Sunday, April 1, 2012

Same Print, Different Colorway

Vogue 8470
Its going to be my "Easter" dress.  I say it parenthetically because it won't be done in time for Easter. That and I don't go to church. My kids go with their Grandma,  but well... the rest of it is  personal and I'll keep it to myself. It doesn't stop me from wanting pretty spring dresses, though.

Bodice pieces

I've had this particular dress in my head for some time now. I think it was on my Spring Palette challenge for 2011 and been on my "to do" list since 2010. There were a few reasons I was reticent in making up, the biggest being fitting issues. Why the people at Vogue decided to label this as "easy", I can't even begin to guess.  All but the halter variations have a "lined under bodice" with the most convoluted instructions I've seen to date.  The more I tried to figure them out, the more confused I got.  Once I threw out (or aside) the under bodice piece (That would be #5) the entire thing became much MUCH less complicated.

So first thing's first, I had to figure out how to modify the bodice pattern for my bust size.  The waist should be fitted snugly UNDER the bust (ending result should be WOAH MAMMA!).  I cut my normal size 18  (for commercial patterns) and pattern ease is +3 inches.  This means I need to add 4.5 inches total for the bust, about three for the waist. I decided to go with the more couture method of marking my seam lines and then tracing onto grid interfacing (the cheap stuff from JoAnn's), to make my initial pattern modifications before doing my first muslin.

Marking seam lines
While I do like "Fit for Real People" it does have some limitations. I recently bought Fitting and Pattern Alteration after ordering Susan Khalje's online class as it was on her "recommended reading" list.  So between those two references and Miss Snug Bug's FBA tutorials, I had a plan of attack.

Fitting and Pattern Alteration
And I just realized I failed to take photos of the modifications I made after tracing the pattern. GAH!  I'll take more and post them later. I added width and length to piece #1. I widened the shoulder seams by 3/4 inch on both front and back bodice because I felt the need for more coverage. They were going to be WAY too thin otherwise for my frame.   Then, of course, the aforementioned width to the midriff band pieces.

Then I got to pinning and tracing the modified pieces onto muslin.  Have I mentioned I also purchased the 26x39 inch tracing paper from Richard The Thread? I have no idea how I ever lived my life without that stuff. HOLY COW does it make life easier!

thread tracing queue
Another little tidbit of interest; you know all those bobbins with just enough on them for maybe two or three seams before you run out? They are PERFECT for thread tracing a muslin. I used up about four of them in the process and now I have four empty bobbins ready to be filled for other projects. Hooray for frugality!

Front muslin view

So, first muslin isn't too bad. I made markings of where I want my front bodice seams to fall which should put the midriff front right at my waistline.  I'm also bringing the two pieces together in the front so the neckline won't be so plunging.  A good friend mentioned I could always wear a cami underneath for more work-appropriate modesty, which I thought not a bad idea.

back muslin view 
So, on the back I still need to do a rounded shoulder adjustment and I'm going to add darts to the back midriff to take care of my sway back/narrower waist issue.  What might not be obvious here is the bodice dart has also been deepened due to widening the shoulders.  I think I might re-draw the V-back to be not quite so deep.

All that work is going to have to happen later though. I've got my four, 12 hour days ahead of me.   Oh, and in case you were wondering, the black and pink is what I'm using for this dress. Same print as my daughter's fabric, different colorway.

Print in two colorways
Wow, long post!  I hope you made it this far with me!  I have much more to come on this one.  So, what's got you excited for Spring Sewing?

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