Monthly Archives: July 2016

Vogue 1502: Think Outside the Box

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Sometimes your inspiration image at the start of the project doesn’t match the final product! This project started when I saw the model on the pattern envelope and really liked the dress. But, as the project progressed, things changed…

Vogue 1502

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I’m not much for maxi dresses, and the yardage required (5 yds of 60″ wide) didn’t fit anything in my fabric stash, especially not chiffon. I pulled some chiffon that I had, thinking that if I shortened the dress, I’d have enough fabric, but that wasn’t the case. After looking closer at the pattern envelope, I noticed that the fabric recommendations included “border prints”, so I reached for a recent fabric purchase that ended up being perfect! And away we go…

Fabric: 3 lovely yards of navy blue Rayon Batik border print from Haberman Fabrics, purchased earlier this spring. I spied it on a rolling cart, it hadn’t even made it to the sales floor display yet! I can’t resist blue and white dress prints…

Pattern: Vogue 1502 (Tracy Reese)
‘Lined, floor-length dress has close-fitting bodice with front dart tucks, scoop neckline, midriff, back inset, shoulder straps, under bodice, raised waist, side-front and side-back seams on skirt, invisible side zipper, very narrow hem, narrow hem on three-quarter length sleeves, and French seams. Neck binding, facings for underbodice, and continuous bias to finish zipper and armholes.”

Lined? Nope, didn’t do that. The fabric was not sheer and I used my serger to finish all the seams and hems, so French seams weren’t necessary either.

Floor length? Nope, trimmed the skirt pattern pieces down to 24″ in length.

Invisible Zipper? Nope. When I attached the skirt to the bodice, I was able to slip it on with the side seam basted, so I skipped the zipper.

Three-quarter length sleeves: Nope. I had every intention of keeping the sleeves, I even made great use of the border and had excellent print placement! But, when I slipped the dress on after attaching the skirt, the dress just said “I’m an effortless, warm weather dress. Wear me on sunny days with your hair up!” and the sleeves just seemed… matronly and heavy to me. I hate to waste fabric, but it just seemed like the dress was more flattering on me without the sleeves. Here’s the picture I posted on Instagram seeking feedback, and the vast majority of the comments said, “Sleeveless!!!”

Instagram

Construction: I followed the pattern’s instructions for guidance, but made changes along the way, since my fabric wasn’t sheer. For example, the inner “lining” (a cami top and mini skirt) weren’t necessary, although I did require the back bodice lining piece for coverage. I added about 1.5″ to the top edge for additional coverage (to hide the bra strap at center back) and attached the lining piece to the back bodice pieces along the side seams. However, I still needed to tack the lining piece to the sides of the deep “V”, as it was very drapey and wouldn’t stay up where I needed it.

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The ties are a perfect length, even with the shorter skirt. I just made the bow loops a little longer to pick up the slack, and also realized that I could wrap them around my back and tie them in the front for another cute belting option.

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This project is an excellent reminder that the picture on the pattern envelope, which is extremely fashionable and a beautiful garment, may not resemble your finished garment, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’s important to look beyond the fabric selection, the length, or the sleeve type, and really look at a garment for it’s “bones”… the design details, the opportunities for thinking outside the box. If I’d ignored this pattern because I’m not a fan of maxi dresses on my body type, I would’ve missed out on a spectacular use for a special fabric in my stash! My favorite parts are all here: the deep v-back, the border print, the flattering style lines. I’m pretty sure I’ll reach for this pattern again, as the construction was very straightforward and the dress really has 4-season opportunity, depending on the fabric selection and the sleeve! Two thumbs up for Vogue 1502 and don’t be afraid to stray from the “norm”!

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Two-Piece Lace Wedding Dress

I have a friend with a heart of gold. She is beautiful inside and out, is kind and generous, just an amazing person all around.  When she asked if 2 months would be enough time to make her wedding dress, I said, “We’d better get started!”

Inspiration: Lace topped two-piece dresses from Pinterest. Full length gathered skirt with a cropped, lace top. Scalloped lace at the bodice hem, and ivory fabrics were the priorities.

Lauren's Inspirations

Sketch: After trying on different styles, she had an even clearer idea of what she wanted, so I sketched this to make sure that was the vision in her mind’s eye.

 

Sketches for Lauren

Pattern: McCalls 6893

McCalls 6893 (skirt and bandeau)McCalls 6893 (lace bodice)

This pattern had the long gathered skirt with a sheer over-layer, a waistband, a sweetheart neckline underneath, and a sheer bodice over layer. By separating the skirt from the bodice at the waistband, we had a two-piece look.

 

Fabrics: Haberman Fabrics has the most amazing and complete wedding fabrics, supplies, and accessories in Michigan. This is the bridal fabrics room and the wall of laces to choose from!

 

Haberman's

My friend chose a stunning ivory Chantilly lace with a soft floral pattern and scalloped edge.

Chantilly Lace

 

We also purchased Silk charmeuse and silk chiffon, lining (nude), silk covered buttons and looping by the yard, and notions.

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Construction: I started with the skirt, since that would be the fastest, easiest, and most straight-forward of the ensemble pieces to make.  The only issue I had was the static cling between the chiffon and the charmeuse, making the skirt appear to have a single layer of fabric, rather than two. Careful application (by spraying on my hands and spreading, not directly on the fabric) of sizing/starch seemed to help.

Skirt

The bride was in need of “something blue”, so I also stitched their wedding date into the waistband.

Date

The sweetheart bandeau was constructed next, and made of silk charmeuse. I shortened the bodice pattern pieces, didn’t use any boning, and used bra closure hooks and eyes for the center back closure.

Silk Bandeau

The lace bodice top was the most detailed and required the most thought and care. The lace alone was too sheer, so by underlining it with chiffon, it still remained sheer but gave the top a much softer look. I was very careful in the placement of the lace motif, using the scalloped edge at the hem and placing the “floral spray” woven into the lace at center front. I hand-stitched the chiffon at the scalloped edge, trimming the excess away, and hand-stitched the neckline, armscye, and all 21 satin buttons at the center back.

Bodice

 

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The cap sleeve was the last addition, as the bride was really on the fence about having sleeves or not. I drafted them by using the top of the sleeve pattern piece, but only using about 4″ from the cap and leaving the underarm area open. By not adding the chiffon underneath, the sleeves were more sheer, and the scalloped edge gave the top an added soft and feminine touch.

Vows

 

Full Length Front

Full Length Back

Conclusion: The bride said it was “perfect, exactly what I had in my mind!”, and the groom said it’s the “most beautiful dress, it took my breathe away”.  I’m so glad and honored that I was able to help make their wedding day more perfect!

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