Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vogue 1370 - Construction Notes

After getting all of the alterations made to the pattern pieces, the cutting out process was just as involved.  There are 14 pattern pieces for the dress all of which must be cut in a flat fabric layout.

The silhouette of the pattern, as well as, the inserts attracted me to this pattern.  I don't think the fabric chosen for the pattern by Vogue was the most stunning or achieved the most dramatic results.  I always saw the pattern in black and white, literally.  Black and white is on trend for fall and this combo produces the dramatic results I think this pattern needs.  So I started with a black double sided wool crepe from Mood.


There was some deliberation over whether to use the scraps of the black 'n white houndstooth wool used in this skirt and this dress...or a black 'n white lacey piece from the collection.  Seriously this piece has been in the collection so long that I have no idea where it came from especially since it's not tagged.  I was leaning towards the houndstooth, then when I was thinking about how I would wear the dress, I remembered my houndstooth shoes and that settled the matter. 


Once all of the pieces were cut out of the black wool double crepe, I cut out the houndstooth pieces. I fused a lightweight black fusible interfacing to the back of the houndstooth scrap prior to cutting the insert pieces out. I wanted to insure that the houndstooth and the wool crepe pieces were the same weight. Also since most of the insert pieces are curved the interfacing will help them hold their shape and assist with stabilizing the seams when sewn to the wool crepe pieces.

I started assembling the back of the dress first. Honestly I did this because the backs are smaller pieces. Putting this dress together is like doing one large jigsaw puzzle and it's important that you not force the pieces together. Each piece has to meet at either end or you throw the center back or side off.  This is NOT a pattern for a beginner or an advanced beginner. You definitely need some sewing experience to handle assembling this garment.

Which brings me to a comment that Nancy asked on the V1370 - Pattern Alterations post, "Could you not have taken your TNT pattern, traced it off, and then sketched the insets on it, just like the Vogue 1370?"  Actually I never even thought of that. That is a viable alternative.  However, I think it would be just as much work as the method I chose.  Even if you'd used either method, I still say that this is an intermediate to advanced sewist's pattern.



Left side with insert

Right side with insert

As mentioned in the construction post I did omit the dart in the left back piece. Although I thought I would make a pleat where the dart portion appears in the lower back so that it would match the insert piece. That didn't work. I ended up removing the pleat and had to hand baste the pieces together to make them fit before sewing them together with the sewing machine. I highly recommend basting sections to anyone else attempting to sew this dress. It gives you so much control and allows you to make sure that the pieces work together easily.



My other tip to anyone making this dress would be to use a lot of steam and liberal use of your clapper. Mine got a serious workout to help seams stay open and flat especially in the areas where the inserts merged. This steam/press was integral to making the inserts work in the dress. That and clipping the seams in stressful spots. I added quite a few more clips in the seams than the pattern instructions suggested.  Having added interfacing to the inserts, I was less worried about clipping those seams and weakening them than if the pieces hadn't been interfaced.

Finally a shot of the front of the dress with the inserts...



I made one change to the sleeves.  I added a 2" band of the houndstooth fabric to the hem of the sleeves. It lengthened the sleeve and made it hit a place on my arm that I like.  It also added some more of the houndstooth to the dress...a design feature that I wanted.



The rest of the dress will be assembled as per the instructions.  I'm adding a lining. However, since my wool crepe is thick I won't be using the fashion fabric inserts as the pattern instructions suggest, instead I will be using lining fabric to minimize the bulk in the back neckline area that I don't want.  

This is a complicated sew. I was wrong to suggest that it wasn't.  I've put about 8 hours of pattern alterations and cutting out the fabric into this and now another 8 hours of construction and I don't have the dress together yet. There is at least another 8 hours because I have to cut out the lining and stitch it together. Then assemble the dress and add the lining, finally doing all of the finishing touches.  I'm going to clock a good 24/25 hours before I finish this dress...so it's not an easy sew at all.

I'm not sure that I will do another post on this dress prior to it's reveal.  I think anything relevant can go in that last post.

...as always more later!






32 comments:

  1. Wow! Love this - the houndstooth is a great addition. I would love to see it with the lace - but the houndstooth is perfect. Love the addition at the sleeve hems. g

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  2. It is looking good. The houndstooth is looking just right.

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  3. That is looking fantastic. Loving the houndstooth.

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  4. So I was voting for the lace, but now that you said you have those shoes I get the houndstooth :) Makes sense now. It will be perfect!

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  5. I bought this pattern in the last BMV sale. I had no idea until reading this post that this is not an easy peasy dress to sew. I appreciate all feedback about this dress and will be following along on your progress. I like the fabric choice you have made.

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  6. The dress is going to look wonderful, when I first saw the pattern I wasn't sure but this has made me a fan of the design. Love the information on the interfacing of the insets.

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  7. You certainly are in command of the challenges here. This will be awesome when complete.

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  8. Ooh, this is off to a great start! Can't wait to see it!

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  9. I was gone with that first pic of the houndstooth inset. This is going to be FAB. Can't wait!

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  10. Oh my, it looks so good already. Can't wait to see the end result. You have such vision!!

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  11. Am loving this. I have to get this pattern!

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  12. A very striking dress and it is coming along wonderfully. Slow but sure for these complicated patterns is the name of the game. Can hardly wait to see it on you but I will exercise patience.

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  13. Carolyn, you are an advanced sewist and this dress is going to show your skill and creativity. Don't you love the process of being inspired by a "look" and then being able to produce your own custom version? This is one of the main reasons I sew.

    Karen

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  14. I love the fabric choices and your thoughts on why black and white will make this design really pop. You have an amazing eye.

    -Autumn

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  15. Yikes! I had thought about getting this pattern but I think I'm going to wait a while....I still consider myself an advanced beginner. I can't wait to see your dress though -- looks like it's going to be beautiful.

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  16. This is already looking more dramatic than the envelope version! You are so right about the fabric choice.

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  17. Well, well Ms. Carolyn. I see you up to your usual, making something lovely. ;-) I thought about buying that pattern. Nice work.

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  18. Ooooh! It's looking gorgeous. I so admire your ability to look at a pattern envelope and see something completely different. I wish I could.

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  19. This is going to be one lovely dress, as usual. Oh, the houndstooth makes this dress pop! I saw the pattern and looked the other way. Smh. I cannot wait for the reveal.

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  20. I can definitely see another winner in the making.

    A woman had on a dress very similar to this pattern at church Sunday morning. Hers was black knit with leather inserts. Absolutely beautiful.

    Can't wait to see your finished product.

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  21. Your teaser pics look soooo good! I am anxious to see the final dress. BTW, I'm glad you went with the houndstooth. I love the twist on classic/trendy.

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  22. This is going to be so pretty.

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  23. You are such a wonderful sewist and I hope you'll do some videos soon! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

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  24. Definitely sounds like you've had to put a lot of work into this dress! Well worth it though :)

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  25. Glorious. So elegant. And perfect with the shoes.

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  26. Beautiful dress! I can't wait to see the whole thing put together. I'm grateful for your comments about the construction of this dress. I was very tempted by the pattern but as I'm just returning to sewing I think it might be a bit beyond my skill level at the moment. I'm still figuring out basic fitting adjustments I need. So this will go on my someday list. :-)

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  27. Those inserts are much curvier than I thought they were, that takes some precision sewing to get them looking that good.

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  28. Wheeee! This is going to look FAB, Carolyn. Love your detailed post about the construction of the inserts.

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  29. Great dress.
    ...and if you need a little break then I think you should take a little break and just do your simple sewing. Everyone needs a little time to themself once in a while. I'm sure your no exception :) Take care of yourself.

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  30. Carolyn,
    I wanted to tell you that I went to the Sewing Expo this weekend, and took a class with Cynthia Guffey. She was awesome. I also got to speak with her and let her know I read good things about her from your blog. Thanks so much for recommending her. If I get to go next year, I am definitely taking more of her classes.

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  31. The dress is looking great . I like the black and houndstooth combination. I have plans to make this dress, but still working on the combination I want. Thanks for sharing tips/ review og this pattern.

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