Monday, 20 August 2012

Vogue 8812 Vintage Sundress - Lattice smocked version

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Sometimes, when you sew, the outcome is even better than you imagined.Despite the difficulty in photographing this dress (too pale to show the details in most lights), I feel that this is one of my most successful projects. I am feeling immune to Isewedititis - bring on the chiffon.
If you see the faults in this dress (don't look too close), please don't tell me ;). I can see a few from here but am pretending they are not visible.
There are 27 hours of work highly enjoyable smocking and sewing time in this dress and I feel that it is worth every moment. I think my daughter has excellent design skills.
I do hope that my daughter will get 27 hours of wear from this dress, (yes, I do read Barbara Eumondi in Australian Stitches) but have taken my full reward for making this dress in my pleasure in the construction. This is just as well, as my daughter is more likely to wear jeans than this dress, but  I can probably still  make convince her to wear it out to lunch with her Grandmother or similar occasions ;). She is a kind girl, and will do this to please her mother if I look sufficiently miserable when I beg ask.

I also hope that the formal version is equally as pleasing when I get around to making it. I may have to give up sewing so that I can rest on my laurels. ( On considered reflection,that chiffon can return to the stash)

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( This is the trial version, in day wear style, of my daughter's Yr12 formal dress - although after reading the stories around Promaballoona, I am considering suggesting to my daughter than she stay home and have a nice evening doing some knitting  instead  of going to her formal)

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If you can bear more construction details, my variations to the pattern, Vogue Vintage 8812 are below.

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The fabrics used are medium weight linen from Michaels Fabrics, with cotton batiste lining. Silk organza is used, on the bias, for the edging on the lattice smocked overlay. I used a small amount of very crisp shirting interfacing from Sew Exciting Sewing supplies for the button placket.
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 Alterations and contruction changes

1. Small bust adjustment to the "bra stay", and constructing both a lining and fashion fabric piece from the stay patten to support the smocking.

2. Lattice smocking of the upper bodice overlay,  (my post  with instructions in lattice smocking  is here) and draping of this piece with the selvage as the upper edge, omitting the bias finish and centre bow of the overlay in the original pattern.
After construction, I needed to gather the  overlay section under the arm and to the back slightly to prevent puffiness in this area.
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 Puffiness in the front was considered figure enhancement, and gently shaped with a little central tacking to the lining.
 I also altered the upper bodice overlay and the waist section by  omitting the under bust concavities in the waist section, and in the overlay, reduced the upper central concavity, as the smocked overlay attachment would have made the curved seam less noticeable as a design feature, and would have been more difficult to sew than the gentle curves remaining in the seam.

3. Piping the under bust seam. This was quite tricky, as the invisible zipper foot I commonly use to apply piping with my Janome kept catching on the lattice smocking. (I have a piping foot for my old machine, but I don't think this would work any more easily, lattice smocked mid weight linen is not terribly co-operative in construction)

4. Using 3 bias tubes with the inner and outer tubes tapering from the bodice to the shoulder to form the shoulder straps rather than one wider bias strap. These are sewn together at the shoulders. This is a detail taken from a RTW dress my daughter was given when she was 4 (a dress from Paris, as a present from Grandma), I have used it several times in dresses where a bra is not required, as it is simple to sew, and looks more fancy than a spaghetti strap.

5. Using a right sides together construction for the bodice and waist seams rather than the 1940's era construction method  of folding in the seam allowance and lapping the waist piece over the bodice and skirt.

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5. Fully lining the dress with cotton batiste and finishing the lining hem with cotton lace.

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6. Using machine button holes rather than the bound buttonholes in the pattern.  I am rather taken with these flower shaped coconut buttons, they look so pretty next to the butter shade of the linen.

7. Omitting the belt

8. Shortening the dress by 15cm at the hem to a just above the knee length.

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Excuse me, I am off to hang this dress on the wall  in my sewing room so that I can admire it a bit more.

33 comments:

Judith said...

Let me be the first to congratulate you on a brilliant make of this dress! The hours of (work) love you have put in is a credit to you. Can't wait to see the formal version - it will be a stunner...

velosewer said...

Wow and Wow. It's beautiful. You do such lovely work. Every detail is beautiful to look at.

I'd frame this dress and have it in the entrance of your home.

Carolyn said...

Congratulations! A Masterpiece! Your daughter looks absolutely beautiful, and you should be very proud of both her, and the beautiful dress you made for her :)

prttynpnk said...

Oh, to create an heirloom like this is wonderful. Lucky girl to wear this.

katherine h said...

What beautiful details. I would hang it on a wall to admire too. Perhaps you could keep it artfully draped on a wall when you daughter is not wearing it...I have seen this done in house magazines. I love the triple strap detail.

BetsyV said...

Beautiful dress! I love the smocking and the flower buttons

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful! I'd frame it too.

Carol said...

Oh my goodness, what an incredibly beautiful dress. I love this buttery colour and I am jealous I can't wear it. The smocking is lovely, the shape is lovely, the buttons are cute and gorgeous and your daughter is beautiful! How proud you must be.

Lyndle said...

Beautiful!! Admire away and congratulate yourself at every opportunity! Gorgeous. And your daughter is pretty too. She looks far too young and beautiful to be going to a school ball...

liza jane said...

Gorgeous! This is definitely an heirloom. Something she should hang on. I can't believe that smocking. It looks so complicated but well worth all the effort. Definitely hang it on your wall and admire it for a while! And I had to laugh at the comment about reading Promaballoona stories... stay at home and knit! Lol!

Jenn said...

What a beautiful dress. I love those flower buttons.

cuckoochanel said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! Your daughter is stunning in it. What amazing work.

Gail said...

There is a world of sewers out here thinking a) I want one! and b) how did she do it? Your daughter is a lucky girl.

Mary Nanna said...

oh very pretty - your daughter and the dress (in that order, but hearing how much work went into that dress perhaps I should reverse that order??)

The buttons are just right - and so many details - the thought of making it twice puts me into a mild head spin.

Catherine Daze said...

Beautiful!

Sue said...

Love it when it all comes together!

Sharon said...

Breathtaking and your hours of work are well deserved for a huge pat on the back. The formal version will be the envy of all.

puu said...

that smocking is a wonderful, creative design detail that completely enhances the simple beauty of the dress--i am jealous because i never would have thought of that myself! as prttynpnk says, that is an heirloom.

Sigrid said...

Wonderful work, it's so worth all the time invested. It's so beautiful on your daughter as well.

countrygirlcouture said...

This dress is stunning, and I just know that your daughter will wear this with pride. :-) I can't wait to see the formal version!!

Clio said...

Oh my! You should hang it on the wall and admire it! All that work paid off in spades!

Cherrypix said...

What a work of art! Fabulous design and execution!

Joy said...

Wow, this is so lovely! It's especially pretty in the delicate shade of yellow. Amazing work.

Janine said...

This dress is absolutely breathtaking - your beautiful smocking , the pretty lemon colour , it fits so well. I am looking forward to seeing the formal version .Now I am going to discover what you mean about the promaballoona stories - sounds intriguing.

Janine said...

This dress is absolutely breathtaking - your beautiful smocking , the pretty lemon colour , it fits so well. I am looking forward to seeing the formal version .Now I am going to discover what you mean about the promaballoona stories - sounds intriguing.

Allison said...

Oh my goodness! That is just stunning! The exquisite smocking work on the bodice really makes the whole thing totally outstanding. You should go admitre your handiwork....this is a lovely creation!

Paola said...

Sigh, I'm enjoying looking at that dress! Your well justified pride is well-founded! Looking forward to the formal version.

Bernice said...

What a beautiful dress full of lovely details. The smocking looks so impressive. I particularly like the triple straps.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

So many wonderful details and I love the pale yellow color on your daughter. The smocking is fabulous and figure-enhancing indeed.

Rosy said...

Wow!!!This dress is really amazing! I'm watching it and I'm literally drooling over the keyboard of my computer .... I'm amazed at this post and enjoy your pictures!

Scruffybadger said...

Gasp!! I am speechless...this dress contains so much skill and wonderful detailing. It's what you'd describe as an heirloom, I'd say. Gorgeous.

Scruffybadger said...

Sorry if this is a duplicate comment....something went a bit kooky in the comment form. I wanted to say how I'm speechless at the inordinate amount of skill and attention to detail in this beautiful heirloom dress. It looks stunning and I am blown away by it....

sewphie said...

This.is.just.exquisite.no.less!