Sunday, 15 June 2014

Where it all begins...

Project One: Vogue 8875 - Sheath Dress. This looks like a good place to start. 
It does say "Average" - maybe "Easy" would be better! I'm hoping the dress is not too tricky. Imagine if I hide this, the first project, in the back of the craft cupboard in despair.
 Right. I've measured myself thoroughly, and have discovered I am freakily close to one of the Vogue sizes. How cool is that?? I have concluded that this pattern does suit a curvy figure, because I certainly have that. The model on the pattern packet looks rather long and slender, but we all know 1950's dress pattern images often have beautiful ladies with teeny tiny waists, impossibly long, slender arms and legs, and look ready for the catwalk. Take a look at the Audrey Hepburn look-a-like in the sheath dress pictured on the pattern envelope above.

Because I am on the path to a tinier body I traced the pattern onto my pattern making material of choice, frost cloth. It is like a very thin interfacing, and I can see through it and write on it. I am now working on making a "toile" or "muslin" which is a mock up of the dress using crappy fabric. Some people use cheap and cheerful fabric to make a wearable muslin. I am using an old sheet that has been used as a painters dropcloth at some stage. It won't be pretty, but at least I will see if I should bother cutting up some fancier fabric.
 My furry impediment arrived at that point. Fergus really!!!! Do you have to do that!!!!!
 Mmmm pins! I had to have some firm words about safety around the pins and scissors with my youngest child. He is much naughtier than his big brother.
 Once cut, I started working on putting the bodice together.

The pattern requires me to add a wee square of fabric to reinforce the seams at the underarms front and back. Crickey! Even with the reassuring sight and sounds of Downton Abbey in the background, this business is trickier than making quilts.
 I am saying to myself "why on earth am I sewing these wee squares on the outside of the bodice?" The pressing seems weird too.
 Then I tackled joining on the side front panels of the bodice. At that stage I was really starting to think I am a sewing moron. And what's with the silly little squares? They didn't work out too well, and I think I see why. More practise needed as my seam lines are not accurate enough to enclose the reinforcing fabric. Ignore the wrinkly darts as fabric is a bit flimsy. They look better in real life.
It looks like there is plenty of ease at this stage. Ruby, my dressmakers model, is a helpful addition to my sewing arsenal. She tends to look better in some things than I do though. We won't mention the Gertie Pussy Bow Blouse at this stage. I might give you a peek at that some other time. Ruby looks fab in that. I do not.

Right, the next step is to have a go at the back bodice. It has the same little squares. Maybe some basting would be a good idea to manage the insertion of the bodice side panels. I know you'll be anxiously awaiting the next installment of Project One.


  1. Congratulations on your new blog, I am very impressed! Hope that the dress comes together well. I am a dress pattern dyslexic so wouldn't be of any help. Never seen little underarm squares before either, very strange! xxxx

  2. Good luck...may the dressmaking forces be with you!!
    Meg xx