Thursday, 18 September 2014

Vogue 1398 Badgley Mischka's Three Tiered Scalloped Dress

I love sewing Vogue Patterns. The design and construction never let me down. Vogue 2014 summer pattern was quite a delightful release (back in March). Lots of pretty and practical patterns there and this pattern caught my eye straight away. Lots of design elements here:
• pleated neckline,
• princess seam bodice,
• tiered skirt, and
• most specially scalloped hem!

However, there are not many reviews or makes on this pattern so far. Is it because it's more for special occasions or is it too difficult?

As it turned out, the pattern really let me down in some aspects. The poor drafting of the armhole and bodice almost killed my hard work.

The fabric
From my last experience of vogue 1353, I learned pleats are more visible with solid colour fabric. I want it whit or ivory at the start. I bought some ivory georgette and yellow lining. However, I found the ivory georgette is a bit too see-through and may be too soft for the scalloped hem. I decided to go back to the heavy poly georgette from my last project Vogue 9004. It's not as drapey as I want it but that's fine. Scalloped hem needs firmly woven fabric.

The problem with poly fabric is that it's very hard to press. It's very springy. It's one of the reasons this project took me a long time to finish.

Pattern error and poor drafting
I heard about vogue patterns often have errors, but I had never found one. This time, I found one error on the pattern. It's the notch in pattern piece 1, as shown below in red circle.

Another problem is the placement of the apex. The pattern places the apex on the side front bodice piece, far away from the centre front. In my muslin, my apex is on the centre front piece. Quite a bit of distance between the "designed" apex and my real apex.
Not only the above, the major let down is the size of the armhole. It's ridiculously huge. I failed to detect it in my muslin. After I finished everything and tried it on, I found the armholes almost exposed up my bra! *sigh* It needs to be raised by one inch.

 It took me long time...
If you want to make this dress, this is no quick project. Plan heaps of time and patience. It is by far the most tedious project I've done other than my wedding dress. Let me do the numbers:
• 13 pattern pieces
• 8 princess seams (shell and lining, front and back)
• skirt panels (shell and lining, front and back)
• Three tiers of scalloped hem, 12x3=36 scalloped curves

So many CURVED stitching and pressing! I almost called it quits, but I stared at the envelope photos to keep myself going. At the end, I gained lots of experience on stitching curved edges and now I can sew a perfect princess seam and if I need to sew it again, I have nothing to fear. No pain no gain!

Sewing scalloped hem
Here is a list of websites that have very useful tips on sewing scalloped hem.
Thread Magazine
Megan Neilson

I strongly suggest basting in a seam allowance for the scallops first, probably about 1 cm from the edge. Match the turning point on the lining and main fabric.

I pressed the seam allowance open on the curve of the Tailor's Board, then pressed it flat. It's the fastest and best way.

Overall, the dress is pretty and the instruction is very well written, but the armhole is way too big.
This dress took me three whole days, from fitting to finish. It almost wore me out. It's the second most painful work after my wedding dress, but at the end, like my wedding address, I am proud and happy with the result.

I really don't know if I'll sew it again. It's so hard. I need to adjust the armhole and the princess seam to fit my upper body better.

Material list:
Heavy Georgette (112 cm width): 1.5m x $4 = $6
Lining (122 cm width): 1.8 m x $1.5 = $2.7
Dress zip 22 inch = $1.4
Time used: approx. 25 hours

What's next?
Still working on the Godet Dress from Burda Style magazine atm.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Vogue 9004: Asymmetric top v1.0

I was attracted by the photo of the model wearing this top when Vogue 9004 first came out. I had a number of reasons to love it at first sight:
  • Its asymmetric design is distinctive
  • I thought that it would be an easy project. Only a few panels and a few seams.
  • Its loose fitting means I don't need to make a muslin to get a fit.

The size
I cut size 10 and grade to 12 from waist. It's my normal cut because of my pear shape body type. But I find it's a too small. The top is supposed to be loosely fitted. It seems a bit too tight. I think I will make size 12 next time.

Like what's said in PR, the front hem is bit too high.. My belly is exposed when my jeans are not high waisted. I am think View A may be better on this. Or I can lengthen the front next time?
The corner at the front is too high.

Thanks to Sewtawdry's review, I removed the zip to make it easier and neater.
Back piece of the pattern is well drafted.

The fabric
The fabric label was missing on the bolt but I think the fabric is heavy georgette. I never sewed it before because I thought it would be difficult to handle. However, after making my wedding gown, I learnt a lot from my dressmaker neighbour Verona and got more confidence. "Maybe I can give it a go!" 
The two colour are white and light blue. the difference is very subtle on the photo.
I took extra care on handling the fabric. Instead of cutting the fabric with the pattern on top, I traced the patter on the fabric with tracing wheel and carbon paper, then cut the single-layer fabric along the tracing. Of course, notches and darts are transferred too.
Tracing the pattern on single layer
One of the elements that make this special is the asymmetric neckline. If you take a closer look the left front side has a corner that sticks up which makes this top harder to sew.

I failed to sew the corner properly the first time. It's a bit complicated for me and the instructions don't help much. The instructions only tell you where the stitching line is, but don't say how to clip the seam allowance or turn it inside out to make a nice mitre corner. It took me a while to figure it out. The result was less than perfect.
Intersection at the front neckline. a bit messy.

Hemming a concave curve
I only realised the front hem line has a bit of a concave curve when I was pressing the fold. Grrr...It gave me a big headache as I had already serged the edge and could not manipulate it any more, plus I never hemmed a concave curve. No surprise I had a lot of puckers in the front hem line.

I would like to hear from you if you have better suggestion.

In conclusion, I blame myself for not planning and studying the pattern enough before sewing. Everything went well until the construction of the neckline and hemming. I hope to sew it again with lighter (normal)  georgette and hopefully I will do better next time.

What's next

I am using the same fabric for Vogue 1398 theTtiered scalloped dress. It's half done so far. Should be up soon!!

We are back on TRACK! Yes... I started running again. After a couple of kilometres, I was so exhausted that I only wanted to hug the pillar of my house. My motivation behind it is to fit the pattern size. Adjusting the pattern to my out-of-shape body is equally as challenging as fitting my body shape to the pattern.. :P

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...