Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Vogue 1136: And In This Corner…

Raise your hand if you've ever had a  simple project
beat the crud out of you. At this moment my hand is high in the air. I really like Vogue 1136, but I don' think it likes me.

I made a muslin of this dress that, honest to goodness, fit. Or at least I thought it fit. Perhaps I forgot to do a full back view, deeming a look over my shoulder to be sufficient. Whatever happened, I'll never know because I tossed the muslin (after all, it fit so well) during a sewing room cleaning frenzy.

Vogue 1136 went together well. I love the fabric, love the way it handles and drapes. Unfortunately, it's not supposed to be draped in the back.

Yes, this is what the back of my dress looked like. I asked my husband what he thought. He said it was a bit...folded. Yes, indeed. The front looked better, but it was obviously too large. Out came the seam ripper.

Being a scientist, I know to change only one variable at a time. There were problems with both width and length of the bodice, so I decided to tackle the length issue first and then the side seams.

First I stabbed pins into Tillie, my unpaid assistant, to hold the waist of the dress and upper part of the strap bands in place.
 I released the bodice from the bands in the back...
And then adjusted the strap bands so that they fit smoothly over Tillie's back. I trimmed off the excess corners and basted the bands in place.
I then folded the bodice along what would be a new seam line, to take some of the extra fabric out of the bodice. The waist pins kept me from taking out too much. Once I had a new seam line, I basted and sewed. Next I did a late in the game sway back adjustment and the back fit much better.
After that, I took--get this--a full inch (half an inch on each side) out of the side seams at the armpits, tapering to the waist, which fit. Of course, this involved taking out the zipper and putting it back in again.
Essentially, when I was finished, I'd made the dress more than a full size smaller from armpits to waist. I've never had to do that before. It makes me wonder if my butt is getting bigger or my top smaller. Something to ponder in the wee hours for certain.

I do have a slight adjustment to make at the hips, because I'm getting a bit of a ripple from extra fabric there (which answers the question I just posed, I guess), but I don't have the heart to tackle it just yet. It'd be easier and more fun to just gain a little weight.

My pattern pose is at the top of the post, so here's my out take.
It kind of sums up the experience I had making this dress, but I think I won and I really like the dress. Just as in a good romance novel, sometimes the protagonists need to wrangle a bit before they live happily ever after.


  1. Wow, Jeannie, what a lot of work! You're amazing. You look like you've stepped out of the pages of an Agatha Christie novel. :-) Beautiful!

    1. Hey Kathy--I never thought of the world of Agatha Christie as an influence. Cool!

  2. I would have been heartbroken to see the fit where you first ended up, but you really pulled in together! Looks great! (And I agree- gaining a few pounds probably is easier and more fun! LOL)

    1. Hi Debs--I was so close to throwing in the towel when I saw the back of this dress. Then I decided I may as well try to fix it and I'm glad I did. I learned some lessons along the way--like look carefully at the back of the muslin. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. this blog entry had me cracking up.