress that fits this badly :(. 

I've deleted most of the sausage photos, but I'm willing to share one piece of proof with you:

This pattern is recommended to be sewn in a faille, crepe, challis or linen - so a woven fabric with some drape I guess? but both times I've made it I've used something quite different, and to do the pattern justice the dress really needs a drapey fabric OR a looser fit.

First time around I used a bonded polyester for the sheath dress and a combination of merino wool, more of the bonded polyester and silk organza for the sleeves - that version was a much more successful incarnation of the pattern, most likely because this dress size was a looser fit on me back then:

The two dresses are the same size (12 top half, 14 bottom half), but those couple of years apparently resulted in a couple of extra kilos, so even though I'm crazy about the sleeves, this dress hasn't had a single wear since being made (hangs head in shame).

The sausage casing factor is not so obvious in the shade, but shade isn't something you can rely on here in Sydney. It looks fine in these next two photos, right?

Gah I do wish I'd checked my measurements before cutting into the fabric! 

I'm keeping this dress for next winter - just in case I shrink a little or the dress grows a little - but next time I sew I'm definitely getting out the measuring tape first!

Happy sewing and see you soon

- Gabrielle xx 

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