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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Vintage Vogue 2787—Done at Last

Where to begin?  If I were given a sewing word association test, part of it
would go like this:

Analyst: "Vintage Vogue 2787"
Me: "Shoulder pad nightmare."

And indeed it was, but more about that later.

Once I found the proper shoulder pad solution I came to love this dress. I really like the S-curve down the front with the asymmetrical gathers (ruching?) I'm all about asymmetry, so I enjoyed putting the bodice together. I wish I would have shortened the torso about an inch, but live and learn.
Finally--something to wear with my impulse buy  silver heels.

The simple darted back has a six-button closure--there was an option for a 7 inch zipper closure, but I enjoy making button loops--and  a side lapped zipper. I apologize for the glare--this fabric resists proper photography by reflecting the flash, no matter what angle I approach it from.

Originally I wasn't wild about the super high neckline, which isn't especially flattering on me, but it gives the dress a kind of cool almost Asian-inspired look, so I've made my peace with it.

The back is simple and fit well.

The fabric is a buttery soft polyester charmeuse that I got from Vogue Fabrics.  If this dress had been a miserable failure, I would have ordered more of this fabric and made it into something else.

And now onto the shoulder pads. There were instructions to make shoulder pads, which I did,

but they didn't work with the charmeuse. I mean they really didn't work. Below is a photo of the dress with the shoulder pad I eventually used and the pad that I made from the pattern instructions.

You can't see it, but the fabric kind of rolls under the awkward shoulder. I thought maybe that pad needed nudged out closer to the end of the shoulder. This is what happens when I did that.
That now amplified roll is not the end of the shoulder pad. It formed from the way the fabric draped after I nudged the pad out. I then pushed the pad farther in and if anything it looked worse--like I had a growth in the middle of my shoulder. I tried all the ready-made pads I had laying around, positioning them this way and that, and the only ones that worked were the raglan pads shown in the comparison photo above.

So why didn't I just use those pads? Because they are expensive lambswool (I think) pads I bought for a light wool jacket I cut out late last winter and then stored away once the sun started shining. I bought the pads at Britex--about 500 miles away--and didn't want to deal with mail ordering another set and paying postage, or even trying to figure out which ones they were (I should mention that I cannot buy shoulder pads in my town--we are a shoulder-padless society here) so I decided to make my own.

I drafted a pattern,
cut it out of fleece batting

sewed it together

The first of the two inner layers
and came up with a reasonable facsimile. And (get this!) these shoulder pads cost a grand total of $0.77! Yes, seventy-seven cent shoulder pads saved the day. Now I can make my wool jacket as soon as the temps drop below 90 degrees.
Original pad on left. Mine on the right.
Here are a few more dress photos:

This last photo is me gearing up for the new school year. Here I am demonstrating a low-voltage teacher death ray.

Pretty effective, eh?

And that's it for Vintage Vogue 2787.


  1. Thanks for the details about the shoulder pads! That'll definitely come in handy! Great job on the dress :)

  2. Oh, my gosh, what a gorgeous dress, Jeannie! And perfect with those silver shoes! I have to say, you scared me with that death ray--makes me wonder what the high voltage version can do! :-)

    1. Hi Kathy--I'm so glad I'm finally able to justify those shoes. As to the high voltage death ray, I rarely have to use it, thank goodness. It really saps the strength, lol.

  3. I came over from Sew Retro to get a better look at your gorgeous dress! It looks fab on you! I also loved the shoes, and the death ray is awesome!

    1. Thanks for popping over, Cherie--and so nice to meet someone who appreciates a good death ray. :-)

  4. That's a very lovely asymentrical dress! It looks lovely on and thank you for the shoulder pad 'heads up' - very helpful.
    Lovely work ;)

  5. That is very cute dress. lovely color and also pattern. just awesome.
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