Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 40s Knit Dress aka Vogue 8728

Vogue 1


Yesterday was my birthday and I was mighty spoilt! I am currently writing this post on my brand spanking new MacBook Air courtesy of my awesome Husband :) My parents gave me a Lady Valet dress form as a combined birthday and christmas 2012 present and I am the proud owner of a 1kilogram box of praline chocolates. This could end badly...

Anyway, let's talk about this dress, and more importantly, the pattern itself...

Vogue 11

Vogue 5

I think there are quite a few of us who have this pattern in our stashes. I've certainly had it for about a year now and was originally inspired to get it when David and I were in town and I saw the exact dress design in a shop window. It was made out of some fabric that I have the vintage twin of (a turquoise polka dot cotton) and it looked so great on the mannequin I bought the pattern that night.

Before I touched my lovely spotty fabric though, I wanted to make it up in a navy cotton knit first for 2 reasons - I wanted to test the pattern and I really wanted to practice sewing with knits a bit more. I finally got my fabric about 2 weeks ago and the dress was added to my list.

Vogue 10

Vogue 4

The one thing I would like to point out before I get into the review properly, that I was a bit worried about and that none of the other reviews I had read mentioned, was, for lack of a better term - 'boob-gatherage'. AKA, the gathers in the bust gathering into the recess between and on either side of your boobs leaving you with smooth boobs on top and major pools of fabric all around them.

You know what I'm talking about and it looks weird.  It also doesn't matter how even your gathers are on the top and bottom, their natural inclination is to move to either side of or in-between your bust.

To prevent this, I ended up wearing a slip with mine and tend to wear slips with all my dresses anyway. Doing this, I found that I didn't really have too many issues with boob-gatherage. However, when I was trying it on, mid-construction, without a slip, it wasn't pretty folks. So I would suggest wearing a slip or singlet to prevent the uneven gathers when wearing it. Alternatively, you could draft another pattern piece with no gathers in it, that fits straight across your bust and insert that piece under the gathered bust. I couldn't really be bothered with that though...

Vogue 2

The main construction issue I had with this pattern was getting the sizing right. There are so many conflicting reviews about which size to cut. I ended up reading so many and getting bogged down in them, that I eventually went with my gut and cut 2 sizes smaller in the gathered bust and 1 size smaller all over. I had a lot of fabric and so it wouldn't have been an issue if I had needed to recut any of the pattern pieces had I got the sizing wrong. Luckily I didn't have to worry about that as the dress fit perfectly.

I found that some of the instructions made constructing the dress harder than it needed to be. On the lower bust, they ask you to tuck the top and bottom edges in and then topstitch it to the top bust and skirt. Personally, I think that doing it that way would be so much harder to keep your seams straight and neat and so instead, I stitched them right sides together first and then top stitched. Yes, you are doubling up your stitches, but it ends up looking neater and you've strengthened your bodice this way.

There was also a part about using tear out interfacing on the top gathers. Hmmmm, I ignored that bit.

The only slightly difficult section in the dress is making sure your bust gathers are even to begin with. To ensure the right fit and distribution of gathers, once I had attached the bottom bodice to the lower gathers on the top bodice, I put the incomplete bodice on my dress form. I pinned the shoulders in place where I wanted them to sit and then gathered my top bodice in. I found that this worked really well to make sure I was happy with the amount of gathers in there, that they were evenly distributed and that I liked the where the neckline sat.

I have to be honest, I didn't really like dress to begin with, but it did grow on me quite quickly. It's so comfortable and it's the perfect travel dress! David and I went away for the weekend and spent a few hours in the car before we took these where we were staying (they had chickens!! Pictures below!) and you wouldn't guess.

I do need to wear a belt with it but I would probably wear one anyway. It was a quick dress to make up and I'm quite sure that another of these is in my sewing future. Vintage turquoise polkadots, here I come!

If you have any questions about the dress please let me know in the comments, I'd be glad to try and answer them for you.

Now, onto the chickens!! This dress is so versatile that you can go from Travelling Movie Star to Chic Farm Girl in one foul (fowl?) swoop :)

Chicken 1

Chicken 2

Chicken 3

Chicken 4

Turns out chickens don't come when they are called. Much like cats...

xx
Jen

24 comments:

  1. Awesome dress (and chickens..)
    -Sewingelle

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  2. Happy birthday! I love this on you! I'm not generally a big fan of knit dresses, but this one tempts me to try one out!

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  3. Happy birthday! The dress is super cute. I like the subtle stripes on the fabric. I've wanted to make a dress with this same pattern for a while. I wear slips a lot too, so it's good to know that generally solveds the problem of "boob gatherage." Ha! Can't wait to see the spotty version.

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  4. Happy birthday!

    This dress is so beautiful! I really love the gathered bodice.

    When I sewed one of my vogue reproduction patterns they came with similar instructions for adding the skirt to the bodice. I did the same as you. I think the waist seam could always use a bit extra support with more stitching.
    (I hope i'm a bit clear, English is not my mother tongue).

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  5. Beautiful scenery! Thanks for the information on this dress. I love the style, but have similar concerns about sizing and how flattering the gathers will be. It looks lovely on you!

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  6. Very cute and looks comfy! I love knit dresses, so easy to wear during summer (in fact i'm wearing one now!) i have a dress with the boob gathering problem and i hadn't thought about wearing a slip or camisole underneath it, so thanks for the tip =)

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  7. I absolutely love this on you. The design is fab, and suits you to a tee.

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  8. I really like this! I, like you, would have been a bit worried that it would be all about the boobs once finished but it looks great and gives the dress a nice feature without completely focussing attention only on that area. Really lovely! Oh and happy birthday!

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  9. Happy birthday!!!! Did you redo your blog design lately? Or have I just been reading on google reader too much? It looks lovely, regardless! (as is your dress!)

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  10. Hehe, thanks Gillian! I had a blog make over in January, it was time!

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  11. I love this dress! Simple yet elegant. I want one!

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  12. Hi Jen - thanks for popping over and leaving a comment on my blog - I suppose the downside of the beautiful green hills is the wretched wet stuff - sigh! It looks beautiful where you live - and you've even got some picturesque chickens! Well done on the dress - I struggle with cotton fabric so knits are way up at the top of the mountain to me! Nice to meet you x Jane

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  13. muy bonito vestido
    http://mandarinacosturera.blogspot.com.es/

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  14. Oh I love this! It's so elegant and wearable at the same time. Definitely going on my "to make" list. Thanks for the tip about wearing a slip to avoid gathered boobs (ahem).

    Oh and happy birthday!

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  15. Happy birthday! Beautiful dress - and thank you for the tips on beating boob gathers!!

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  16. Lovely dress! I am so scared of sewing knits but this dress may just convince me to give it ago. You look gorgeous! I hope you had a great birthday and weekend away.

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  17. This is an impressive knit dress. I loved the boob gatherage tip!

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  18. Indeed it looks great - better than I would have thought based on the pattern illustration. I'm guessing the dress was designed for a woven, so did you have to make many adjustments due to using a knit? I'm terrified of sewing knits :-)

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  19. Happy Belated Birthday! And, this is a lovely dress, looks really nice in a knit fabric!

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  20. Such a beautifull dress! And hapy birthday :)

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Thank you so much for stopping by to leave me a comment, like most people, I really do appreciate them all!

If you've asked me a question, I've recently changed my comment layout and can now reply to you directly on this comment page, so do check back :)

XX
Jen