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.

8 comments:

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

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  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! :-)

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    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.

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  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!

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

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  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 ;)

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