Mother of the Bride! 4

The wedding is in 2 weeks, at our house, & I’m making a dress for my friend,
Mother of the Bride. 🙂

The pattern is Vogue 1102.

Vogue 1102

Vogue 1102

“Note: No provision made for above waist adjustment.”
YIKES- What am I doing here??

My salute to the blog– Feel the Fear and Sew it Anyway!  Scary sewing for me, pricey fabric, for a Friend, sigh. Tania’s blog was encouraging. 🙂 Altering! Re-designing! Grading! Oh My!

  • The entire dress was re-sized, petite stature, grading up. The waist line was re-positioned, all around.

    Lining- dropped waist & covered zipper

    Lining- dropped waist & covered zipper

  • The bodice was re-fitted for full bust allowance: bust darts were moved, altered and a couple added.
  • Full bust allowance, darts added, moved, altered

    Full bust allowance, darts added, moved, altered

  • No back bow, please! So I raised and re-shaped the bodice back and armscye.

    Skirt lining narrowed, muslin basted in

    Skirt lining narrowed, muslin basted in

Two Threads hidden button placket articles caution–plenty of ease! So the small covered buttons will go directly onto the dress, over the security of a back zipper closure, bodice lining extending under the zipper.

Covered buttons over zipper

Covered buttons over zipper

The dress fabric is cotton lawn from Britex, lined with Imperial Broadcloth, bodice underlined with silk organza. The dress fabric is pretty sheer, so the skirt is also lined. She’s worried about August heat, so the additional lining full circle was reduced to an A-line. I pulled out my reference books. For this step, the Italian one was most helpful: MODA  Manualità tecnica e illustrazioni, ~”FASHION The technical of the design and relevant pictures”.

From full circle skirt pattern to A-line, with dropped waist

From full circle skirt pattern to A-line, with dropped waist

Just one more fitting, want the skirt lining? Check the hem, sew in the zipper, trim & clip the waist seam— replace all that basting with final stitching!

Dress front in progress

Dress front in progress

Dress back

Dress back

If there is time, my dress will be Burda 08/2013 #134, 7 yards already pre-shrunk and pressed…waiting.  We may not have home-canned pickles this year, only so much time in the day.  🙂

Dress Fitting Class Reply

I have started the Craftsy class “The Couture Dress“.

V8648, Calvin Klein reversible wool flannel gabardine.

I had already made the dress & many of the problems she averts with re-design show here:

  • The shoulders are cut on the bias and “fall off”.  Super slick lining, Rats. Next time, I’ll pull the back up as she recommends.
  • And pull up the front a bit, less of a “cocktail hour” look.
  • The center waist panel has a center seam that could be deleted. Sure ’nuff, that topstitching looks fussy. I’ll take it out next time.
  • I didn’t use a muslin (before the class). It would’ve helped. That was pre-1912 sewing. Thank you for the shove into better sewing, you all!

Reinforced shoulders, bias reined in with grosgrain ribbon.









That Calvin Klein reversible wool flannel gabardine was a B&J’s remnant. Marked down, but still precious! I took the plunge and used it, now wish the class had been available before I cut it, SIGH!

The OLD Vogue 8511.

I don’t have the heart for another try right away, starting with an alternate recommended pattern, Vogue 8511, no longer available, got one on Etsy. Watch, out, Vogue has already issued another pattern with this number. 🙂

I’ve made the muslin and started fitting. I took the difference from Size 6 Body measurements /Dress measurements, added that Ease to my own measurements (more like 12-14). I adjusted the seam lines on tracing paper from the pattern pieces, then marked muslin pieces and traced with thread, as she recommends. Here’s what I’ve got so far:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next up–

  • I pulled the bodice side seam apart and pulled it in. The back side panel is now seriously off-grain. This addresses exactly that issue of the back being a smaller size than the front! And the armhole is now bizarre. Time to pull out the French curve, needs work.
  • The front waist line falls a good inch below mine on the dressform. When I pull it up, that may help those dramatic pleats in the skirt that scream–HIPS! Hoping…
  • The bodice front princess seam line needs to be altered to line up with the outer skirt tuck.
  • My dressform needs another check-up. Time to have a serious re-measuring, just in case.


1912 Dress #4016 Summary! 11

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This dress was fun and I recommend making it! I made it so Kate Brown,  our Secretary of State (VoteOregon!) would have a costume to wear ( my earlier 1912 one) in the Portland Grand Floral Parade, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Oregon Women Voting! Go Suffragettes! I finished the dress and hat in time and walked with pals. Our group included the League of Women Voters, Oregon Women’s Commission, and some others. See the 1911 car carrying Oregon Suffragette Abigail Scott Duniway’s great grand daughters. They told me that she wasn’t really the first Oregon woman to vote, that was Sacagawea, sorry I don’t really know.

Go Portland Mayer Sam Adams! Yes, that is the real Mayor in the picture, though he does play the Mayor’s Aide in Portlandia. The Rodeo horse shook it’s head and snorted at my costume- no pockets, no apples or carrots! No wonder people watched for the Wells Fargo coaches1 Amazingly pretty!

The pattern came without instructions and here is a review of my posts, with a summary of the 1912 Project notes at the end.

  1. Getting bearings on the dress and pattern!
  2. Pattern measurements
  3. Making the Very Pretty Collar 🙂
  4. Pattern fitting (continued! 🙂 )
  5. Bodice fitting
  6. Fitting and shaping the skirt seams
  7. Inserting sleeve/bodice gussets
  8. The cuffs
  9. Sewing the bias bands
  10. Sewing the front panel
  11. Making a neck facing
  12. Finishing- odds & ends

VPLL Check List:

Blog points, so I can ask for more patterns!  A possible  total 25 per pattern, here’s my check list:

  • blog – a dozen posts!
  • pattern without instructions. Right, none on this one.
  • photos– max 5, plenty of photos, 20? on this summary alone.
  • fit description. This dress is high & narrow waisted, with a fitted, long skirt and inset front panel. Sleeves are elbow length with faced cuffs. The bodice is pigeon-chested.
  • alteration descriptions. I widened the bust, hips, and waist. I shortened the sleeves a bit, moved the shoulder seam for my dropped shoulders.
  • pattern change descriptions. The front panel sections differed by including/not including a 3/8″ seam allowance and they needed to be matched. I only had room for two bodice bias bands. I drafted a neck facing. If I were to make this again, I would move the bodice gathering section closer to the center chest. Offsetting it by the width of the facing fold pushed it too far off to the sides. There was no provision included for the contrast band at the hem.
  • instruction change list. There was no instruction list. I described my sewing order in the blog posts.
  • finished garment description. This long, fitted dress is completed in Pendleton wools, both light weight gabardines, a cream solid and a cream/beige mini-hounds-tooth. A solid cream fabric is used for a center front inset panel and to line the cuffs. There is a wide hem band, underarm gussets and a self-fabric belt. Bias bands on the cuffs and front are accented with covered buttons. The embroidered collar was made with a cotton gabardine over a piped undercollar. Front closure is under the left side of the panel, with snaps, hooks and eyes sewn onto cotton twill tape. A self-belt was made to match.
  • description of technique (lace, cut work etc.). Detailed descriptions are included for making the underarm gussets, the Broderie Anglaise collar work, cuff facing, bodice panel lining etc.
  • sewing skill used/needed, why. Very good skills are needed for fitting the the one-piece (no longer usual) bodice, drafting pattern pieces, fitting the components of the dress closely, to be flattering. There are plenty of tricky bits, the gussets, sewing the bias bands with appropriate ease, stabilizing bias edges.

[this is a separate checklist, including just in case 🙂 ] review checklist included at end.

description– see pattern & finished garment description above.
pattern sizing– this was a small dress, hoo-boy, those hips were TINY! The skirt 0162 I made last was billed as a 25″ waist but seemed bigger, so I assumed it accommodated numerous undergarments. This dress doesn’t. Someone guessed it was designed for young women. Since pattern numbers have jumped all over the place since 1912 and have been inconsistent from one source to another, I’d say this was designed for a women ~5’2″, weighing not much more than 110 pounds.
look like photo? Yes, aside from the fact that the sketch is considerably stretched for fashion interpretation. 🙂
instructions easy? No instructions and some would have been helpful. I researched for making gussets and learning Broderie Anglaise, cited in posts.
what to like/dislike? I don’t really like the front closure, don’t feel confident with snaps, hooks and eyes. I would change the neck fitting for a re-make. The gussets were a very positive feature and I really liked the collar, so pretty! It looks like one in a current Vogue ad for Louis Vuitton spring suits. I wore a slip reaching mid-shin and really needed one as long as the dress for walking in a stiff breeze with knitting stockings.
fabric used– Pendleton gabardine wools, light weight, and a cotton gabardine for the embroidered collar. I loved working with the wool, it drapes spectacularly.
alterations/design changes? see above.
recommend to others? If you don’t need historic accuracy, consider using a zipper closure. Practice making a gusset with waste fabric beforehand. Think carefully about the cuff seams- I got them backwards. They are counter intuitive.  Place the bodice gatherscloser to the middle. Fit carefully- I was struck by how frumpy my initial muslin version looked.
conclusion? This dress has charm and great style details. I love it!
Pattern Name: E4016_DRESS. 
sewer’s skill:Advanced.
rating & why, 1-5, 1-Not a Fan, 2 – So-So, 3 – Good/Average, 4-Better than Average, 5-I LOVED IT! and why?
skill needed & why. I loved this dress. It was fun to wear, got scads of compliments. It was a challenge for me, a sewer who is likely to make errors. 🙂 I learned lots!
instructions easy? Change? [no instructions]
Fit/sizing? As expected? The pattern size wasn’t listed, so I was prepared to alter and check all areas. It was actually smaller than I expected though.
Alterations? For fit or design? I flared the skirt, all three pattern sections, back, side and front panel. I inserted darts in the skirt front and tucks in the bodice back.
volunteer for more… sorry, very little spare time, not really any with this added to the plate. 🙂

4016 Front Panel 1

The front panel was not difficult but needed some pre-planning. When I thought about the order of sewing, like the waist seam to help with bias band placement, the front panel would be helped by having the neck facing finished. The dress waist seam should be done before this one. And I wanted this panel in place so I could better judge fit and bias band placement.

As I found in the pattern post, the seam allowances on the pattern pieces for the front panel, bodice and skirt, didn’t match and needed to be coordinated. Also, I used this piece for fitting, flaring the skirt piece toward the hem. I wasn’t pleased with the neck fit after altering, since the tiny neck swam after I widened the bodice. It is covered by the collar, but I pulled the V of the front panel up to a much shallower point and would reduce (return to more like the original) neck shape if I were to make this again. [Every action ha a reaction!]

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • The original skirt panel seemed too straight, needed some flare.
  • I thought a full bodice lining would be a good idea since this fabric is pale. You can see the neck seam pressed toward the “lining”.
  • I cut the bodice pieces with length to spare after not understanding why the neck facing curve stopped short.
  • You can see the turn of the enclosed skirt waist seam into the two bodice pieces.

Only odds and ends were left, but time-consuming! I covered the buttons while watching a movie at home, but forgot the back cuffs, out of sight, out of mind. 🙂 Hemming, horse hair, snaps, hooks and eyes, the belt, ribbons on the collar, whew!









#4016 Morning 2, fitting continues… 3

Halted last night, discouraged by a dowdy muslin. And no, dress form isn’t standing up straight, tough day for her, too. Escape to bedtime reading !

Threads articles: gussets , Feb/Mar 2010, pp. 29-43, thoroughly intimidating! But helpful. On to another, Aug/Sept 2007, pp.46-51, Vintage Patterns, helpful for closure and facing recommendations.  Time to sleep on it and redesign. I wonder if anybody else has trouble making dumpy alterations by trying to use measurements…now Today! 🙂

A bunch of things needed to be fixed!

  • The front panel pattern pieces didn’t match widths, by the 3/8″ seam allowance included in one, not the other.
  • I tried pinching in the waist skirt panel.
  • Then I looked at pulling the waist in further.
  • Oops, I added widened the back bodice and skirt, but the skirt was way off, must have goofed, so in goes a skirt mid-panel.
  • That back skirt is catching & riding up the hips, needs some wiggle room!
  • Confidence ebbed, rechecking back width to the pattern.
  • The skirt front image looked straight down the side seam, so I started playing, narrowing it.
  • The shoulder line isn’t mine 🙂
  • Well, guess it was time to think about a gusset since the paper-like fabric is shredding. The Threads article called for a 3″ slash.
  • Okay, totally straightened that side seam.
  • I widened the front skirt panel a bit, intend to go even further.
  • The waist line has returned to Empire, Thank You, Theresa!!
  • Taking the flare out of the side seams, I wanted to see how much I might add to the back, so I slit it to see natural spread. A bodice insert, including a couple of pinches at the waist helped, too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Okay, enough playing, now back to revisions, want to be sure it looks okay before I go to fabric…  & I need to work on Gussets Arrrggh!)

Pattern Maker 7 is UP! –no patterns yet. 2

Tara, from the Pattern Maker 7 support team sent me a dll file to insert into my program files. It worked directly with Windows, activated my registration, and a pop-up says~

The Clock is running! You have 31 days left in your free Deluxe Demo access. Is what you’re doing right now really more fun or important?! Life is short! 

Okay, not really. 😉  But I can now store measurements and do lots not available in the basic view. What do the rest of you think? Anybody use any other programs to compare? What level access/expertise do you use and why? I’m a hobbyist, hard to justify spending but nice to have tools that work.